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Weeks after canceling season, St. Johns Country Day back in 8-man football

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – St. Johns Country Day’s football team is making a comeback.

The Spartans, who announced the cancellation of their varsity season on Sept. 9, are planning to resume its season on Oct. 9 as a member of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s eight-man football league.

Eight-man football has been the perfect vehicle for smaller programs who don’t have the student numbers to stock 11-man varsity programs for a full season.

“St. Johns is pleased to announce that it has joined the Sunshine State Athletic Conference for the remainder of the 8-man varsity football season. Rocky Bantag will continue to coach the Spartans for what is sure to be a fun and fantastic season. First Game 10/9 @ All Saints,” the school said in a statement.

Spartans athletic director Traci Livingston said the school was excited to be able to relaunch the football season in this year. St. Johns plays as an independent in the Florida High School Athletic Association. The Spartans will be the 16th team in the eight-man league.

“We tried to get something that would accommodate our team with our football numbers. Our players and coaching staff are beyond thrilled with the opportunity to join the league and compete for the remainder of the season in the SSAC 8 man league,” she said in an email.

Among local teams in the eight-man league are Duval Charter, First Baptist Christian Academy of Palm Coast and Harvest Community. Area schools Christ’s Church, Cedar Creek Christian, Eagle’s View and Providence play in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s varsity 11-man division.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.