JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Grace Ivey helped the Bartram Trail girls soccer team go back to back.
Can the Bears do something that’s never been done before by an area public school team and stack one more title on top of that?
With Ivey, Bartram’s sensational sophomore midfielder and All-News4Jax girls soccer player of the year, returning to lead the charge, it’s a safe bet to take the over on history being made.
Ivey saved her headlining moment for the final game of the season. She had a hat trick as Bartram beat Cypress Bay 4-0. The Bears thumped them 5-0 a season earlier.
And in 2022? All but six Bartram players should return. Ivey, who scored 20 goals and five assists, headlines that group.
“The season was just really special for all of us. We were all so tight together. We all just had something to work for because we didn’t even know if we were going to have a season, honestly, because of COVID and everything,” she said.
“So, we were all just so thankful that we could even be on the field, just gave us something to fight for. Just even going to training every day, it was just such a good environment because we were all so close together and we just all playing for each other. And that’s what made it so special.”
Before this season, only two public school teams from the area — the Nease girls in 2005-06 and the Nease boys in 2007-08 — had won back-to-back state championships. While the St. Johns Country Day girls dynasty has ripped off 10 straight titles and Bolles had a run of three in a row, that consistency has not filtered down to the public schools.
No area public school (boys or girls) has pulled off a soccer state championship threepeat. Could Bartram and Ivey be the first?
“I’m so excited for next season. I’m actually very confident in our team,” Ivey said. “I believe in this team. So much of what we have is just so special, and my teammates are just the best teammates in the world. And I think, I really think, we have a good shot next season.”
Next year won’t be like this past season.
The coronavirus pandemic shook many things up on the high school sports level and prompted layers of precautions along the way. Ivey said that the uncertainty was the greatest challenge because of the unknowns. It wasn’t uncommon for a player or two to have to quarantine and miss practice or games.
“I know I missed two games because of quarantine. I know so many other people did. And they missed the opportunity to play. but it was just so hard because you never knew. We were just all trying not to get quarantined, trying to social distance, and it just made it a lot tougher because we never knew it was all just so unknown to us.”
Bartram coach Jennifer Rodriguez said the team was always in sync because of the approach that she began the season with. She said the Bears “weren’t starting over, we’re starting from where we left,” but even that experience was shaken at times. What wasn’t, however, was Ivey’s resilience.
“She’s a pretty special player. Just her work ethic. You see her working all the time. She works on her own a lot more than any player I’ve seen. I’ll be driving by the field and see a player out there … it’s Grace at the field,” Rodriguez said. “She’s a player. If she sets her mind to it, she can do it.”
Pos. Player School, Class, Notable
F Hannah Johnson, Oakleaf, Sr.: Second team All-News4Jax selection last season. Had 28 goals, four assists for Knights. Mississippi State signee.
F/D Alexi Pitt, Bolles, Jr.: Split time between two positions and led the Bulldogs in scoring. Had 14 goals, eight assists.
F Mia Sadler, St. Johns CD, Sr.: Another stellar year for this Spartans player. Had 17 goals and seven assists for the St. Johns dynasty.
MF Paige Crews, St. Johns CD, Sr.: Two-time All-News4Jax selection and only returning first-team selection. Had 42 assists, 39 goals in her 137-game career that began when she was in sixth grade. Played on six consecutive state championship teams. TCU signee.
MF Grace Ivey, Bartram Trail, So.: Area’s top player scored the final three of her team-best 20 goals in the state championship game win over Cypress Bay. Also had five assists for the 19-2 Bears.
MF Izzy Kimberly, Bolles, Sr.: Southern Cal signee. Had 13 goals, eight assists in 12 games for the Bulldogs.
MF Tamlyn Parkes, Ponte Vedra, Jr.: Had 11 goals and nine assists for the Sharks. Scored both goals in state championship game, a 2-0 win over Archbishop McCarthy.
MF Ella Shapiro, Ponte Vedra, Sr.: One of the Sharks’ top players. Had nine goals and nine assists to help lead Ponte Vedra to its first state championship since 2012.
D Maddie Moody, St. Johns CD, Sr.: Had three goals, two assists for the Spartans dynasty this season. But her true value was headlining the wicked defense of St. Johns. Nation’s sixth-ranked team by MaxPreps allowed just five goals in 18-0, state championship season. Had 45 assists, 38 goals in her 132-game career. Davidson signee. Second-team All-News4Jax selection last season.
D Gianni Badon, Creekside, Sr.: Powerful Knights backline player had two goals and an assist. LSU signee.
D Reese Wheeler, Bartram Trail, Jr.: Versatile player could float between defender and mid in the powerful Bears lineup. Had 13 assists, six goals this season.
GK Mackenzie Kirk, Fleming Island, Jr.: The most-mentioned keeper by area coaches, she gave up 11 goals and made 73 saves for the 18-3-1 Golden Eagles
Pos. Player School, Class, Notable
F Kaylee Anderson, Paxon, Sr.: Goal-scoring machine for the Golden Eagles this season (39). Added 11 assists.
F Mackenna Gregory, Bishop Kenny, Jr.: Solid all-around season for 14-4-1 Crusaders. Had 28 goals, 14 assists for Kenny.
F Kaitlyn Scherer, Fleming Island, So.: Had 23 goals and an assist for 18-3-1 Golden Eagles.
F Kindree Sullivan, Fletcher, Sr.: Multi-sport athlete had seven goals, six assists in 14 games for the Senators.
MF Jori Follenweider, Bartram Trail, Jr.: Second on team in scoring with nine goals, five assists for 7A state champion Bears.
MF Reese Gordon, Atlantic Coast, Jr.: Had nine assists, eight goals for the Stingrays.
MF Julia Granert, Stanton, Sr.: Blue Devils endured a rebuilding season, but she was a player who numerous coaches mentioned as a versatile mid (four goals, two assists).
MF Ahnalie Layman, Menendez, Sr.: Led the Falcons to the state playoffs with a 20-goal season.
D Breanna Robinson, Creekside, Jr.: Had four goals and an assist for the Knights.
D Lauren Weiss, St. Johns Country Day, Sr.: Another vital piece of the Spartans relentless defense.
GK Gabriela Calidonio, Flagler Palm Coast, Sr.: Had 11 shutouts, 125 saves and a 0.96 goals against average.
GK Abigail Whitcomb, Wolfson, Jr.: Had 87 saves, 11 shutouts for the 12-6-1 Wolfpack.
Pos., Player, School, Class
D Anna Bachman, Bartram Trail, So.
F Courtney Brown, Stanton, Fr.
D Maya Dawson, Fleming Island, Sr.
GK Bailey Dean, Bartram Trail, Jr.
D Morgan Eubanks, Atlantic Coast, Sr.
D Alyse Gomez, Middleburg, Sr.
F Nicole Gonzales, Baldwin, Jr.
F Audrey Howard, Wolfson, Sr.
F Abigail Jones, Episcopal, Sr.
GK Miranda Lamb, Mandarin, Jr.
MF Daighon Lipson, Sandalwood, Sr.
D Eli Mabe, Ponte Vedra, Sr.
MF Maggie Mace, Ponte Vedra, Jr.
F Alana Maki, Bishop Kenny, Fr.
MF Lauryn Mateo, St. Johns CD, So.
F Karah McElhone, St. Augustine, Sr.
MF Paige McSwigan, Creekside, Jr.
MF Taylor Murphy, Flagler Palm Coast, Sr.
MF Bella Pontieri, St. Johns Country Day, Jr.
D Tatum Register, Stanton, So.
GK Paige Rhody, Oakleaf, Sr.
MF Avery Robinson, Creekside, Fr.
F Charlotte Sefcik, St. Augustine, Jr.
MF Chloe Shaw, Bishop Kenny, Sr.
F Kiersten Shaw, Keystone Heights, 8th
D Abigail Snyder, Providence, Sr.
MF Maggie Tibbitts, St. Joseph, Jr.
D Victoria Villasana, Ponte Vedra, Jr.
MF Avery Williams, Bartram Trail, Jr.
D Jada Williams, Flagler Palm Coast, Jr.
MF Olivia Winter, Fletcher, Sr.
The All-News4Jax girls soccer team was compiled with input and nominations from area coaches.