High school football ‘23 picks: Bartram Trail, Bradford, Mandarin, Trinity among Week 1 winners

Creekside's Nicky Williams carries the ball during a game last year against Nease. (Kevin Nguyen, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school football season is back. That means our football predictions are back, too.

News4JAX sports editor Justin Barney will reveal his picks for the week each Thursday. All game times are 7 p.m. unless indicated.

Last season’s record: 309-102 (.751).

Week 1 predictions

  • Atlantic Coast at Parker, 6:30 p.m.: Stingrays have a new coach and end and 11-game losing streak that dates back to 2021. N4J pick: Atlantic Coast 21, Parker 13.
  • Baker County at Bradford, 7:30 p.m.: Tornadoes were a defensive monster last year. And things started with a 21-0 donut in a half against the Wildcats. N4J pick: Bradford 33, Baker County 13.
  • Bartram Trail at Ponte Vedra: First game under new coach Cory Johns looks with Bartram picks up where the regular season left off. N4J pick: Bartram Trail 35, Ponte Vedra 14.
  • Bishop Snyder at Stanton, 6:30 p.m.: Cardinals edge the Blue Devils to get things started. N4J pick: Bishop Snyder 20, Stanton 13.
  • Cedar Creek Christian at Branford 7:30 p.m.: Buccaneers double up the Saints. N4J pick: Cedar Creek Christian 36, Branford 18.
  • Clay at Fleming Island 7:30 p.m.: Golden Eagles are pushing for a spot in the Super 10. They won this game by 42 last year and could be even stronger in 2023. N4J pick: Fleming Island 42, Clay 13.
  • Duval Charter at Christ’s Church: New Eagles coach Justin Sirmon wins in his debut. N4J pick: Christ’s Church 28, Duval Charter 14.
  • Eagle’s View at Bell Creek Academy: Warriors coast in their opener. N4J pick: Eagle’s View 28, Bell Creek 7.
  • Englewood at Paxon, 6:30 p.m.: Rams make new coach Kevin Johnson a winner in his coaching debut. N4J pick: Englewood 27, Paxon 7.
  • First Coast at Bishop Kenny: Like this matchup. Both teams should be much improved from last year’s Week 1 meeting. N4J pick: Bishop Kenny 27, First Coast 20.
  • Flagler Palm Coast at Suwannee, 7:30 p.m.: Bulldogs crank things up the same way they finished last year. N4J pick: Suwannee 33, FPC 20.
  • Fletcher at Mandarin, 6:30 p.m.: Another game of the night contender. The blue chippers of Mandarin against the veterans of Fletcher. N4J pick: Mandarin 27, Fletcher 24.
  • Fort White at Taylor County, 7:30 p.m.: Close game goes to the Indians and new old coach Demetric Jackson. N4J pick: Fort White 22, Taylor County 20.
  • Gainesville Buchholz at Columbia, 7:30 p.m.: Excellent matchup right out of the gate. New coaches at both programs. Tigers and Brian Allen in a tight one. N4J pick: Columbia 24, Buchholz 20.
  • Gainesville Oak Hall at St. Joseph: Close game gets away from the Flashes late. N4J pick: Oak Hall 12, St. Joseph 7.
  • Impact Christian Academy at Harvest Community: Lions are much better in Year 2 under Bobby Ramsay. N4J pick: Impact 21, Harvest 14.
  • Interlachen at Union County, 7:30 p.m.: Tigers were nearly in the championship game last year. Interlachen was 10-0 last year but didn’t play a team like Union. N4J pick: Union County 26, Interlachen 13.
  • Jackson at Nease: Panthers get back on the winning track. N4J pick: Nease 27, Jackson 13.
  • Matanzas at South Lake: Pirates with a chance to extend South Lake’s 10-game losing streak. N4J pick: Matanzas 33, South Lake 7.
  • Menendez at Ridgeview: New coach leading the Falcons and Anthony Rivers nabs his first coaching W. N4J pick: Menendez 35, Ridgeview 20.
  • Middleburg at Hawthorne: Tough assignment for the Broncos against a Hornets team that went 12-0 last year and won the 1R state title. N4J pick: Hawthorne 31, Middleburg 13.
  • Orange Park at Oakleaf: Knights are another team I thought about putting in the Super 10. They should see a big jump under coach Christopher Foy. N4J pick: Oakleaf 35, Orange Park 7.
  • Palm Beach Central at Creekside: Massive opening test for the Knights against a state semifinalist team from a year ago. N4J pick: Palm Beach Central 42, Creekside 27.
  • Providence at Fernandina Beach: Pirates get in the win column right off the bat. N4J pick: Fernandina Beach 24, Providence 21.
  • Raines at University Christian, 7:30 p.m.: Excellent season opener in what should be a tough, physical game. N4J pick: Raines 21, UC 20.
  • Ribault at Sandalwood, 6:30 p.m.: Saints in a slugfest. N4J pick: Sandalwood 21, Ribault 13.
  • Riverside at Westside, 6:30 p.m.: Generals went to the playoffs last year and they’ll try and get there again. N4J pick: Riverside 35, Westside 13.
  • St. Augustine at Bolles, 7:30 p.m.: Back and forth on this game. Yellow Jackets in a close one. N4J pick: St. Augustine 33, Bolles 31.
  • Tocoi Creek at Beachside: Rivalry began last year and launched great seasons for both teams. N4J pick: Tocoi Creek 35, Beachside 30.
  • Umatilla at Palatka: Panthers turned things around last year under Patrick Turner. They keep it going this year. N4J pick: Palatka 28, Umatilla 14.
  • West Nassau at NFEI: Warriors get a W for new coach Gunnar Cox. N4J pick: West Nassau 35, NFEI 14.
  • White at Trinity Christian: Conquerors have state championship aspirations. N4J pick: Trinity 38, White 20.
  • Wolfson at Baldwin, 6:30 p.m.: Indians are a Super 10 contender under coach Robert Shields. N4J pick: Baldwin 33, Wolfson 7.
  • Young Kids in Motion at Hilliard: Daniel Thomas with W in his coaching debut. N4J pick: Hilliard 34, Young Kids in Motion 6.
  • Yulee at Charlton County, 7:30 p.m.: Georgia-Florida clash goes to the Hornets. N4J pick: Yulee 21, Charlton County 20.
  • Zarephath Academy at Episcopal: Eagles start things fast under Marcus Wells. N4J pick: Episcopal 35, Zarephath 7.


Home team in CAPS

  • CHIPLEY over Hollis Christian; JOSHUA CHRISTIAN over Victory Charter School, 6 p.m.; THE FIRST ACADEMY over Crescent City
  • OFF: Keystone Heights.

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.