Spring swing football: Columbia putting an emphasis on leadership

Tigers were knocked out of playoffs in regional semifinals in 2018

By Brian Jackson - Digital sports reporter

LAKE CITY, Fla. - NewsJax’s high school football Spring Swing continues daily throughout spring practice across the First Coast. Today, we’ll take a quick look at Columbia (Lake City). 

Talent is never an issue at Columbia. One thing you can guarantee about teams coached by Brian Allen is that they're going to be physical. This spring the Tigers have focused on something else, the mental side of the game.

“Leadership training is what I’ve been talking to the kids about for 15 weeks.” said Allen. “Learning how to be a leader. Learning how to be an effective leader. We’ve done that throughout every single practice.”

Going into last year’s playoffs the Tigers were one of the favorites to reach the 7A state title game in Orlando. Instead, they were knocked out by Lee in the regional semifinals. 

Columbia finished with two losses in 2018. They came by a total of four points. 

“We can’t have a repeat of last year,” said quarterback Jordan Smith. “Every day we come to practice with the goal of getting better. We have to stay focused. Can’t goof around. We have to stay locked in. We’ve got to get back to that playoff mindset.”

The Tigers goal isn’t simply getting back to the playoffs. They expect to win the state title.

“We’re trying to reach that vision of a state championship,” said Allen. “Playing in the title game is always the expectation."

*Full 2019 schedule not available*

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