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Wildcat faces Baldwin in season opener

You’ve got to hand it to the Baldwin Indians, the team that the Wildcats will face off against on Friday night in the Kickoff Classic at Memorial Stadium in Macclenny.

The Indians are a team on the upswing.

Last season Coach Steve Shields took a team that was 4-8 in the previous year and turned it into a playoff team. The Indians went 9-3 last year and though they lost to the Village Charter school in the first round of the playoffs, it was a huge achievement.

Shields and his squad hope to continue with his rebuilding model as they take on the Wildcats in the Kickoff Classic. The game gives both teams an opportunity to evaluate talent and their off-season moves before they both open up for real next weekend.

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Preview: Lady Cats volleyball begins August 28

Even before the start of school you can hear the squeak of sneakers on the gym floor as the BCHS Lady Wildcat volleyball team gets ready for the start of its season on Aug. 28 versus Oakleaf.

The Lady Cats are digging, spiking and setting and getting used to working together as a team after the roster was picked by Coach Heather Sulkowski earlier this month. Sulkowski is encouraged by what she has seen so far.

“We have a very well-rounded team this season and our hitters are doing very well so we should have more fire power,” said Sulkowski.

One of the areas where they have needed improvement over last year is serving and they have been trying to rectify that.

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Junior all-star squad takes third place at state tournament

Baker County’s Junior All-Star squad recently completed its season with a strong showing at the Florida state finals in Fort Braden in Leon County. The local contingent of 13- and 14-year-olds was one of five teams to claim a berth in the state title round after advancing through tough district and sectionals.

The girls finished Baker County Junior Softball’s first-ever trip to the finals with a 2-2 record in the state bracket, earning the team a third place. They notched wins over St. Cloud (11-0) and Miami South Beach (10-4).

Coach P.J. Lefebvre had high praise for the team that clinched the North Florida Little League district 11 title with twin wins over Hilliard, including a dominating 32-3 rout.

After securing the Section Three title with a bye win, the local all-stars turned their attention to preparing for the five-team round robin state bracket. Coaches Lefebvre, Zary Alford, Taylor Jones, Tina Fraze and Steven Hancock drilled the team hard to ready it for the sweltering heat expected during the weekend tournament.

“Our girls were fire at the plate. As a team we had a .350 batting average, with seven players over .300 and both Melanie Sweat and Jesselynn Williams leading the way with averages over .500,” said Coach Lefebvre.

Ashton Alford was the team’s “go-to” slugger, driving in ten runs, while third base anchor Angel Jackson smacked two triples.

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Jefferson drawing attention

Wildcat football defensive end CeCe Jefferson has been getting a lot of attention over the summer. Jefferson, who was named a Freshman All-American last season, has been featured on a number of sports and recruiting websites such as MaxPreps, Scout.com and Rivals.com.

There is a consensus  the 6’3, 250 lb. defender is well on his way to being a top player if he can avoid injury and continue at a high level of play. Jefferson was one of the defensive stars for BCHS last season and has had seven Division 1 offers.

He attended the Will Muschamp Football Camp in June in Gainesville. He was impressive enough to be offered a UF scholarship at the end of camp. The upcoming sophomore will continue to weigh his options but currently has offers from Louisville, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, FSU, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as the Gators.

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