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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 • WWW.SAINTJOHNSSUN.

COM SAINT JOHNS SUN • 3B

2016 Football Preview

Creekside 2015 rEsults
Coach: Jeff Schaum
record: 0-10, 0-4
2016 scHEdulE
Aug. 26 vs. Orange Park Record: 0-10, 0-4 in District 3-7A
Sept. 2 vs. Nease Aug. 28 at Orange Park L 28-12
Sept. 4 at Nease L 34-14
Sept. 9 at St. Augustine
Sept. 11 vs. St. Augustine L 35-17
Sept. 16 vs. Providence Sept. 18 at Providence L 42-7
Sept. 23 at Mandarin Sept. 25 vs. Mandarin L 47-29
Oct. 2 at Bartram Trail L 31-0*
Sept. 30 vs. Bartram Oct. 16 vs. Fleming Island L 23-17
Trail* OT*
Oct. 14 at Fleming Oct. 23 vs. Oakleaf L 40-0*
Oct. 30 at Buchholz L 30-7*
Island*
Nov. 6 vs. Ponte Vedra L 17-12
Oct. 21 at Oakleaf* * district game
Oct. 28 vs. Buchholz*
Nov. 4 at Ponte Vedra GAry MCCULLoUGH/CorreSPonDent
*district game Creekside’s Connor Cline runs the ball against Menendez during a preseason football game at Creekside High School on
Aug. 21, 2015. Cline replaces Blake Morgan as the Knights’ starting running back.

By Brent Woronoff Henson and Brandon Dickman mons, Sr.; QB Tom Slavin, the Knights will need the 6-4, Why Coach Schaum is optimis-
brent.woronoff@staugustine.com and in the secondary with CBs Sr.; OL Tyler Trkula, Sr.; OL 210-pound senior to make some tic: There is optimism for the
Chris Edwards and Vance Ben- Michael Mathis, Sr.; OL Josh big plays. future: The Knights went 4-0
Strengths: The Knights like nett and safeties Dustin Owens Gracie, Sr.; DE Drew Reagor, in games at a JV camp this
their receiving corps and and Garrison Turnage. Sr.; CB Chris Edwards, Sr.; K/P District outlook: Buchholz, summer. And the varsity was
an improved Tom Slavin at Garrison Turnage. Bartram Trail and Oakleaf competitive in the Jackson-
quarterback to get them the Weaknesses: Overall depth. will likely again battle for the ville Jaguars’ camp. Creekside
ball. They won’t have record- After an 0-10 season, it’s not Promising newcomers: Junior two playoff spots from District has lost 13 in a row but have
setting running back Blake surprising the Knights’ num- cornerback Vance Bennett is 3-7A. Creekside will have its a chance to snap the streak
Morgan (now at Wofford) in bers are low. While they have one of the fastest players on the best chance to win a district against Orange Park (season
the backfield, but in the second three returning starters on the team (along with fellow corner game and avoid the league opener) or Providence (Sept. 16).
year of Jeff Schaum’s system line, through the second week Chris Edwards and receiver cellar when it travels to Fleming Both teams were below .500 last
they should be more comfort- of preseason practice they Deven Gray). Another new DB Island on Oct. 14. The Knights season. Creekside had chances
able with the offense overall. had just six healthy linemen. is senior Garrison Turnage, lost to the Golden Eagles in to win last year but couldn’t
JT Wood and Charlie Simmons Connor Cline replaces record- who was limited to kicking and overtime last season. close. “Everything depends on
will be the top targets, but setting Blake Morgan at run- punting duties last season but us gaining the confidence we
Creekside has depth at receiver ning back. Cline doesn’t have has earned a starting spot in the Circle this date: Oct. 14 at Flem- need,” Schaum said. “We have
as well with Kamryn Medvec, Morgan’s speed, but Creekside secondary. DT Grayson Wallace ing Island. Bartram Trail is to prove we can play football
EJ Mohr and Deven Gray. They coaches believe he can get the could become an impact player obviously Creekside’s biggest for four quarters. Every game
also have three returning start- job done. With little experience as a sophomore. rival. The players from the is going to be a dogfight. ... The
ers on the offensive line and behind him, however, Cline will nearby schools grew up togeth- kids’ work ethic is phenomenal.
appear solid at defensive end need to stay healthy. He’ll be hard to stop: Drew er. But the Knights remember We had a bunch of kids who
with Drew Reagor and Robert Reagor appears to be a leader last year’s 23-17 OT loss after decided football is not for them,
Corey Grower, at linebacker returning starters: WR JT on defense. After allowing 32.7 leading 17-7 in the third quarter. but the guys who are here are
with John Henderson, Sam Wood, Jr.; WR Charlie Sim- points per game last season, warriors.”

VERY INSPIRATIONAL PLAYER Improved Slavin back under
center at Creekside
tom slavin • QB • #18
Creekside Knights
Bio: Started four games as a sophomore; passed for 953 yards and four
touchdowns last season but was picked off nine times as he and his team-
mates struggled to learn a vastly different offensive system.
Why he is inspirational: Slavin never let adversity — his team’s or his
own — bring him down. He worked hard in the offseason learning the of-
fense and helping his teammates do the same. Despite a 13-game losing
streak, he has remained positive and has buckled down to try to reverse
momentum.
What they’re saying: Offensive lineman Tyler Trkula — “He knows the
Senior, Creekside offense better than anyone else on the team. In practice he corrects the
Born: St. Augustine other quarterbacks. He helps everybody out.”
Birthdate: Jan. 17
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 175 pounds
varsity Exp.: 3rd year

maiSlah
ToIz in drews
avAn Photos by Christina Kelso

night and day. Last year through a winless season. Winning the job was
he was still learning (the None of it seemed to just Step 1 for Slavin. Now
offense). But from the faze Slavin, who orga- he’s looking to win some
By Brent Woronoff miles ahead of his com- he’s doing,” Schaum said. first day of spring prac- nized offseason workouts games, just as he did
petitors in understanding “It’s looking pretty tice he knew what to do. with his receivers at Fruit when he was the start-
Tom Slavin doesn’t second-year coach Jeff good for me,” Slavin He knew where people Cove Middle School. ing quarterback for his
take a hint. Schaum’s spread-option admitted. “I’m trying to were supposed to be.” “He never wavered,” eighth-grade Pop Warner
The quarterback ended offense. The offense had perfect everything — Slavin was thrown into his father said. “He always team.
last season on Creekside’s to be simplified last year passing, reading defenses, the fire as a sophomore, knew what he had to do.” “I knew no one on the
bench. That’s where because players were carrying out fakes, run- starting four games for Schaum said he heard team,” he said. “Most
many expected he’d be having trouble learning ning with the ball and the injured Ron Boyce. the naysayers. At one of the players had been
again for the 2016 opener. its nuances. And also, knowing all the plays.” Last season, he couldn’t point he may have been together for years. It made
But they don’t know him there was a wild card in Offensive lineman separate himself from one. me realize you don’t have
like his father knows him. talented running back Tyler Trkula said his two other QBs and then “I was surprised he to be there for years, you
“He’s always been Blake Morgan, who ran fellow senior has pro- was benched for fresh- bounced back,” the coach just have to beat out the
focused,” Jim Slavin for a school-record 1,325 gressed a great deal since man Tai Lavatai. When said. “He’s very resilient. people in front of you. We
said. “He’s unflappable yards. The Knights no last season. Lavatai got hurt, Slavin You can be in his face, and lost one game that year.
almost.” longer have a luxury in a “I have a lot more con- returned to the lineup. you’re not going to scare I’m trying to figure out
When Creekside workhorse like Morgan fidence in him,” Trkula But he was benched again him. He doesn’t even roll what changed. We just
opened the quarterback and need a decision-mak- said. “He’s really stepped in the second-to-last game his eyes. Nothing really have to capture that light-
competition in January, er behind center. it up. The difference is as the Knights struggled affects him.” ning in a bottle.”
Slavin quickly made it Slavin, at one time an
a runaway. He attended after-thought, has become
every offseason meeting. the obvious choice.
He pored over game film. “He’s much more
By the time spring assured of himself now
practice started he was and understands what