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Every year beginning the first day in May, the Williston Red Devils take to the practice field to begin spring football practice.
This season the Red Devils will be playing in a new classification that was decided following the FHSAA’s failure to allow Williston to join the new Rural Classification.
Six hundred or fewer students was the cut off for the new Rural League and Williston was slightly over that number.
More FHSAA changes would have put Williston in a district of 44 teams of which only seven would be public schools. Rather than have to play in a region loaded with private schools, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jamie Baker moved Williston to the Independent League.
“The private schools in Florida have advantages that public schools do not have, so I didn’t want us to be stuck in a 37-7 situation playing all these private schools,” Baker said.
This season and next, the Williston Red Devils will play as an Independent However, the Red Devils game schedule remains competitive.
The Spring Football game is scheduled to be played next Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. at Booster Stadium.
Tavares will be the Red Devils opponent and the game will be played like a regular game, including special teams and kick-offs.
“We are a very young team with very few players having varsity experience,” Baker said.
The Red Devils will again run an option offense and throw in a few counter plays off the option. On defense the Red Devils will operate out of a 4-3.
As spring practice moves into its third week, Baker said, “It’s early, but these young men are buying in and are committed.”
There are two players, David Heinkel and David Higgins, vying for the quarterback position for the Red Devils.
There are several players who fans can look forward to watching when the season gets started in the fall.
Brandon Preston, Damien Strange, and Keith Neal along with Tyus Williams are expected to contribute greatly to the Red Devil team.
Assistant Coaches for the Red Devils are Cliff Harrel, Bruce Greenlee, Keith Machtinger, Detrick Stewart, Wes Lackey and Scott Hall.
“Right now we have possibly 31 varsity players who will continue to improve over the summer,” Baker said.