Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Champions Being Born: Middle School Playoff Previews!

The Middle School City Championship Playoffs begin Thursday November 12th with four teams vying for the coveted Championship Trophy. Check out the preview for each team below as they prepare for the road to the title.

Middle School Regular Season Standings:

Click on a team name to visit their team page on Planet High School 


 * Playoff Teams Division Overall
Team W L W L
Matthew Gilbert Middle School  * 6 0 7 0
Oceanway Middle School 5 1 6 1
Highlands Middle School 4 2 5 2
Jean Ribault Middle School 3 3 4 3
YWLA / YMLA at Eugene J. Butler 2 4 2 5
Northwestern Middle School 1 5 2 5
Kirby Smith Middle School 0 5 1 5


Division Overall
Team W L W L
Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership   * 5 0 5 2
Jefferson Davis Middle School 3 2 5 2
Lake Shore Middle School 3 2 4 3
J.E.B. Stuart Middle School 3 2 5 2
Baldwin Middle-Senior High School 1 4 3 5
James W. Johnson Middle School 0 4 1 5


Division Overall
Team W L W L
Twin Lakes Middle School    * 5 0 6 1
Mandarin Middle School 4 1 5 2
Julia Landon College Preparatory & Leadership Deve 3 2 3 4
Alfred I. DuPont Middle School 2 3 3 4
Southside Middle School 1 4 1 6
Darnell Cookman Middle School 0 5 0 7


Division Overall
Team W L W L
Fletcher Middle School    * 5 0 7 0
Landmark Middle School 3 1 5 1
Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School 3 2 3 4
Kernan Middle School 2 3 2 5
Arlington Middle School 1 3 1 5
Fort Caroline Middle School 0 5 1 6



Middle School Football Playoffs

Here is a preview of the playoff participants:

Gilbert (7-0) vs. Twin Lakes (6-1)

Gilbert Panthers

IMG_8955 (2) (800x521)

The defending City Champion Matthew Gilbert Panthers will take on the Twin Lakes Timberwolves in first round action. Gilbert has won 71 straight games in a row, a feat that is unprecedented in football. They have been unchallenged this year in the regular season and have won all their games convincingly even with a target on their back. They have received everyone’s best shot and none have been bale to get close to the bullseye. They’ve averaged 25.0 ppg and have held their opponents to 0 points in each game but one this season. The scary part for their opponents is that this team has not played a complete game yet. They have yet to put together the complete game. It could very well come during the playoffs which spells trouble for everyone else.


IMG_8952 (2) (800x521)Key Players:

  • Christal Smith (RB)
  • Jajuan Turner (RB/WR)
  • Artist Maddox (RB/WR)
  • “Debo” Decarius Thomas (RB)
  • Tyrone Williams (QB)
  • Marque Holbert
  • Johnny Wright

Team Strengths:

  • Speed ( Runningbacks/ Secondary) IMG_8953 (2) (800x518)
  • Size ( Offensive Line
  • Power (Defensive Line)
  • Confidence
  • Coaching



Gilbert goes into each game expecting to win. And after reeling off 71 wins in a row, who could blame them? They are great in the talent department but they also have very strong coaching in Michael Holloway and Head Coach Char-ron Dorsey. The ability to get middle school students ready to play day in and day out is a major feat in itself. But to teach the fundamentals and maintain a winning pedigree is just as impressive.

Twin Lakes Timberwolves

IMG_3657 (800x533)

Head Coach Gamble is stickler for details. He observes everything around him and leaves nothing unaccounted for. It’s this type of attention to detail that has the Twin Lakes Timberwolves just two games from a title. After their regular season finale defeat of Southside Middle 44-0 in which the score board read 37-0 at games end; Coach Gamble made sure to thank me for getting the final score right during an interview. ” I’m glad you got the score right, because the score board was wrong (laughter)”.  It was a subtle sense of humor mixed in with a hint of serious preciseness . During our talk, Coach Gamble even expounded on the opposing Southside Middle School band and how good they were. Not because of their performance the night of their game, but because he remembered them a year earlier at a pep rally show for basketball. Something that obviously brought to light his knack for paying attention to key details. It’s the details in life that Coach subscribes to that keeps he and his team focused

” God, Family, School work, and then football, that’s what makes us great”.          – Coach Gamble

His football team showed the same discipline in the regular season as they tackled their division. Their only loss came to Highlands, who is not in their division. They seek to return to the championship game after appearing in 2013.

Key Players:

  • Ronnie West (RB, S) IMG_3661 (800x533)
  • Walter Cox (DT, FB)
  • Josh Strobble (QB)
  • Eugene Vickers (RB)
  • Isaiah Green (WR/CB
  • “JJ” Jerome Jolly (WR/CB)



IMG_3635 (800x533)Team Strengths

  • Agility
  • Tenacity
  • Experience
  • Discipline
  • Cohesion ( Offensive line)



Stilwell (5-2) vs. Fletcher (7-0)


Joseph Stilwell Patriots

IMG_0002 (800x522)

Returning to the playoffs seemed like a tall order for the Patriots of Joseph Stilwell. They began the season with two losses, albeit against playoff teams from last year. But a team that played the eventual champions as tough as Stilwell did last year was expected to come out of the gate focused and rolling. Yet it was the exact opposite, and Stilwell was forced into a must win in week #3. Coach Campbell rallied the troops and his team has won five in a row. It’s a great feat considering many of his players are 7th and 8th graders.

IMG_0015 (800x532)

Stilwell wins with their defense. Their offensive output looks like this, 6, 6, 8,38, and 8 points. Yes they did score 38 points in week six but every other week Stilwell has not scored over eight points. Not very good news for the Pats. But there is good news for them. All of those scores were wins for the boys in blue, meaning that their defense held four of those teams to 0 points in 2015. Impressive for a defense that spent alot of time on the field. One should expect nothing less from a military academy. Built Tough!

Key Players & Strengths:IMG_0004 (800x531)

  • Donovan Washington #10
  • Tackling
  • Execution on Defense
  • Hustle
  • Agility
  • Coaching





Fletcher (7-0)


At 7-0 Fletcher is one of the best teams in the city. Their offense is the best in the city, and their defense is at the top as well. They’ve defeated the undefeated, and conquered the best their schedule had to offer. They have been on a quest to return to the championship game after losing to Gilbert last year. But this time they are determined to win it all.


For Fletcher it starts with the offensive line that opens the holes for their league leading running game. But Fletcher is far from one dimensional as they can also pass as well. Coach Marty McCauslin has built a multifaceted team with duel threats a several positions. But the basis of the team is grounded in discipline and execution. Coach Rodney Gnat has the defense  flying around and making plays. Fletcher has the largest margin of victory of any team in the entire league. They are opportunistic and fundamentally sound which will pose threats for their opponents.

Key Players:                

  • Cedrick Woodson  (RB/S)         image
  • Adrian Chavers (RB)
  • John Bosco (LB)
  • Tanner Wood (DE)
  • Cherokee Nicholas (S)
  • Bradley Ashmore (C)
  • J.Lee Repass (TE)
  • Ridge Jacobs (QB)
  • Aaron Hester
  • Tav Van Antwerp



  • Experience
  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Fundamentally Sound
  • Opportunistic
  • Coaching



The four teams will play their games Thursday Night at 6pm. Fletcher and  Stilwell will face each other at Sandalwood High School. While Gilbert and Twin Lakes will battle at Raines High School.  The road to the city championships will begin at two schools to which some of the middle school players may one day play as Prep Stars. Who knows what accomplishments tomorrow holds, for today is the day that champions are born.


For More Information on the Duval County Middle School Playoffs visit Middle School Athletics



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