Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Chasing Greatness: Are Raines And Ribault The Real Deal???

Former Heavy Weight Champion of the world   The ” Real Deal” Evander Holyfield stared in a new ESPN 30 For 30 movie ” Chasing Tyson”. In the short film it documents the quest for Evander to not only win the World Heavy Weight Championship but be legitimized by defeating “Iron Mike Tyson” in the process.

” Though Holyfield captured the heavyweight title when he knocked out Buster Douglas, the prevailing view of the mild-mannered Holyfield was that he was a journeyman — the heavyweight champion but never a truly great one. Though Holyfield dramatically lost and recaptured the heavyweight crown, and then lost it again, even he understood that his career would ultimately be defined by how he stood up to Tyson — if he ever got his chance.” – Chasing Tyson Film Summary


Holyfield would eventually get his shot at Tyson and win the bout. Though the two fighters were older and much past their primes, Holyfield was finally considered ” The Real Deal” after defeating Tyson in many’s eyes.IMG_4025 (800x533)

Raines and Ribault are in a similar circumstance tonight as they enter the second round of the playoffs. Raines is looking to defeat the Bolles Bulldogs when it counts ( in the playoffs) to live up to the past luster of greatness set by the 1997 State Champions. Ribault seeks to vindicate an earlier loss against district champion Suwanee, in hopes of forging a new destiny in Ribault football. These are monumental obstacles for both teams, but both teams are more than well equipped to overcome them.

Raines possess the most intimidating stadium to play in ” The Grave Yard” located in the heart of the city. Their alumni and history are deeply rooted within the powers that be of the city, and NFL greats. Their 2015 team has the #1 returner in the nation ( MaxPreps) in Willie Wright. A big play  Wide Receiver in Rick Wells who’s playmaking ability caught the early eye of the University of Florida. An inside linebacker that committed to the University of Miami as a sophmore in Michael Pinckney, and a mammoth linemen that can play any position on the field in Solomon Kindley. On paper they are cream of the crop.

Ribault sits on the banks of a river, a landmark in a city of rivers. Their graduates are made up of several dignitaries of Duval. IMG_4024 (800x533)Their 2015 team is the most talented in the city and one of the most gifted in the state in my opinion. Their runningback Desean McNair has been called the  ” Jim Brown of our town”  and is noted as one of the best in the city. Their free safety Terry Stripling has the speed, power and athleticism that’s unrivaled at his position in the city. Brandon Thomas is Mr. Everything capable of shutting down receivers at corner, carrying the rock at runnigback and even at converting to wide receiver. And then there is Gentoriss Jackson the rock of the defense. A leader that the team must have in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a championship.

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The pieces are in place for both ball clubs to achieve greatness, but we know greatness is not given it is earned. Just as Evander Holyfied silenced his critics in the 90’s, tonight Raines and Ribault look to silence theirs.

Kickoff is Now!!!

Don’t forget to Follow Duval Sports on Twitter for live game updates of Ribault vs Suwanee and Raines vs Bolles tonight!





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