Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Paxon Preparing for Football Rebirth

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Paxon Preparing for Football Rebirth

Article excerpt

Helmets are popping and pads are cracking again at Paxon Prep,

less than a year after school officials thought the school would

be without varsity football until 1998.

The Eagles will participate in a spring jamboree tonight at

Baldwin just nine months after a lack of eligible players forced

the school to forego a varsity team for the 1996 season. School

officials thought the team would resume in 1998, but a surge in

eligible players -- plus the possibility of not being able to

field a team until 1999 because of Florida High School

Activities Association rules -- will allow the Eagles to play

this fall.

"We felt we were ready with the incoming freshman class [this

fall]," said Paxon Athletic Director Tammie Talley. "We weren't

nervous at all [about not having enough players]. We had spoken

to a lot of parents to find out what kind of interest there

would be and how many we'd have."

The FHSAA reclassified and redistricted schools this past

school year. Had Paxon not agreed to restart its program this

fall, the school would have had to wait until the FHSAA did that

again in the 1998 school year and not been able to field a team

until 1999.

Talley said 32 players have participated in spring practice and

anticipates another 30-40 freshmen joining the team in the fall.

The school will play in District 7-2A this season. But because

its enrollment next school year will increase by more than 25

percent over this past school year, the Eagles will be

reclassified by FHSAA rules as a Class 3A school for 1998.

Ellis McSwain, who has coached the Eagles since 1994 and has a

3-17 mark at the school, returns as coach. He coached the

school's junior varsity squad last year.

The starting quarterback on that team was Mike Mainor. …

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