GAINESVILLE, Fla. – “The Prep Zone” is excited to announce the debut of the North Florida All-Star Series, which will consist of a series of All-Star games throughout the high school sports seasons, including but not limited to football, volleyball, basketball, softball, and baseball.
It will involve four teams from four regions that comprise The Prep Zone’s coverage area (26 counties from Duval County down to Lake County).
The first in the series will be the All-Star Baseball Classic to be played at Columbia High School in Lake City on Tuesday, June 4, beginning at 10 a.m. The South team will open up against the West squad with the North facing the East at 1 p.m. The losers of the first two games will play for third place at 4 p.m., and the two winning teams will square off for the championship at 7 p.m.
The cost is $10 for the day for adults, while children and students with ID are only $5. Children five and under will be admitted for free.
The North group will be led by Fletcher (Neptune Beach) skipper Mike Grillo and University Christian (Jacksonville) head coach Justin Sirmon. Jacksonville players dominate the roster with only one player coming from outside of Duval County.
Fletcher has the most selections of any school with five, led by Jevin Relaford, son of 12-year major leaguer Desi Relaford (Ba .451, 20 sb, 26 runs, 17 RBI, & GPA 3.4), who has multiple offers and is considered the “best defensive shortstop in north Florida,” according to Grillo.
Three players from Providence (Jacksonville) made the squad, led by Cutter Cannon.
The South team is skippered by Trinity Catholic (Ocala) head man Tommy Bond, who won a state title in 2014 with the Celtics. Bond will be assisted by Gainesville manager Chris Malphurs and East Ridge (Clermont) head coach Bret Simmermacher.
The South team will include players from Alachua County down to Lake County.
This squad is led by three players apiece from Buchholz (Gainesville), Santa Fe (Alachua), and Gainesville, which will be represented by twins Zeb and Luke Marquis, who are both signed to play at Santa Fe College, along with Buchholz’s Cole Howard and North Marion’s Jake Blair. FSU football signee Maurice Goolsby will also play in the game.
The West squad is managed by Trenton head coach Scott Hall.
Hall won two state titles as Williston manager in 2014 and ‘15 and led the Tigers to the state semifinals in 2018. He will be assisted by Madison County head coach Jason Fletcher, who took the Cowboys to back-to-back 1A state runner-up finishes in 2017 and ’18, and Suwannee (Live Oak) manager Justin Bruce, who led the Bulldogs to the state semifinals in 5A this year for the first time since 1967.
The West is led by three players from 1A state champion Williston: Parker Seay (College of Central Florida), Jake Elder, and Ethan Davis. The Red Devils just won their third state title in the past six years.
Madison County, which lost to Williston in the Region Final, also landed four players on the team, led by Dawson Rutherford and Tallahassee Community College commit Dilan Lawson, while Bo Bonds, a Chipola College signee, leads a contingent of three Suwannee players for the West.
The East team, which represents Clay County down to Volusia County, is skippered by Clay (Green Cove Springs) coach Josh Persinger.
Five Clay players will join their coach on the East squad, led by Tallahassee Community College commit Dylan Faulkner (5-3, 1.56 ERA) and Zach Morris (.317, 15 RBI, 3 HR).
The teams were chosen by nominations of the coaches as well as the North Florida All-Star Committee, which consists of Mike Ridaught and Marty Pallman of “The Prep Zone,” Corey Davis of DuvalSports.com, and Joshua Wilson of FloridaHSFootball.com.
The third-place and championship games will be broadcast with live streaming video from Lake City on Tuesday via the NFHS Network. A broadcast link will be provided soon here at ThePrepZone.com.
For more information, please text Mike Ridaught at 352-258-8450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.