New Ponte Vedra High School football coach Jeff DiSandro had some highs and lows in his first game with the Sharks, beating rival Nease in the Battle of the Bridge, and losing his starting quarterback for the season.
The Sharks defeated Nease 21-14 last Friday in the season opener for both teams, but it wasn’t without hurdles. Junior quarterback Cobi Myers ruptured his Achilles tendon during the game and will miss the rest of the season. With Myers out, wide receiver RJ Glod came in to relieve and helped PVHS secure its 10th consecutive win in the series. DiSandro said he was pleased with how Glod responded after Myers’ injury.
“RJ did a great job last Friday night and we will continue to work with him and put him in positions to be successful,” DiSandro said.
DiSandro, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Bishop Kenny, said the game against Nease showed him a lot about his team.
“We learned a lot about the heart, character and passion of our football team this year,” DiSandro said. “They displayed great character under stress, and we were able to finish and close the game with a win.”
DiSandro took over the PVHS program in April, after Matt Toblin left to take the head coaching job at Bolles. In Toblin’s five-year tenure at Ponte Vedra, the Sharks went 39-18, including an 8-3 record last season and a runner-up finish in the Class 5A state championship in 2016. The new PVHS coach hopes to add to that success, and to teach the team how to respond when success is elusive.
“Like everybody else, we focus heavily on the fundamentals of the game and our installs and packages and such,” he said. “Additionally, since I took this position, I know I have focused a lot on response to adversity and change especially when things don’t go our way. We also focus on the brotherhood and unity portion of football quite a bit.”
As far as the rest of the season, DiSandro doesn’t want to look too far ahead.
“Goals are just to go one at a time,” he said. “We focus on going 1 and 0 each week and trying to be in the moment as much as possible.”
In the meantime, DiSandro sees a lot of promise for his first season at PVHS.
“I am pleased with how the team has come together,” DiSandro said. “We have strong leadership this season and a positive team culture.”
The Sharks next play at Zephyrhills at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.