The high school year ended on a high note for the Ponte Vedra Sharks football team as they cruised to an easy win over Fletcher in the annual spring classic. As is the rule in the Spring Classic, both teams’ varsity lineups faced each other in the first half, and the varsity Sharks dominated the varsity Senators 28-7 for those 24 minutes. The Sharks JV version pretty much held their own in the second half, as the game ended with Ponte Vedra on top 38-21.
Shark Head Coach Matt Toblin had to be happy with what he saw from his offense and especially senior quarterback Nick Tronti, who apparently has recovered completely from a broken collarbone sustained at the end of last season. Also impressive was his hard running but diminutive senior running back Hal Swan.
Tronti connected on touchdown passes to Marshall Few, Swan and J.D. Pirris. Swan also scored on a short run following a big defensive play by the Sharks that saw linebacker Cade Macri sack the Senators’ quarterback, causing a fumble that Trevor Rolison recovered for Ponte Vedra on the Fletcher one-yard line.
Ponte Vedra would miss a makeable first-half field goal, but that might be explained by the fact they were playing without their reliable kicker, Chris Howard, who was out of town.
Tronti had good protection from his offensive line that featured a mix of experienced seniors and big up-and-coming juniors, including Taylor Montroy, Korey Johnson, Rob Wortelboer, Colin York, Brock Mayers and Zach Lowery
The Shark defensive line has both size and experience with Alfred Koch, Parker Shannon, Mike Duncan and Dan Lichlyter along with outstanding linebackers Macri, Jacob Reeves, Van Kouteren, Carson Richter, John Tyler and Rolison and defensive backs Andrew O’Dare, Noah Solaun, J.B. Shepard and Jon Santillo.
Fletcher capitalized on several long scoring plays; the first with five minutes left in the half on a swing pass covering 70 yards. They scored their second TD on the opening play of the second half 70-yard run and their third TD also came on a long run.
Despite being outscored in the second half, Coach Toblin had to be impressed with the play of several of his underclassmen. Sophomore running Mark Calvin caught a pass good for 10 yards and a first down, and also scored on a running play that, thanks to a nifty cutback, netted 13 yards.
Cole McCormick caught the coach’s attention with a second-half interception and a defended pass.
Rajan Patel, a freshman kicker, booted a 32-yard field goal for the Sharks just before the end of the third quarter to extend the Shark lead to 31-21—his first points as a high school football player.