Jeremiah Shack, Connor Cox and Abram Wright’s college commitments

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Mustangs’ Shack is committed to Liberty

Mandarin wide receiver Jeremy Shack confirmed her college destination over the weekend, announcing her commitment to Liberty on Saturday.

The three-star receiver, listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, has also attracted major college interest during the recruiting cycle from Georgia, Miami and Michigan State.

He caught 25 passes for 300 yards last season for the Mustangs, who return the rising second-year quarterback Tramell Jones Jr. behind the center.

In 2022, Shack should be part of what could be an excellent Mandarin receiving corps, with 2025 wide Jaime FFrench is already arousing the interest of schools, including Alabama.

Shack would become Liberty’s third Mandarin graduate on the roster, after wide receiver Demario Douglas and security Jerome Joly. Both were key players on the Mustangs’ 2018 Class 8A State Championship team.

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Gamecocks for Cox as Bolles TE commits

Connor Cox is ready to transition from Bulldog to Gamecock.

The Bolles tight end announced his college destination over the weekend, committing to SEC football in South Carolina.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Cox is a three-star recruit, ranked top 40 nationally by On3 and top 60 by 247Sports.

Last year, Cox caught seven passes for 148 yards in an offense that emphasized ground play with a now-graduated running back. Kade Frew.

Fleming Island LB Wright picks Rutgers

Fleming Island linebacker Abram Wright also confirmed his college plans, committing to Rutgers after a strong spring that made him one of Clay County’s hottest recruits.

At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Wright is ranked a three-star prospect by 247Sports and among the top 70 linebackers in the nation. He caught the eye a week ago in run a 4.58 40 – which would be 40 times faster than average, even for NFL linebackers.

Wright, who could play outside or inside linebacker, had 76 tackles, seven sacks and one interception last season with the Golden Eagles.

Middleburg's Mallory Forrester (26) throws during the 5A State Softball Championship game against South Lake High School.

Middleburg’s Forrester and Houston take top honors

Middleburg Pitcher Mallory Forrest received the Class 5A Player of the Year Award and the Broncos Ashley Houston was selected as the Class 5A Coach of the Year in the Florida Dairy Farmers’ Annual Softball Awards.

The pair are now entering the general ballot for Miss Florida Dairy Softball and Softball Coach of the Year. The big winners will be announced this week.

Forrester allowed just two runs in 39 playoff softball innings, striking out 66 and posting shutouts against Naples in the semifinals and Groveland South Lake in the championship game.

Fourth-year Broncos coach Houston led Middleburg’s memorable playoff run after the team went 11-11 in late April.

Only two players from Northeast Florida, Mandarin’s Kellie Wilkerson (1997) and Fletcher Erin Schuppert (2009), have won the Miss Softball Award from Florida Dairy Farmers since the state adopted fast-pitch softball. Oak Leaf Christine Thompsonas of 2017, is the only Northeast Florida Selection of the Year coach.

University Christian sophomore pitcher Sophie Kardatzke ranked third among Class 2A players, with Fort White freshman Kadence Compton third in class 1A.

University Christian’s also finished in the top three in the coaches’ vote. Keith Stroud, second in class 2A, and Fort White’s Michele Padget, second in Class 1A, while Baldwin Jennifer Shields was third in class 3A.

Spartans’ Hodges named best in 2A

St. Johns Country Day Senior Pitcher Bradley Hodges was voted Class 2A MVP in the Florida Dairy Farmers Baseball Awards.

He is entering the vote for the statewide Mr. Baseball award, which will be announced this week. Hodges could become Northeast Florida’s first Mr. Baseball since Bishop Kenny Tony Richie In 2000.

Hodges, signed to Virginia, hit .500 with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBIs and a 1,481 OPS. On the mound, he went 10-0 with a 1.28 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.

At Suwannee’s Justin Bruce finished third in Class 4A Coach of the Year voting, with Fort White’s Rick Jules third in class 1A.

North Carolina Courage defenseman Carson Pickett (4) controls the ball against the Houston Dash during an NWSL game May 29.

Pickett and Munoz win national football calls

Two of Northeast Florida’s best footballers of the past decade are gearing up for international action.

St. Johns Country Day graduate Carson Picketthe 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Soccer winner, was called up to the United States Women’s National Team for the June 25-28 matches against Colombia.

Pickett, who plays for the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage, was a finalist for the 2021 NWSL Defender of the Year award. The former Florida State defender would represent the full national team for the first time.

Former Bolles midfielder Ariana Munoz also received a call-up to represent the Peru women’s national team for the June 25-28 matches against Mexico in preparation for next month’s Copa America Femenina in Colombia.

Munoz scored three assists last year during his senior season at the University of North Florida, a campaign that was cut short due to injury.

A helping arm:St. Johns graduate Pickett and Orlando toddler share inspiring bond

Around the area

Rising senior quarterback Nease Marcus Stokes was selected for the Elite 11 Quarterback Class of 2023 competition, scheduled for the end of the month in Los Angeles. …Former Oakleaf quarterback Walter Simmons III announced his transfer to Bethune-Cookman football, after a season at East Carolina. … Senior Raines DeQuon King and Ja’Quon King both dedicated to Bethune-Cookman men’s athletics. … Senior Raines Selket Reid-El signed with Fort Scott Community College Women’s Athletics. … episcopal dean Allie Alton placed sixth in the women’s singles final at Sunday’s U.S. National Rowing Youth Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. At the same event, the First Coast Rowing Club women’s under-16 coxed four placed sixth in their A final. … Montverde Academy Micaiah Larry won the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Track Award, with Miami Southridge’s Alyssa Jones win Miss Track. … from Niceville Todd Brigham won Male Track Coach of the Year, with Miami Northwestern’s carmen jackson as female coach of the year.

Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.

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