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Raiders poised for offensive fireworks

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 6/22/22

ORANGE PARK - Orange Park High football coach Marcus Wimberly is a man of few words, but his eyes belie the confidence of a man bent on turning a football program around in dramatic …

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Raiders poised for offensive fireworks


Posted

ORANGE PARK - Orange Park High football coach Marcus Wimberly is a man of few words, but his eyes belie the confidence of a man bent on turning a football program around in dramatic fashion.

“When I first got here, I think they were a little indifferent to what I was bringing,” said Wimberly. “Now, I think they like it and embrace it and feel like it’s going to look forward to the season.”

Wimberly’s comments on the Raiders spring game a few weeks ago; a three way event with 2020 6A runnerup Lake Minneola High; 6-4 last year, and 8A-Ocoee High; 6-4 last year, would make one think the tinkering is about to start.

“We did pretty good considering the offense and defense is going to take some time to get used to the way we do things,” said Wimberly, an NFL player, a U of Miami standout and a state champion coach out of Tennessee high school that brings a plethora of top-tier experiences to the Raider gridiron. “We had some of our track athletes with us, but they had limited time with the offense to get the timing right.”

Wimberly’s eyes sparkled a bit when talking of his offensive line; with all stater Roderick Kearney leading the bulldozing duties.

“We moved their line pretty good and JoJo Restall ran hard,” said Wimberly. “Our passing game missed some plays, but that’s the timing.”

Against Lake Minneola and Ocoee, Wimberly liked what he saw.

So did Kearney.

“All five of the linemen were moving people backward all night,” said Kearney. “We got a good crew up there.”

Quarterbacked by Elijah Craggette, Wimberly’s offense is chock full of haymakers with track aces Nolan Chambers, Brian Green and Jermel Brown top targets all with sub-11 second 100 meter speed. Add Restall, also a speed back, but with explosive power on the fly and Wimberly has a scary offensive attack package that could pop off 40-50 points a game.

That’s scary. And, they fixed the pass throwing machine that has set idle in the equipment shed.

“We didn’t get a chance to see what the receivers could do with the ball in their hands because we did not throw the ball well,” said Wimberly. “Elijah and the offense will take time to get that timing right.”

With August fast approaching the start of the Wimberly era at Orange Park, the coach was straight forward in what July will bring.

“We are now getting them in shape for July now because July is going to get pretty intense,” said Wimberly. “I think they are getting their minds right for that.”