Tres Copeland was selected as this week’s North Florida Football Conference – North Division Player of the Week following the Warriors’ 31-12 win over St. Francis Catholic High School (Gainesville) on Sept. 30.
The junior had 28 receiving yards and 84 rushing yards as well as one interception and five tackles. Copeland also averaged 26 yards on kickoff returns.
He is the third Aucilla Christian player to receive the division honor. The Warriors’ Trent Roberts also earned the award after going 6 of 12 for 150 passing yards and two touchdowns, with two sacks, four tackles and a 34-yard punt average, against Oak Hall (Gainesville) earlier in the season and Jared Jackson, a junior wide receiver and defensive back, had 4 catches for 146 receiving yards and three touchdowns in Aucilla Christian’s 67-13 win over St. Johns Country Day (Jacksonville).
Aucilla Christian Academy joined the North Florida Football Conference following its 2010 season. The 10-team conference established in December of 2010 was developed in response to the new classifications and districts for the Florida High School Athletic Association.
“All the schools in the conference are either private or boarding schools who wanted something different for their kids to play for. Some of the schools choose to play an independent schedule, so the conference membership allows those teams to compete for conference recognition and even a championship” said Jeff Malloy, the Director of Athletics for Oak Hall School in Gainesville who is serving as the conference “Commissioner” in its inaugural season.
The conference is made up of two divisions. The north division consists of Aucilla Christian, John Paul II Catholic High School, Maclay School, Munroe Day School, and Rocky Bayou Christian School. The south division consists of Florida School for the Deaf, Oak Hall School, St. Francis Catholic High School, St. Johns Country Day School, and St. Joseph Academy.
“We ended up in a district that was pretty lopsided, but we still wanted to compete for some sort of postseason berth, so we decided going independent and joining the NFFC was the best overall fit for our program,” said Aucilla Christian athletic director Mary Beth Bishop. “We are able to continue playing some of the teams that are regularly on our schedule and our rivalry games have even more at stake now, so there is a lot of excitement among the players, coaches and fans.”
Schools are required to play each school in their division once. The winners of the two divisions will meet in a conference championship game the week the FHSAA allows bowl games. Teams may also play schools from opposite divisions, although those games will not count in the standings.
Weekly, the conference will name Players of the Week in each division when a conference game is played. At the end of the season, a conference Coach and Player of the Year will be named, an all-conference team will be selected, and the conference will honor a team and individual sportsmanship winner.
“The sportsmanship part of the awards and recognition piece is so important to all of the members. We look forward to high quality competition and new rivalries all done with the spirit of sportsmanship at the forefront” said Malloy. “All of these players and coaches will be honored with either medallions or plaques and certificates. The championship game winner will receive a trophy which will be kept at their school until the next year’s conference championship game.”