Youthful Port St. Joe hopes to replicate 2018 success

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Greg Jordan's first season as head coach at Port St. Joe was by all accounts a successful one.

Port St. Joe into first week of fall practice

The Sharks put together a 9-0 regular season and won two playoff games before falling to Baker in the 1A state semifinals. These accomplishments are even more impressive considering the serious effects in the wake of Hurricane Michael, which damaged homes, the school and facilities.

Now that facilities are back in working order, Jordan and the Sharks hope this year will be as successful...but way less emotionally draining.

Repeating that kind of season strictly from a wins/losses perspective is never easy. It's even tougher when you lose 18 seniors and are left with just 24 players as fall workouts begin.

"We were very senior oriented," Jordan recalled of the 2018 team. "This group, we'll have about 19 or 20 new starting positions on either side of the ball. As a coach, that's fun, that's challenging. We get to do a lot of teaching, a lot of coaching, and I enjoy that part of it. We look forward to having a good year. A lot of learning, a lot of young kids out this year, a lot of new faces and new names."

Even with a youthful group, the first week of practice is similar at St. Joe as it is most other schools in the Panhandle.

"A lot of fundamentals early on," Jordan said. "A lot of teaching gaps and assignments and fundamentals and that type of thing while we're in our shorts and helmets. Making sure everybody knows where to go and what to do at full speed."

Contact is permitted starting next Monday, so that's when things begin to progress physically and mentally.

"Once we got on pads on, it will be key. Everybody does okay in shorts and helmets, but when we put the pads on we'll be able to separate who's ready to play and who's not."

The Sharks are set to play Wewahitchka in a preseason classic, the specific date and time still to be determined depending on the stadium repairs at Gator Field. Wewa is awaiting bleacher and light installation, but the hope is to have the preseason event on August 16.

The Sharks open the regular season at home against Liberty on August 23.

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