Of all the high school baseball teams across Clay County, the St. Johns Country Day Spartans made the deepest run in the playoffs that ended in a 5-2 loss to the Lakeland Christian Vikings in the 2A FHSAA Baseball State Championship.
The Spartans ended the season as one of the best teams across the state of Florida in 2023. They ended the season with a 26-5 record with an 11-1 record at home, 11-1 record on the road and a 4-3 record at neutral site games. The Spartans finished the season ranked 19th in the state of Florida, the second-best team in Jacksonville and the number-two team in 2A, according to MaxPreps.
St. Johns had a dominant offense with lights-out pitching and defense. The Spartans’ offense scored 255 runs and the defense allowed only 90 runs in 31 games played.
Seven of the nine starters in the lineup had batting averages over .300. Those players were Kody Daneault, Kyle Boylston, Shawn Andrade, Kellen Brown, Jacob Thomas, Isaiah Mamea and George Gilson. The Spartans' offense had 21 home runs as a team, which led all schools in the Clay County area. Those players who hit home runs were Andrade (4), Gilson (3), Seth Alford (3), Mamea (3), Thomas (2), Daneault (2), Mason Terry, JD Hay, Aidan Rice and Boylston. The team had a combined batting average of .340 with 292 hits, 207 RBIs, 49 doubles, two triples and 21 home runs.
The St. Johns Country Day pitching staff had five players who provided over 20 innings of dominant pitching for their team. Three of the five had an earned run average under two. Jeff Henry led the team with the lowest ERA at .21 in 16 appearances. Henry only allowed one earned run and 15 hits with 29 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. Trevor Bradley had the second-lowest ERA at .30 in 14 appearances and 23.1 innings pitched. Bradley was the Spartans' main relief pitcher and also had only one earned run with 12 hits allowed and 26 strikeouts. Gavan Bradley had the third-best ERA on the team with a 1.18 in 11 appearances and 29.2 innings pitched. Bradley had 42 strikeouts, with 14 hits and five earned runs given up.
St. Johns will lose a lot of talent to graduation in Andrade, Brown, Thomas, Mamea, Terry, Rice, Henry, and Gavan Bradley.
However, the Spartans will have a plethora of returning players who contributed significantly in 2023 in Daneault, Trevor Bradley, Boylston, Alford, Gilson and Hunter Rodgers.