FHSAA 7A State Championship preview – Venice Indians vs Bartram Trail Bears


VENICE – After knocking off 10–time state champ St. Thomas Aquinas in thrilling fashion, the Venice Indians can’t afford a letdown game. Last week is last week. And now focus is at an all–time high.

“More so than any other week. We’re going to try to get on and get off. With having an extra day to prepare, we’re going to take one of those days and make it more of a mental day,” head coach John Peacock said.

The Tribe will also use the extra day to prepare for Bartram Trail’s two–QB attack. The Bears feature two 6″5, Division–I bound signal callers who not only can beat you with their arms, but their legs as well.

“The biggest thing with these quarterbacks is they like to run a lot. So if we can keep them from getting to the outside and leaving our linebackers one on one, we should be alright,” defensive lineman Tyrone Barber said.

The 11–3 Bears have had quite the run themselves. They knocked off a Plant team last week that defeated Venice in the Kickoff Classic. If you think that fazes these Indians you better go back to the drawing board because this team blossoms in big moments.

“I love playing the best defenses. It’s fun to me. It doesn’t bother me. I just go out there and play even harder when we do face a really good defense,” wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh said.

It’s every high school athletes dream to win a state title. Only one Venice team can say they’ve done it. And with a win on Saturday there will be no doubting how great it is to be an Indian.

“Obviously we have to get to that point. I think that’s something we’ve all been working for, for so long. We know that they want it too so it’s definitely going to be a battle out there and we’re just excited for the opportunity,” quarterback Bryce Carpenter said.

“We just need all of our fans in the community to come give us home field advantage like coach peacock said. We need to get it done,” Heiligh said.


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