ST. JOHNS, FLORIDA – Beachside High opened its doors for the first time earlier this month, but its football program has already hit the ground running.
Following consistent spring and summer workouts, the Barracudas look ready to compete in the football program’s inaugural game.
Head coach Pete Duffy, a veteran of over 20 years and nearly 200 wins in California, understands how to lay the proper foundation for a football program. Coach Duffy knows it’s about building up his athletes with toughness and physicality.
“That mentality carries to the practice field, and you practice that way where you build mental toughness, physical toughness and physicality,” Coach Duffy told The St Augustine Record last May.
Duffy and Beachside athletic director Jen Harman hope to build out the program with upwards of 100 players, but that’s a process that will take time. Spring practices saw approximately 90 athletes take the field, with between 35 and 40 of those being upperclassmen. The team expects the bulk of the roster to be freshmen.
“That’s a concern for me with a really young team,” Duffy said. “Guys that have never played. They don’t really know what those leaders look like. That’s just going to be something we have to cultivate.”
Beachside will compete in its first season without a senior class, so the onus of leadership will fall on the team’s juniors. Among those are Cohen Beebe, Eddie Craig, and Will Dudley, each of whom come to the Barracudas following their experiences playing elsewhere in St Johns County.