Coming off a 2-9 campaign in the Florida Football Alliance (FFA), the Duval Raiders are looking to take the next step as a program heading into the 2020 season. The Raiders were able to win two games in 2019 before qualifying for the FFA postseason, losing 22-14 to the Golden Isles Grizzlies of Golden Isles, Georgia.
Duval is now hoping they can take the momentum into workouts this fall and make some noise. Owner Craig James is somewhat new to the adult amateur football scene after running the Raiders for two complete seasons now.
“As a coach, owner it’s not always about what I know or do, it’s about how much I can teach my players and staff,” James told The Gridiron Grind.
Defensively, Duval had one of the better units in the league in 2019, despite the record on the field. The Raiders are slated to return many of their defensive stalwarts, including the team’s sack leader Jeremiah Jamison, who had 14 of them last season. Jamison racked up 57 tackles and his brother, Chris, was very effective and had 53 tackles and 11 sacks himself.
Leading the FFA in interceptions were defensive backs Rico Jones and Ognan Butters, who combined for 13 picks last season. Both will be expected to spearhead the secondary and help the Raiders return one of the league’s better defenses.
The offense struggled at times last season and that will be the biggest task for James and his staff heading into workouts and regular practices. If Duval is able to find the steady offensive production, they could climb the ranks in the FFA’s Florida Conference.