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New coach revives Andrew Jackson football program

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Updated: 9/13/2013 6:47 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The tradition at Andrew Jackson runs deep. It's the oldest accredited high school in Jacksonville and full of Tiger pride.

"Nightmare on Main Street. I know they want to bring that back and get the fear in other opponents and bring that back," defensive tackle Jimmie Bowes said.

The football program has had its fair share of challenges. There have been four different head coaches in the last four years.

"It's a lot going on in the locker room, but we try to do our best," nose guard Robert Gringo said.

Vernon Edwards played at Jackson and graduated in 2001. When he saw there was a need for some consistency, he left his coaching job at Edward Waters College and decided to take over the reins at his alma mater.

"Football speaks for itself. We can come out here and we can teach the game. But our main thing: we're trying to build young men in our community," he said.

From player deaths to negative academic press, Andrew Jackson has seen it all. The good news is no one plans on giving up and everyone is determined to give this team the spark it needs to succeed.

"We're going to try to make you proud. Just stay here and bear with us. We're going to do what we can to get there," Gringo said.

"We are the Tigers of Andrew Jackson High School. When you come down here to play, you're going to be in for a battle," Edwards said.

In addition to trying to rebuild the football program, the coaching staff is trying to get booster club numbers up. If you'd like to buy a shirt or help out in any way, contact the school at 904-630-6950.
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