As the first week of the state championships begin on Thursday night at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee, south Florida will once again be in the mix.
As the recent Top 20 reflects, five teams from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties will be in the spotlight – starting this week.
As Hialeah Champagnat Catholic (2A) and Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna (3A) participate in their sixth consecutive state championship game, plenty of eyes will be focused on what the two teams do this Thursday and Friday, opening the door for next week’s games at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
As we have done throughout the year, we use each and every Tuesday to spotlight the Top 20 programs in south Florida. Here is the way things look going into the 1A-3A Finals:
1. Miami Central (5A, 11-2). The Rockets blasted off in the second half and went on to a convincing 54-21 win over Baker County. NEXT OPPONENT: Merritt Island on Friday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. at DRV PNK Stadium Fort Lauderdale.
2. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7A, 13-1). The two-time defending state champion Raiders scored early and often in a 45-7 win at home against Gainesville Buchholz. NEXT OPPONENT: The unbeaten Tampa Bay Tech game on Friday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. at DRV PNK Stadium Fort Lauderdale.
3. Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions (3A, 11-1). From start to finish, the Lions were impressive in beating Tallahassee Florida High at home, 38-3. NEXT OPPONENT: Unbeaten Tampa Berkeley Prep on Friday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. at Gene Cox Stadium, Tallahassee.
4. Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (4A, 10-2). After falling behind for the second straight week, the defending state champion Chiefs got it together in a 36-18 win against St. Petersburg Lakewood. NEXT OPPONENT: The streaking Cocoa Tigers on Thursday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m. at DRV PNK Stadium Fort Lauderdale.
5. Hialeah Champagnat Catholic Lions (2A, 10-2). The Lions secured their sixth consecutive trip to the state finals with a 27-8 win over Naples First Baptist. NEXT OPPONENT: It will be defending 3A state champion Jacksonville Trinity Christian on Thursday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m. at Gene Cox Stadium, Tallahassee.
6. Miami Northwestern (6A, 10-4). The Bulls and head coach Max Edwards ended the season with a loss to the No. 1 team in Florida, Tampa Jesuit, 37-12.
7. Miami Christopher Columbus Explorers (8A, 9-4). The season came to an end for head coach Dave Dunn and his Explorers against power Venice, 35-7.
8. Miami Killian Cougars (5A, 12-1). SEASON IS OVER.
9. Homestead Broncos (7A, 10-2). SEASON IS OVER.
10. Miami Gulliver Prep Raiders (4A, 8-2). SEASON IS OVER.
11. Miami Palmetto Panthers (8A, 9-3). SEASON IS OVER.
12. Plantation Colonels (6A, 9-3). SEASON IS OVER.
13. Davie Western Wildcats (8A, 9-3). SEASON IS OVER.
14. Fort Lauderdale Dillard Panthers (7A, 10-3). SEASON IS OVER.
15. Deerfield Beach Bucks (8A, 9-3). SEASON IS OVER.
16. Plantation American Heritage Patriots (5A, 6-4). SEASON IS OVER.
17. Miramar Patriots (7A, 7-4). SEASON IS OVER.
18. Doral Academy Firebirds (7A, 8-2). SEASON IS OVER.
19. Coconut Creek Cougars (6A, 9-3). SEASON IS OVER.
20. Coral Glades Jaguars (8A, 6-3). SEASON IS OVER.
PLAYOFF TEAMS WHO FINISHED THE SEASON:, Fort Lauderdale Flying Ls (7A, 6-3), Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian Eagles (4A, 4-6) Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy Lions (2A, 7-3), Hollywood Avant Garde Academy Sharks (2A, 8-1), Hollywood South Broward Bulldogs (7A, 8-2), Miami Dr. Krop Lightning (8A, 5-4), Miami Edison Red Raiders (3A, 7-5), Miami LaSalle Royal Lions (4A, 10-1), Miami True North Titans (2A, 6-4), North Miami Beach Chargers (5A, 4-6), Somerset Academy South Homestead Hurricanes (3A, 5-4).
TRACKING POSITIONS: Keeping An Eye On The Football Talent In Miami-Dade & Broward Counties Year Round. https://larryblustein.com/prospects/tracking-south-florida-prospects