It was a proud day for Miami-Dade Schools and the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) on Tuesday.
With Assistant Superintendent Steffond Cone, GMAC Administrative Director Reginald Fox and GMAC Executive Secretary Denarvise Thornton on hand, the Inaugural Greater Miami Athletic Conference Football Championship Series was born.
With the announcement held at the iconic Traz Powell Stadium - the trio unveiled something that would devote two days of attention – this coming season – as Miami-Dade County will be in a gridiron spotlight that it has long deserved. Still one of the premier recruiting destinations in the country, the #305 will have an opportunity to have a rather large audience and media coverage – with two overall champions being crowned – as well as other game winners having bragging rights.
“This is something that went through plenty of open-door discussions over the past two years,” Cone said. “It is a two-day tournament, pitting some 36 of our teams playing one another. They will be seeded 1 through 36 – with small school playing small schools and larger programs against our larger programs. Any game you look at, there will be an outstanding and even matchup.”
The series will be held in Week 9 (October 28th and 29th) and will feature 3A-6A and 7A and 8A teams competing against each other – with plenty of pride and notoriety at stake.
While much of the current proposed format is based off of last year’s Tri-county championships, etc., the 2021 matchups will also be a fair sampling of competitive programs.
“The idea is to use a format that will be based on the FHSAA rankings,” Fox explained. “What this is really about is to have games, chosen by an independent ranking system, that will have national interest as well as shine the spotlight on Miami-Dade County and the GMAC.”
Indeed, going off last season, your championship games would have Central vs. arch-rival Northwestern (3A-6A) – for the second time in a season, like this year could be as well. Also, Christopher Columbus vs. Palmetto (7A-8A), which is also being played during this regular season. The winners would be 1,2 overall seeds and then crowned as GMAC champions for the year.
Now, while that marquee game is taking place for 1 and 2, the 3 vs. 4 teams and 5-6 teams would be competing for ranking and pride as well. Matchups last year would have had No. 3 Edison vs. No. 4 Killian and No. 25 Southwest Miami vs. No. 26 Hialeah.
Other games last year would have seen No. 9 NMB vs. No. 10 Booker T. Washington, No. 11 Carol City vs. No. 12 Norland and several others. The process is fair and plays no favorites. There are always going to be coaches, players and fans that believe they should be ranked higher. It’s the competition in anything, so while we understand that rankings are not an exact science, you do your best to put your county and association in a rather large spotlight in the name of showcasing some outstanding coaches, athletes and competitive games.
“The great thing about this is everyone has signed off on it – from Superintendent Alberto Carvalho – to the coaches and administrators at all of our schools,” Cone explained. “This is something that was needed and we will make this a very special event – making it bigger and better every year.”
Doubleheaders will be held each day (Thursday/Friday at Traz Powell Stadium, featuring the top four seeds – while games will take place at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County.
As time draws closer, we will run the format with the 2021 results that will be furnished to all media.