They had talked about it for years, and today it all becomes a reality for the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) when the Inaugural Football Championship Series kicks off four days of Miami-Dade programs competing against one another.
With the hard work of 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 will be born.
“This tournament is something that went through plenty of open-door discussions over the past two years,” Cone said. “It is a 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.”
TOURNAMENT STARTS TODAY
The inaugural event kicks things off today with four games with two games featuring Top 4 teams:
No. 3 Homestead (7-1) vs. No. 4 Homestead South Dade (3-4) (Traz Powell Stadium), 4:00. While this rematch (Homestead won, 42-14) from earlier in the year would have been better played at Harris Field, the GMAC moves this contest 35 miles north for an afternoon game. The Broncos are playoff bound as a top four seed – while it has been a long year for South Dade team that is always in the mix.
No. 31 Miami Braddock (2-5) vs. No. 32 Ronald Reagan (3-4) (Braddock High), 3:30. Two familiar programs will square off in an afternoon game for a rematch of an earlier season contest that was won by Reagan, 28-21.
No. 3 Miami Killian (9-0) vs. No. 4 Miami Booker T. Washington (4-5) (Traz Powell Stadium), 7:30. Easily the most interesting game of the opening day of the tournament. Even though the Cougars are unbeaten and have captured a district crown and a high seed in 5A, the Tornadoes are always very dangerous and have played a challenging schedule. This comes down to playing this game to spoil what Killian has going and get that winning feeling back.
No. 33 Miami Varela (1-4) vs. No. 34 Miami Sunset (1-6), (Varela High), 3:30. Yet another rematch on opening day – with the Vipers picking up their only win against the Knights, 20-12 back in the first week of September.
“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.”
THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE
No. 35 Hialeah-Miami Lakes (0-9) vs. No. 36 Mourning (0-8), (Hialeah-Miami Lakes High), 3:30
No. 11 Miami Carol City (2-6) vs. No. 12 North Miami Beach (3-4), (Betty T. Ferguson Park), 7:00
No. 1 Miami Central (6-2) vs. No. 2 Miami Northwestern (7-2), (Traz Powell Stadium), 7:30
No. 27 Miami Coral Park (4-2) vs. No. 28 Coral Gables (0-6), (Coral Park), 4:00
No. 25 Miami Ferguson (5-3) vs. No. 26 Hialeah (2-6), (Ferguson High), 3:30
No. 29 Miami Springs (1-6) vs. No. 30 Hialeah Gardens (3-5), (Ives Park), 7:30
No. 13 South Miami (3-4) vs. No. 14 Miami Southridge (3-5), (Southridge Park), 7:00
No. 21 Southwest Miami (1-6) vs. No. 22 Miami Jackson (2-6), (Tropical), 4:00
No. 15 Hialeah Goleman (6-2) vs. No. 16 Miami High (5-2), (Goleman High), 3:30
No. 23 Miami Beach (3-3) vs. No. 24 Hialeah American (4-4), (Memorial), 7:00
No. 1 Miami Palmetto (5-3) vs No. 2 Miami Christopher Columbus (6-1), (Traz Powell Stadium), 7:30
No. 17 North Miami (3-5) vs. No. 18 Miami Dr. Krop (5-2), (Ives Park), 3:30
No. 19 Westland Hialeah (6-1) vs. No. 20 Miami Coral Reef (4-4), (Tropical Park), 7:30
No. 9 Miami Edison (4-3) vs. No. 10 Miami Norland (4-4) (Traz Powell Stadium), 5:00