As we head toward the much-anticipated start of the 2023 high school football season this week, there are some programs who are taking a step back this Monday.
There was a time when a two-quarter fall jamboree was nothing more than a chance to get the rust off from a long off-season.
Playing just two quarters was a chance to see everyone, and no matter what happened, nobody really judged these teams for the upcoming season.
At a time when the internet captures just about everything that is being done – during the season and in the off-season, there are now kickoff classics that are being played, and no matter what anyone wants to tell you, they are being judged on what happens in this “exhibition game”.
From last Wednesday to this past Saturday night, teams from south Florida too part in these events with the idea of showcasing what they have on their roster for a season that starts this week.
Unlike the “old days”, what happens in these games is certainly an indication of what lies ahead. With so much going on during the off-season, working on your game – or craft as they refer to it now – is non-stop, and spring football as well as padded camps, scrimmages and other competitions to be in shape and never stray too far.
As pre-season rankings have started to come out – some valid and others just following the leader – programs are now being judged on anything they take part in.
Last week, schools such as top-rated Miami Central (2M, 14-0), Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna (1M, 13-1), Plantation American Heritage (2M, 13-2), Miami Norland (2M, 9-3), Homestead (3M, 11-3), Davie Western (4M, 7-4) and Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (2M, 10-2) were being judged on what they did in their kickoff classics – while other programs wanted to show why they belong in the conversation.
Last year, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely finished 10-1 and came back this season ready to make that next step. Miramar (3M, 10-2), Miami Booker T. Washington (2M, 9-3), Miami Northwestern (2M, 6-5), Miami Palmetto (4M (6-6), Plantation (3M, 7-4) and Miami Southridge (3M, 7-5) wanted to use this past week as a tool to see what needs to be worked on for an upcoming season that will be competitive to say the least.
The kickoff classics were also a chance for programs on the bubble to start making fans believers. Programs like Coconut Creek Monarch (4M, 9-3), Fort Lauderdale Dillard (3M – 6-5) and Coconut Creek (3M, 6-5).
NOT JUDGING – BUT….
After traveling to Ocala to play Vanguard, the defending national champion Miami Central Rockets looked like one of the best defensive teams in Florida, but offensively, there is work to be done before a trip to play national power Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.
Chaminade-Madonna, Norland, Homestead and Western all made a statement like they are ready to play and make that run for a coveted state title - while Miramar, Miami Booker T. Washington, Miami Palmetto, Plantation and Miami Southridge wanted to use this past week as a tool to see what needs to be worked on for an upcoming season that will be competitive to say the least.
While they only had the chance to play less than a quarter, American Heritage showed that before this coming Saturday’s opener in the Broward National Football Showcase, they will need to tighten some things. So will Cardinal Gibbons, Blanche Ely, Northwestern, and Coconut Creek Monarch.
Transfer Season Heats Up In Miami-Dade & Broward. https://larryblustein.com/news/transfer-season-heats-up-in-miami-dade-broward
Miami-Dade/South Broward Spring Top 20. https://larryblustein.com/news/miami-dade-south-broward-spring-top-20