Last season when the year came to an end and high school football teams who didn’t make the playoffs faced the off-season, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely was one of the first to hit that off-season.
Winning just one game, the Tigers were disappointed and frustrated after ending yet another year with a losing record.
As the team put away their pads and helmets, head coach Mike Bailey and his staff took a step back and searched for answers. There was no way this program was going to settle for mediocrity – not this off-season.
Right there and then, plans were made for hard work and an opportunity to turn things around – and they certainly did.
When they beat longtime rival Fort Lauderdale Dillard in the Class 3M Region Semifinals, this program – looked down on by just about everyone – emerged with a 19-14 win, but more importantly, extended this magical season, setting up a Region Final that NOBODY ever expected.
When they travel to national powerhouse this Friday night, the Tigers will bring in an 11-0 record. It is without question the biggest turnaround in the state of Florida this season, and while they come into the game as huge underdogs, this program is unfazed as they are playing with the house’s money and have far exceeded anyone’s expectations.
NORTHWESTERN GOES DOWN WITH A MAJOR FIGHT
Coming into last Friday night’s Class 2M Region 4 State Semifinal the only thing that nobody knew was how bad Miami Central would beat longtime rival Miami Northwestern.
After all, in the regular season, the unbeaten and No. 1 team in the state had run the clock on the Bulls, so it was a formality – ot was it.
What happened in over three hours at the sold out “Mecca” Traz Powell Stadium, was Northwestern showed why they have been one of the nation’s elite teams, and also proved to the country that this was one of the best and most prospect rich matchups in the country – and it isn’t close.
The Bulls came out and took it to the Rockets, but fell short in this class game, 34-30 on an incomplete pass on fourth down in the endzone.
This game was everything as advertised, and while those who follow national teams have no clue how intense this rival is, the people in south Florida fully understand that, and after all is said and done, isn’t that the only thing that matters!
In addition to those thrilling games, here is a look at the rest of the Region State Semifinal games:
Class 4-Metro, Region 4
No. 1 Miami Christopher Columbus 28, No. 4 Miami Palmetto 0
No. 3 Doral Academy 32, No. 2 Davie Western 21
Class 3, Metro, Region 3
No. 1 Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas 63, No. 4 Delray Beach Atlantic 14
Class 3-Metro, Region 4
No. 1 Homestead 35, No. 5 Miami Dr. Krop 12
No. 2 Miramar 29, No. 3 Miami Southridge 24
Class 2-Metro, Region 3
No. 2 Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons 43, No. 3 Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian Academy 27
No. 1 Plantation American Heritage 49, No. 4 Boynton Beach 0
Class 2, Metro, Region 4
No. 3 Miami Norland 14, No. 2 Miami Booker T. Washington 7
Class 1-Metro, Region 3
No. 1 Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 48, No. 4 Hollywood Avant Garde 0
No. 2 Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Newman 14, No. 3 North Palm Beach Benjamin 6
Class 1-Metro, Region 4
No. 4 Miami Palmer Trinity 27, No. 1 Miami Archbishop Carroll 24
No. 3 Miami True North Classical Academy 41, No. 2 Miami Westminster Christian 20
TRACKING SOUTH FLORIDA (MIAMI-DADE & BROWARD) PROSPECTS – CLASSES 2023-2026. https://larryblustein.com/prospects/tracking-south-florida-prospects