In a year where Hurricane Irma turned our world upside down – for a few weeks – things are starting to return to a little bit of normalcy in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
This is the time of year when things get mighty interesting. Playoff spots and college scholarships are up for grabs, and if you have attended a game lately, you can tell.
The competition level rises and the games become more important.
As we do each week, we rank the teams that continue to make the most progress and keep them in the spotlight.
As you will notice, as the season moves along, those programs who are headed to the playoffs will be rated higher than those who are not advancing, but may have a better record.
There are some big time games this week. Will you be there?
Here is how things stack up as teams continue to make a huge playoff push:
1. Plantation American Heritage – (5-0, 5A): LAST WEEK: The Patriots rolled to a district win over Strahanan. THIS WEEK: Will travel to district rival for a major showdown with No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons on Friday at 7.
2. Miami Central (6-1, 6A) – LAST WEEK: The Rockets beat Blanche Ely on the road in Pompano Beach. THIS WEEK: The Rockets will travel to Hialeah-Miami Lakes for a Saturday night game at Milander at 7.
3. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1, 7A). LAST WEEK: The Raiders rebounded from a loss in Arizona to beat rival Deerfield Beach. THIS WEEK: The Raiders will be at home Friday for a district matchup with Fort Lauderdale at 7.
4. Cardinal Gibbons (5-0, 5A) – LAST WEEK: The Chiefs enjoyed the week off. THIS WEEK: It’s the matchup that everyone has looked forward to as the No. 1 (American Heritage) and 2 (Cardinal Gibbons) 5A schools in the state get together at Cardinal Gibbons on Friday at 7.
5. Miami Northwestern (4-1, 6A) – LAST WEEK: The Bulls enjoyed the week off. THIS WEEK: It’s the big one on Thursday evening against defending 6A state champion and No. 6 Carol City at Traz Powell Stadium at 8.
6. Miami Carol City (4-1, 6A) – LAST WEEK: The defending 6A state champion Chiefs continued to roll along with a district win against Norland. THIS WEEK: It’s the big nationally televised meeting on Thursday against No. 5 Northwestern at Traz Powell Stadium at 8.
7. South Dade (5-0, 8A) – LAST WEEK: Nobody has given this team any respect, but the Bucs keep rolling, staying unbeaten in a win against NMB. THIS WEEK: They will take on district foe, Killian, on Thursday at Tropical Park at 7.
8. Western (6-0, 8A) – LAST WEEK: The Wildcats remained unbeaten with a convincing win against district rival, Cypress Bay. THIS WEEK: It’s a huge district meeting against Plantation on Friday at PAL Field at 7.
9. Champagnat Catholic (5-1, 2A) – LAST WEEK: The Lions rolled to an impressive win against Miami Edison, 32-0. THIS WEEK: The Lions will be off this week.
10. Columbus (5-1, 8A) – LAST WEEK: The Explorers finished off a three game stretch – with wins over Miami High, Booker T. Washington and defending 6A state runner-up Lakeland Lake Gibson. THIS WEEK: They will play host to district foe, Miami Beach, Friday at 5.
11. Miramar (5-1, 8A) – LAST WEEK: The Patriots showed why they are one of the teams to watch in 8A, with a convincing win against Flanagan. THIS WEEK: The Patriots will play host to Hallandale at 7.
12. Deerfield Beach (3-2, 8A) – LAST WEEK: While the Bucks dropped their second game of the season – this time to St. Thomas Aquinas – they still remain a huge favorite in 8A – with one of the best defensive units in South Florida. THIS WEEK: It’s a district game against Parkland Douglas at 7.
13. Miami High (5-1, 8A) – LAST WEEK: The Stingarees continue to bounce back – with a huge win against Miami Killian, keeping them in the 8A playoff race. THIS WEEK: They will enjoy this week off – before returning to the field on Oct. 20 against Miami Beach.
14. University School (5-0, 4A) – LAST WEEK: The Sharks continue to be one of the surprise teams in South Florida – as they routed American Heritage in Delray. THIS WEEK: The team puts its unbeaten streak on the line again at home on Friday when they host Everglades Prep at 7.
15 (TIE). Nova (5-0, 7A) – LAST WEEK: The surprising Titans rolled to a fifth straight win against Fort Lauderdale. THIS WEEK: They put it on the line in a key district matchup at improving Cooper City on Friday at 7.
Doral Academy (5-1, 7A) – LAST WEEK: The Firebirds rolled to another win, 43-6, over Miami Springs. THIS WEEK: Another district game, Goleman, Friday at Milander Park, 4.
Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!