It had gotten to the point where the state championships in Orlando would always have a South Florida flavor to it.
This year, while there are four teams who will head to Camping World Stadium for championship weekend 2017, it’s those three classes (4A, 7A and 8A) that this region of the state will be missing – in a huge way.
With no Booker T. Washington, and University School losing to Cocoa, there will be no 4A program – and Miami High’s attempt to get to state for the first time since 1965 fell short, leaving this region without an 8A team in several years. But the biggest absence will certainly be three-time defending 7A state champions St. Thomas Aquinas, who lost at Venice.
As the smaller schools (1A-4A) such as Champagnat Catholic (2A) and Chaminade-Madonna (3A) enjoyed the week off – both will be looking to avenge state championship setbacks from last year.
Here is a look at how the Top 15 stacks up, heading into Week 4 of playoffs:
1. Plantation American Heritage – (12-0, 5A): LAST WEEK: The Patriots, in winning for the 26th straight time, edged a very competitive Immokalee squad, 28-21, using senior standout Miles Jones to pave the way. THIS WEEK: It’s the 5A state title game against Baker County on Friday afternoon, Dec. 8 at 3:00.
2. Miami Northwestern (11-2, 6A) – LAST WEEK: The Bulls scored often in beating Naples, 42-7. THIS WEEK: It will be unbeaten Seffner Armwood on Friday night, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m.
3. Chaminade-Madonna (10-2, 3A). LAST WEEK: It will be a much-anticipated meeting with West Palm Beach Oxbridge in Orlando on Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.
4. Champagnat Catholic (9-2, 2A) – LAST WEEK: It’s on to Orlando for a rematch with defending state champion Jacksonville University Christian on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m.
5. Miami High (11-2, 8A) – LAST WEEK: The Stingarees dropped a heart-wrenching 27-20 decision to Delray Beach Atlantic.
6. St. Thomas Aquinas (10-3, 7A). LAST WEEK: The three-time defending state champs dropped at 27-20 decision to Venice.
7. Columbus (9-2, 8A)
8. Cardinal Gibbons (11-2, 5A)
9. University School (9-2, 4A)
10. Western (10-3, 8A)
11. Carol City (8-3, 6A)
12. Doral Academy (10-2, 7A)
13. Miami Central (9-3, 6A)
14. Southridge (7-4, 8A)
15. South Dade (9-2, 8A)
Outstanding season for Deerfield Beach (8-3, 8A), Miramar (8-2, 8A), Palmetto (8-2, 8A), Plantation (9-2, 8A), Norland (6-4, 6A), West Broward (9-3, 7A) and Monsignor Pace (8-3, 4A). When the final rankings are done, we are sure you will see a number of these quality programs.
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