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The large applause you heard when the state of Florida decided that students can go where ever they would like to attend school, was coming from South Florida.

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With another two weeks before the state winners are crowned in Orlando, there is already posturing and players thinking about the 2017 season.

Where in this nation – in all the areas that claim to be year-round football hotbeds – would you see the focus already on 2017, when 2016 still has two weeks left?

Follow on the internet or just listen to the conversation, and schools such as Orlando Bishop Moore and Daytona Beach Mainland will understand why beating South Florida programs in the future will be nearly impossible. You can also add in Cocoa, which just stopped Booker T. Washington’s four-year state title run at the Class 4A level.

By now, if you are a football fan here in this region of the state, the “open enrollment” is not only used for medical insurance. It’s what has been going on for decades in South Florida, with numerous student-athletes making the move from one school to another.

But now, as we head toward 2017, all these youngsters going from one school to another, is legal, and that means trouble for the rest of this state.

There is no getting around the fact that as long as your school is not overcrowded, your chances of becoming a power in athletics – especially football – have greatly increased.

When Mainland, who had lost to Miami Central for four years, was pounded by Carol City last Friday night, it was a warning that Mainland needs to get in the north in Class 6A – or move up or down in class – because they will not touch Carol City, Northwestern or Central for the immediate future.

In fact, embarrassments like the one last Friday, will now be routine.

The major college prospects that those three schools will have will give them the most talented rosters of any public school – nationally – and it won’t be close.

Schools such as Mainland, Cocoa and just about any public school in Florida does not have the athletes that would match up with South Florida.

Remember, if you just came in on this conversation – that Miami-Dade and Broward have 65 players competing in the NFL this year. Houston is second with 24. The talent level is, and has always been far superior, and now many of those elite football players will gather at those programs.

While this year won’t reflect the future – the next two years will see the shift of domination to one district, Booker T. Washington and perhaps Southridge, who would get those elite southern Miami-Dade kids. The private schools will always thrive.

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CHAMPAGNAT STUNS THE EXPERTS, HEADS TO STATE
If second-year Champagnat Catholic head coach Dennis Marroquin listened to the critics and those who makes predictions, his Lions would never have achieved what they did this season.

Losing players to other programs and having to use young athletes all season paid off as this program, which lost to only Melbourne Central Catholic this season, pulled off yet another stunner in beating a very experienced St. Petersburg Northside Christian, 14-3, advancing to the school’s second ever state football championship.

With the title game two weeks away in Orlando against Jacksonville University Christian, the 11-1 Lions can celebrate this week – and make a yet another run at a state title.

With a defense that registered nine sacks and taking advantage of numerous Northside Christian mistakes, this program is still standing.

“I never will complain about the young men who left here for one reason or another,” Marroquin said. “But the coaches we have on this staff and the players who never quit, this is for them. This is for the athletes who bought in and never questioned anything we did.”

CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC PROSPECT WATCH
2017 – Sean Bouie, CB
2020 – Mark Britt, WR
2017 – Jordan Coley, FS
2019 – Kervin Dessources, QB
2019 – Donald Georges, LB
2018 – Donovan Georges, LB
2017 – Brian Gooze, S
2019 – Jarule Harris, S
2017 – Christian Javier, OL
2019 – Daryn Jones, RB
2020 – Johnquai Lewis, WR
2020 – Jesus Machado, DE
2018 – Maxesien Michel, DE
2017 – DeVante Mitchell, FS
2020 – Calvin Montgomery, RB
2017 – Voshon Ochoa, DE
2018 – Tyrik Robinson, LB
2018 – Gregory Rosseau, WR/S
2017 – Isaiah Sharpe, RB
2018 – Jawuan Wilson, OL
2018 – Jahani Wright, WR

NORTHSIDE CHRISTIAN PROSPECT WATCH
2017 – Griffin Alstott, QB
2017 – Jaylen Bowden, S
2017 – Codi Conti, DE
2017 – Ike Contreras, CB
2017 – Dillan Davis, LB
2017 – CamRon Fowler, DE
2017 – Isaiah Gibson, WR
2017 – S.J. Gross, LB
2018 – Malachi Hooks, RB
2019 – Jhi’Aire Huff, CB
2017 – Demetrius Jackson, CB
2017 – Tyler Knight, OL
2017 – Tah’shim Knight, LB
2018 – Drew Littrell, OG
2018 – Jake Maranzana, OG
2017 – Luke Taylor, OG
2017 – Kamen Wilmington, S
2017 – Derrick Wright, WR
2020 – Caleb Yawn, PK
2018 – Corey Yawn, WR

SOUTHRIDGE BRINGS A LITTLE HISTORY TO THE PRESENT
As longtime South Florida football icon Don Soldinger watched the Southridge-Coral Gables game last Friday, he spoke about the talent the 2016 Spartans have that would easily rival some of the best Spartans teams of the past.

With a convincing 26-10 win over Coral Gables, Southridge will now travel to Deerfield Beach to take on a solid team, but after last Friday afternoon there is no mistaking how good this football program is.

“You look at those young men out there and they look a lot like what we won with back in the day,” Soldinger said. “The size, speed and skill level is as good as anyone – and we had some very good football teams down here.”

Soldinger is not the only one who saw this football program come of age over the past eight weeks – since losing to another South Florida powerhouse, Carol City. The Spartans, who have been one of the best defensive teams in Florida this season, flexed their muscle on offense as well.

“We have learned to take each game – one at a time,” said head coach Billy Rolle, who will be looking to take a third different school to the state championship game. “We have said all along that if we cut back on our mistake, everything will take care of itself.”

CORAL GABLES PROSPECT WATCH
2017 – Joshua Aguero, OL
2017 – A.J. Betancourt, OL
2019 – Rayquan Berry, WR
2017 – Marlin Brooks, Athlete
2018 – Mantavious Brown, LB
2018 – Rahja Davis, OL
2017 – Adryan Ellis, LB
2017 – Daniel Enriquez, WR
2017 – Elyjah Felton, DB
2018 – Johnny Ford, RB
2018 – Gilbert Frierson, DB
2017 – Nick Galuppo, QB
2019 – Everton Henry, OL
2017 – Kahvon Lovett, DB
2017 – Robert McWilliams, DE
2017 – Kristopher Moll, LB
2017 – Yeltsin Mora, WR
2018 – Shamar Munroe, Athlete
2019 – D’Angelo Paul, DL
2018 – Derrius Perryman, LB
2018 – Sebastian Riella, PK
2017 – Josh Roman, WR
2017 – Kevin Romer, WR
2018 – Jafaari Stephens, OL
2017 – Jamar Thompkins, RB
2018 – Rashad Wildgoose, DB

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SOUTHRIDGE PROSPECT WATCH
2017 – Cody Bowes, OL
2018 – Randy Charlton, DE
2017 – Antwan Collier, DB/QB
2018 – Michael Cox, QB
2017 – Shawn Davis, DB
2017 – Tisdale Dawson, OL/DL
2017 – Nadarius Fagan, LB
2017 – Billy Gibson, LB
2017 – Keith Harris, OL
2018 – James Head, Jr., DE
2017 – Juwan Horn, DB
2017 – Brandon James, LB
2017 – Melchisedek Jeudy, OL
2017 – Deandre Johnson, DE
2017 – Coemba Jones, DB
2017 – Travis Murray, LB
2017 – Rashod Pittman, OL
2017 – Dimitri Prophete, DL
2019 – Courtney Reese, RB
2017 – Rodney Scott, WR
2017 – Bentavious Thompson, RB
2018 – Daquris Wiggins, WR

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