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This is it, folks.

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It’s the final official week of the high school football season. It’s the week that all the teams were talking about all the way back in May. It’s the week that the players spent many nights dreaming about.

It’s state championship week.

The teams that are left standing at this point are the ones who were making consistent deposits of dedication, hard work and sacrifice. That’s the only way you can afford a ring – you have to put those three things in the bank. You don’t want to come up with insufficient funds.

Looking back on it, this season has been quite the doozy. It didn’t always go “the way we thought it would”, which made for some awesome Thursday. Friday and Saturday nights.

Although the journey went down a slightly different path, the destination remained the same. South Florida still showed itself to be the high school football capital of the world.

Six teams from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties – three from each – are making the trip to Orlando punctuate their respective seasons with one more big win.

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There were a lot of singular things to highlight as keys to victory over the first four weeks of the postseason: focus, execution, attention to small details. Now, with just one game left, the trait that all of the teams will need to exhibit this weekend is “fortitude”.

Strength, courage, resilience, grit, stamina, determination – all sum up fortitude. Playing with an “all-out” state of mind, being able to walk off the field knowing without any hesitation that there’s nothing left to give.

Our teams have to play with fortitude.

As usual, I’ll tell the tell the seniors getting ready to play their final high school football game: take in the moments. Enjoy the bus ride up. Pay attention to everything your coaches tell you pre-game. Savor getting dressed and putting on your pads. Say something motivational to each one of your teammates. Feel all the excitement of running out onto the field. And play the game like you’ll never see a football again.

Underclassmen, appreciate the opportunity that you have in front of you; because getting the chance to play for a state title is reserved for a select few. And whether you choose to believe it or not – you’re not guaranteed to get back.

Record last week: 4-0
Playoffs record: 37-8
Season record: 472-76 (.861 Correct Pick Percentage)

Six games picked this week with all six games in the Bald Prediction spotlight.

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