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What You Need To Know For The Florida High School State Championships


Marcus Benjamin @_benjaminmoney

The 2017 version of the FHSAA High School Football Championship should not disappoint one bit.  We have perennial favorites and surprise appearances from all over the sunshine state.  History will be made this weekend, the question just how will it be written.  Florida has produced many greats in the sport and many have shined bright on the state’s largest stage.  Here are the matchups of the eight classes where eight champions will emerge.  All games will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.  All state rankings are according to MaxPreps.

Class 8A

Altantic (Delray) vs. Dr. Phillips (Orlando)

Saturday 8 PM

 

Atlantic (Delray) (12-1)

State Rank: 23

State Championships:  0

Last Years Result: Lost in Regional Final to Deerfield Beach 28-21

Prospects to watch: DE Jason Mercier, WR/DB Corey Gammage (Florida Commit), WR Varrick “Oyeh” Lurry-Davis, RB Shelley Singletary, WR Cadarius Gaskin, CB Kenih Lovely (Western Michigan Commit)

The Atlantic Eagles are in their first state championship game since 1978.

 

Dr. Phillips (Orlando) (12-2)

State Rank: 9

State Championships:  0

Last Years Result: Lost in State Championship to Miami Southridge 14-10

Prospects to watch: OT John Campbell (Miami Commit), RB Devodney Alford, WR Michael Fox, CB Braxton Clark (Virginia Tech Commit), WR Davarius Bargnare, CB Tanner Ingle (Tennessee Commit)

Since 2006, Dr. Phillips has been in the playoffs every year.  In 2010, amid investigations of using an ineligible player, their wins were vacated.  They made it to to the championship game that year only to lose to Miami Central.

 

Class 7A

Venice vs. Bartram Trail (St. Johns)

Saturday 3PM

 

Venice (13-1)

State Rank: 5

State Championships:  1 (2000)

Last Years Result: Lost in State Semifinals to St. Thomas Aquinas 46-8

Prospects to watch: DT Tyrone Barber (USF Commit), WR Jaivon Heiligh (Coastal Carolina Commit), DB Jeremy Trebbles

Venice defeated the favorite of this class St. Thomas Aquinas to get to Orlando 27-20.Venice has scored the most points in a championship game (77 over Dwyer).

 

Bartram Trail (11-3)

State Rank: 11

State Championships:  0

Last Years Result: Lost in Regional Finals to Robert E. Lee 61-59

Prospects to watch : QB Riley Smith, C Brad Cecil, QB/RB Joey Gatewood (Auburn Commit), WR Xavier Hutchinson

Bartram Trail is in the title game for the first time in its history.

 

Class 6A

Miami Northwestern vs. Armwood (Seffner)

Friday 8PM

 

Miami Northwestern (11-2)

State Rank: 3

State Championships:  4 (1995) (1998) (2006) (2007)

Last Years Result: Lost in Regional Semifinals to Miami Carol City 34-27

Prospects to watch:  CB Divaad Wilson, QB Chatarius “TuTu” Atwell (Louisville Commit) , S Rashad Wildgoose Jr. (Georgia Commit), DE Davonte McCrae, CB Nigel Bethel (Florida Commit)

Northwestern is back in title game for first time in nine years.

 

Armwood (Seffner) (14-0)

State Rank: 4

State Championships:  3 (2003) (2004) (2011)

Last Years Result:  Lost in Regional Semifinals to Lake Gibson 18-15

Prospects to watch: LB James Miller, QB Devin Black (Indiana Commit), S/LB Caleb Sutherland (Toledo Commit),  RB Brian Snead (Ohio State Commit), WR Warren Thompson (Oregon Commit), RB Jerome Ford, DE Malcolm Lamar (Oregon)

Armwood is in the championship game for the fourth time in five years.

 

Class 5A

American Heritage (Plantation) vs.  Baker County

Friday at 3PM

 

American Heritage (Plantation) (12-0)

State Rank: 2

State Championships:  3 (2013) (2014) (2016)

Last Years Result: 5A State Champion Defeated Ponte Verde 35-33

Prospects to watch: CB Pat Surtain Jr., CB Tyson Campbell, DT Nesta Silvera (Miami Commit), DE Andrew Chatfield, QB Cameron Smith, WR Anthony Schwartz, RB Miles Jones (Vanderbilt Commit), C Zack Zambrano, OT Troy Ingle (Western Kentucky Commit), LB Calvin Hart (NC State Commit)

 

Heritage has won 26 straight games and going for back to back state championships.  They rank 5th in the nation according to USA Today Expert Rankings.

 

Baker County (13-1)

State Rank: 24

State Championships:  0

Last Years Result:  Lost in Regional Finals to Clay (Green Cove Springs) 42-14

Prospects to watch: RB Seth Paige, ATH Lee Graham

Baker County is in the title game for the first time in its school history.

 

Class 4A

Cocoa vs. Raines (Jacksonville)

Thursday at 7PM

 

Cocoa (11-1)

State Rank: 7

State Championships:  4 (2008) (2009) (2010) (2016)

Last Years Result:  4A State Champion Defeated Bolles (Jacksonville) 31-17

Prospects to watch:  WR/RB Javian Hawkins (Louisville Commit), RB Howard Stewart

Cocoa is going for back to back titles for the second time in their history.  Their last loss was to local playoff team Rockledge in overtime in the season finale.  This is their fifth trip to the state title game.

 

Raines (Jacksonville) (12-1)

State Rank: 27

State Championships:  1 (1997)

Last Years Result:  Lost in Regional Finals to Bolles (Jacksonville) 60-20

Prospects to watch: DE Myjai Sanders, WR George Webb

Raines has won 12 in a row since last losing in August.  Raines last lost to Cocoa in 38-27 in 2014 in the regular season.

 

Class 3A

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) vs. Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach)

Saturday at 10AM

 

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) (10-2)

State Rank: 10

State Championships:  2 (2003) (2005)

Last Years Result:  Lost is State Championship to Trinity Christian 24-13

Prospects to watch: RB Shaun Shivers (Auburn Commit), WR Marvin Alexander (Kentucky Commit), WR Xavier Williams (Alabama Commit), LB Davoan Hawkins, OG Sebatian Santerling (USF Commit), ATH Akeem Hayes (Kentucky Commit)

Chaminade eliminated Oxbridge from the postseason last season 31-13. Chaminade has outscored their opponents 143-9 in these playoffs.

 

Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach) (10-1)

State Rank: 15

State Championships:  0

Last Years Result:  Lost to Chaminade-Madonna 30-13

Prospects to watch: S C.J. Smith, CB Keidron Smith (Ole Miss Commit), CB V’Lique Carter (Iowa State Commit)

Oxbridge has outscored their opponents 115-14 in these playoffs.

 

Class 2A

Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) vs University Christian (Jacksonville)

Friday at 10AM

 

Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) (8-2)

State Rank: 52

State Championships:  1 (2013)

Last Years Result:  Lost in State Championship to University Christian 24-8

Prospects to watch: LB Donovan Georges (FIU Commit), DE Gregory Rousseau (Miami Commit), DT Tyrik Robinson, DE Kayode Oladele

This is the only rematch of last years title games.  Champagnat lost to University Christian 24-8.

 

University Christian (Jacksonville) (10-2)

State Rank: 101

State Championships:  9 (1973) (1987) (1989) (1991) (1992) (1994) (2012) (2015) (2016)

Last Years Result: 2A State Champion defeated Champagnat Catholic 24-8

Prospects to watch: QB Clayton Boyd, WR Jaedon Stoshak

 

University School is going for the three-peat and 10th championship in their history which would move them into a tie with St. Thomas Aquinas.  Bolles (Jacksonville) has the most championships with 11.

 

Class 1A

Blountstown vs. Madison County

Thursday at 1PM

 

Blountstown (11-1)

State Rank: 94

State Championships:  3 (1973) (1976) (1977)

Last Years Result: Lost in State Semifinals to Baker 20-19

Prospects to watch:  RB Denzel Washington

Blountstown is averaging 44 points in these playoffs as they seek their first title since ‘77.

 

Madison County (13-0)

State Rank: 18

State Championships:  2 (2001) (2007)

Last Years Result: Lost in State Semifinals to Pahokee 21-19

Prospects to watch:  RB Derrick Staten Jr.

Madison County avenged last year’s defeat in the state semifinals to Pahokee last week 28-10.  They are averaging 47 points in these playoffs.

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