Fresh off the first state championship in school history, the Parkland Stoneman Douglas baseball team was honored nationally Thursday as Baseball America named the Eagles the national high school Team of the Year.
Douglas went 27-2 in a championship season capped with a 3-0 victory over Columbus in the Class 9A title game last month.
“It’s an indescribable feeling because we worked so hard all year,’’ coach Todd Fitz-Gerald said. “Obviously a state championship was our first goal.’’
Although the Baseball America final rankings haven’t been released, Thursday’s honor all but assures a mythical national championship for the Eagles.
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Douglas sits atop the Baseball America rankings with Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy third. California’s Buchanan High is ranked second and as is the case with Douglas, its season is complete.
In the MaxPrep national rankings, Buchanan is first with the Eagles second. Buchanan also heads up the USA Today national rankings with McCarthy second and Douglas sixth.
A Baseball America national championship would be Fitz-Gerald’s second, as Plantation American Heritage won it in 2008.
“We’re very appreciative for this,’’ Fitz-Gerald said. “The atmosphere around Douglas has been unbelievable. This has been pretty special. We have a lot of good things going on with our program. This is really the first time I’ve been able to sit back and look back. It’s pretty surreal.’’
Miami’s Westminster Christian was the first recipient of the award in 1992 when coach Rich Hofman — who happens to be an assistant coach for the Eagles — had Alex Rodriguez lead the Warriors to a 33-2 record.
Since then, four South Florida teams have been honored as the National Team of the Year by Baseball America including three in the past seven years as Flanagan won it in 2010 followed by McCarthy in 2011.
Hofman’s Warriors also won the award in 1996.
“I couldn’t be happier for Douglas,’’’ Fitz-Gerald said. “This was a season of firsts for us.’’
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Florida Christian announced this week it has promoted assistant coach Lamont Green to be its new head football coach.
Green spent this past season serving as an assistant athletic director and associate head coach at Florida Christian.
Green is a former NFL linebacker with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers and a graduate of Florida State University and Miami Southridge, where he was named an All-American and Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today and Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Green, who coached at South Miami in recent years, was voted both Football Player of the Year (1993) and Coach of the Year (2011) by The Miami Herald.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ