A banner year for Miami-Dade high school sports

Four football titles, four baseball titles and a county-record 27 team state championships were won in a year of greatness that will be hard to match any time soon.

05/24/2014 12:01 AM

05/24/2014 10:57 AM

Miami-Dade County had never had four state football champions in one season.

It had never had four baseball state champions in one season either.

This year, county teams set both marks.

And overall a county-record 27 team state championships were won in a year of greatness that will be hard to match any time soon.

South Dade spearheaded the massive output with state championships in football, baseball and wrestling.

A quartet of football teams both traditional powerhouses and new teams set the tone for a great overall sports season as Dade dominated the state tournament in Orlando.

Miami Booker T. Washington spearheaded the effort going undefeated and winning a mythical national championship as it won its second state title in a row. After a win over Central and wins in Georgia and Las Vegas, there were few who doubted who was the nation’s best.

The Tornadoes were joined by Miami Central, which outside of one loss to Booker T., dominated the competition on its way to its second state title in a row as well. The injury to star running back Joe Yearby in the regional final couldn’t derail the Rockets as they kept going behind star running back Dalvin Cook.

South Dade began an unprecedented successful season by winning its first state football title. The Bucs would later win their ninth wrestling state title and win their first baseball title becoming the first Dade team to win three major sports in the same school year.

And Champagnat Catholic’s young football program won its first state championship with a talented roster that is expected to be back for more next season.

The county’s success continued in volleyball as Westminster Christian and Ransom Everglades each won state titles ending the county’s championship drought that stretched back to 1995.

Belen Jesuit continued its dominance in cross-country and swimming bringing home state championships in each sport.

Norland earned a special place among the county’s top boys’ basketball programs winning its third consecutive state title and fifth in nine seasons. The Vikings were the second school to win that many titles in such a short span joining Miami High.

The Stingarees had their own memorable season in girls’ basketball.

Their talented group went 31-1 and won their second state title earning a top 20 national ranking and an invitational to play in the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Invitational Tournament.

Miami Country Day won its first state championship in school history the same week as Miami High capping a dominant girls’ basketball season with a Class 3A title.

Columbus ended its long search for a state championship in boys’ soccer winning four dramatic playoff games in either overtime or penalty kicks to win its first state title in the sport. Gulliver was dominant in winning its Class 2A crown.

South Dade’s wrestling team benefitted from Brandon moving out of Class 3A and won a state championship for the first time in five years.

The Bucs’ baseball team later put together one of the most memorable baseball seasons in recent memory by winning their first baseball title and securing the first ever for their legendary coach Fred Burnside.

Senior pitcher Erik Manoah’s memorable performances on the mound aren’t soon to be forgotten as he led the Bucs to wins over every tough opponent they faced.

American, Brito and Mater Academy each won state titles joining South Dade to give the county the most baseball titles it has had in one season.

Westminster Christian made sure Dade would have at least one softball state champion winning its third ever in Class 3A.

A couple of dynasties continued as Northwestern’s girls’ track and field team won its state record 11thchampionship and sixth in a row.

And Gulliver’s tennis teams swept the boys and girls’ Class 2A state titles. The great season in tennis continued with the Coral Gables boys winning their first championship in 42 years and Ransom Everglades winning a girls’ championship.

Gulliver also emerged victorious in boys’ water polo beating St. Thomas Aquinas in a thrilling final. And Ransom beat Gulliver in a memorable girls’ final surviving for a 6-5 win despite star player Chelsea Johnson being ejected in the first quarter.

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