The long-term road to state for South Florida’s high school football teams shouldn’t change much over the next four seasons.
But the battles for district supremacy could get a little more interesting next season.
The Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday released its tentative realignment for its football districts set to begin with the 2015 season.
The new layout can be appealed by school’s choosing to move to a different district or classification or go independent until Jan. 15. The FHSAA will then approve or deny all appeals and finalize the districts shortly thereafter, locking the field into a four-year cycle — a change from recent years when the state kept it on a two-year cycle.
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This year’s four state champions, Miami Booker T. Washington (Class 4A), Plantation American Heritage (Class 5A), Miami Central (Class 6A) and Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (Class 7A), aren’t changing classes, but each had interesting additions made to its respective districts.
One of the biggest changes would come in Class 6A where recently stacked District 16 would rejoin longtime rivals Miami Northwestern and Miami Jackson in the same district for the first time since 2002, making the annual Soul Bowl more meaningful. Jackson beat Northwestern this past season for the first time since that season.
The two would now be joined by Central, the three-time reigning state champion, Belen Jesuit (moving down from 8A), Miami Springs and Doral Academy.
Miami Carol City and Miami Norland move up to District 15-6A and would be with NMB (down from 8A), Goleman, HML and Mourning (all moving down from 7A).
Booker T. Washington’s district remained unchanged, but the region got tougher with 2014 state semifinalist Clewiston joining the neighboring District 7-4A. This creates a potential gauntlet to try and win four consecutive state titles that could include Belle Glade Glades Central, Clewiston, Cocoa and Jacksonville Bolles.
American Heritage would stay with Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. But Hallandale, a regional semifinalist in 6A, moves into District 16-5A with the Patriots along with Coconut Creek, Homestead Keys Gate and Stranahan.
St. Thomas Aquinas would say goodbye to Plantation as a district rival and move to a smaller four-team district with Blanche Ely, Nova and Fort Lauderdale.
▪ Plantation and South Plantation would move into a district with Pembroke Pines Flanagan, Miramar, Everglades and Western, making it potentially the deepest district in Broward County.
▪ District 11-8A only loses South Plantation with its move to District 12, but defending district champ Coconut Creek Monarch remains.
▪ American moves in with North Miami, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens and Dr. Krop in District 13-8A.
▪ Class 8A state runner-up Columbus would stay in District 14-8A with Coral Gables, Miami High, Miami Beach and Coral Park, and only South Miami moving down to Class 7A to a district with Mater Academy, Reagan and Westland Hialeah.
▪ But District 15-8A would beef up with Miami Killian moving in to take Belen’s place and play Southwest, Braddock, Ferguson, Varela and Sunset.
▪ To the south, District 16-8A’s Southridge, South Dade, Palmetto and Coral Reef would renew rivalries with Homestead as district games.
▪ Westminster Christian and Chaminade are still together in District 8-3A, which would include second-year programs Everglades Prep and Somerset Charter.
▪ Champagnat Catholic got some tough company in District 8-2A with Belle Glade Glades Day and Jupiter Christian moving in.
AROUND THE STATE
Apopka, winners of two state titles in Class 8A, would stay there along with Bradenton Manatee but would be joined by Kissimmee Osceola.
Tampa Plant and Jacksonville First Coast dropped to Class 7A.
And in Class 6A, Seffner Armwood moved into Region 3 and Daytona Beach Mainland moved to Region 2. This could mean a potential opponent change for a team such as Miami Central to have to face Armwood in the semifinals and Mainland in the finals if the Rockets continue their county-record streak of state appearances.
The final-four teams in Class 5A-2A wouldn’t change classifications.
THE NEW LOOK?
The Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday released its tentative realignment for its football districts set to begin with the 2015 season. Schools can appeal to the FHSAA by Jan. 15. A look at the districts from 2014 and what is proposed:
Then: Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Douglas, Monarch, Piper, Taravella, South Plantation
Now: Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Douglas, Monarch, Piper, Taravella
Then: Cypress Bay, Everglades, Flanagan, Miramar, Western, Cooper City, McArthur
Now: Plantation, South Plantation, Flanagan, Miramar, Cypress Bay, Everglades, Western
Then: Dr. Krop, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, North Miami, NMB, Reagan
Now: American, Dr. Krop, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, North Miami
Then: Miami Beach, Miami High, Coral Park, Columbus, Coral Gables, South Miami
Now: Miami Beach, Miami High, Coral Park, Columbus, Coral Gables
Then: Belen, Ferguson, Sunset, Southwest, Braddock, Varela
Now: Killian, Ferguson, Sunset, Southwest, Braddock, Varela
Then: Killian, Coral Reef, Palmetto, South Dade, Southridge
Now: Homestead, Coral Reef, Palmetto, South Dade, Southridge
Then: Blanche Ely, Fort Lauderdale, Boyd Anderson, Fort Lauderdale
Now: St. Thomas Aquinas, Blanche Ely, Fort Lauderdale, Nova
Then: Hollywood Hills, South Broward, St. Thomas Aquinas, Plantation, Nova
New: Hollywood Hills, South Broward, McArthur, Cooper City
Then: American, Mater Academy, Miami Springs, Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Goleman, Mourning, Westland Hialeah
Now: Mater Academy, Westland Hialeah, Reagan, South Miami
Then: Didn’t have South Florida teams last year
Now: Boynton Beach, Dillard, Boyd Anderson, Northeast
Then: Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek, Dillard, Hallandale, Stranahan, Riviera Beach Suncoast
Now: Goleman, Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Carol City, Norland, Mourning, North Miami Beach
Then: Central, Northwestern, Carol City, Norland, Homestead
Now: Central, Northwestern, Belen Jesuit, Jackson, Miami Springs, Doral Academy
Then: Plantation American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Jackson
Now: American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Coconut Creek, Hallandale, Keys Gate, Stranahan
Then: Belle Glade Glades Central, Somerset Academy, University School
Now: Belle Glade Glades Central, Somerset Academy, University School, North Broward Prep, Clewiston
Then: Booker T. Washington, Gulliver, Edison, Monsignor Pace
Now: Booker T. Washington, Gulliver, Edison, Monsignor Pace
Then: Chaminade-Madonna, Westminster Christian
Now: Chaminade-Madonna, Westminster Christian, Everglades Prep, Homestead Somerset Charter
Then: Champagnat Catholic, Dade Christian
Now: Champagnat Catholic, Dade Christian, Belle Glade Glades Day, Jupiter Christian, Delray Village Academy
Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Curley, Archbishop McCarthy, Calvary Christian, Coral Glades, Coral Shores, Coral Springs Charter, Coral Springs Christian, Florida Christian, Highlands Christian, Scheck Hillel, La Salle, Key West, Marathon, Miami Community Charter, Miami Country Day, Palmer Trinity, Pembroke Pines Charter, Pine Crest, Pinecrest Prep, Pompano Beach, Ransom Everglades, Somerset Central Miramar, West Broward, Westlake Prep, Westminster Academy, Zion Lutheran.