High School Sports

Breaking down South Florida high school football after the first month of the season

Columbus Explorers’ Henry Parrish (4) runs the ball against the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes during the football game on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 at Curtis Park Stadium in Miami.
Columbus Explorers’ Henry Parrish (4) runs the ball against the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes during the football game on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 at Curtis Park Stadium in Miami. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

The first month of South Florida high school football has come and gone. Four weeks of games are in the books and seven more are still on the docket before we get into playoff action.

Here’s a look, district by district, of how Miami-Dade and Broward’s high school football teams have fared through the first four weeks of the season:

DISTRICT 11-8A

The teams: Deerfield Beach (4-0), Taravella (3-1, 1-0 district), Piper (3-1, 1-0 district), Douglas (2-1, 0-1 district), Monarch (2-2, 0-1 district), Coral Springs (1-2)

Deerfield Beach, still trying to break through and win a state title, is once again off to a hot start. The Bucks have edged out defending Class 3A champion Chaminade-Madonna, defeated Georgia powerhouse Buford 19-14 in the Peach State and has wins against Atlanta Westlake (41-16) and Blanche Ely (46-0) heading into district play.

Taravella and Piper have already logged their first wins in district competition, respectively edging Monarch (35-28) and Douglas (42-6), and have already exceeded their win totals from last year.

DISTRICT 12-8A

The teams: Plantation (3-0, 1-0 district), Cypress Bay (3-0), Western (3-1, 1-0 district), Flanagan (1-2, 1-0 district), Miramar (0-3, 0-1 district), South Plantation (0-3, 0-1 district), Everglades (0-3, 0-1 district)

Western and Plantation are on the right path to repeat playoff berths after their early starts. Cypress Bay is off to a sound start, too, with early-season wins against Cooper City (23-20), Coral Springs (40-6) and Pembroke Pines Charter (56-0). Miramar, meanwhile, is still looking for its first win after losses to Northwestern, Plantation American Heritage and Plantation to begin the year.

DISTRICT 13-8A

The teams: Hialeah (3-1, 1-0 district), Hialeah Gardens (3-1, 0-1 district), North Miami (2-2, 1-0 district), Krop (1-3, 1-0 district), North Miami Beach (1-3, 0-1 district), American (1-2, 0-1 district)

In a district that only had one team with a winning record in 2017 (North Miami), Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens are off to fast starts in 2018. North Miami, which went 6-4 last year and made a first-round exit in the playoffs, is batting .500 after four weeks with out-of-district losses to Southridge and Jackson.

DISTRICT 14-8A

The teams: Columbus (3-1), Coral Gables (3-1, 1-0 district), Miami Beach (3-1, 1-0 district), Miami High (1-3, 0-1 district), Coral Park (0-4, 0-1 district)

Columbus has put itself through the gauntlet to open the season and outside of a 35-0 beatdown against Carol City has presented a strong showing with wins over Northwestern and Booker T. Washington. Another non-district match against Belen Jesuit is on the slate this week before opening district play.

Coral Gables has already matched its win total from last year and Coral Gables has exceeded its 2017 mark.

Miami High, which was a win away from the Class 8A title game last year, is experiencing growing pains with an overhauled roster.

DISTRICT 15-8A

The teams: Coral Reef (3-1, 1-0 district), Southwest (3-1), Belen Jesuit (2-1, 1-0 district), Ferguson (1-3, 0-1 district), Braddock (0-3), Varela (0-4, 0-1 district)

Really impressed with Coral Reef’s start to the year, already showing a stark improvement over last year’s 2-7 outing. The same goes for Southwest. Belen Jesuit has also had a strong start to the season and should be in the playoff conversation.

DISTRICT 16-8A

The teams: South Dade (4-0, 1-0 district), Palmetto (3-0), Southridge (3-1, 1-0 district), Homestead (2-1, 0-1 district), Killian (1-3, 0-1 district)

The district has three legitimate playoff contenders in South Dade, Palmetto and Southridge, all of whom FBS-quality players on their roster. Southridge is also a double-overtime loss against Booker T. Washington away from starting the year 4-0.

DISTRICT 14-7A

The teams: St. Thomas Aquinas (4-0), Fort Lauderdale (3-1), Blanche Ely (1-3)

The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders are still the kings of their district and are poised for yet another Class 7A title run. St. Thomas plays another pair of tough non-conference games against central and Deerfield Beach before playing its first of two district games.

Fort Lauderdale has held steady, with its lone loss early coming to Vero Beach. Ely has dropped three consecutive games after a season-opening win against Stranahan.

DISTRICT 15-7A

The teams: McArthur (4-0, 2-0), West Broward (2-2, 1-1 district), Nova (2-2, 0-1 district), Hollywood Hills (2-2, 0-1 district), Cooper City (1-3, 1-0 district), South Broward (1-4, 0-1 district)

McArthur has impressed early, winning its first four games after going 1-9 last year. The Mustangs opened district play with a 25-14 win over West Broward and a 33-6 win over South Broward and should be in the playoff hunt this year. McArthur’s regular-season finale against Cardinal Gibbons should give the a true test of where it stands.

DISTRICT 16-7A

The teams: Miami Springs (3-1), Doral (3-1), Goleman (2-1), Mater Academy (2-2), South Miami (2-2), Reagan (1-3), Mourning (0-3), Sunset (0-3), Westland Hialeah (0-3)

Miami Springs is off to a fast start under coach Darryel Bethune, and Doral Academy is still producing quality wins despite its roster being gutted before the season by transfers. Mater Academy and South Miami, two playoff qualifiers a year ago, are .500 four games into the season.

DISTRICT 15-6A

The teams: Dillard (2-2, 1-0 district), Archbishop McCarthy (1-2, 1-0 district), Northeast (0-3), Boyd Anderson (0-3, 0-1 district)

Despite being just 2-2 to start the year Dillard is the district leader after the first month of the season, with its two losses coming to Booker T. and Cardinal Gibbons. The Panthers opened district play with a 36-6 win over Boyd Anderson.

DISTRICT 16-6A

The teams: Carol City (3-0, 1-0 district), Northwestern (2-2, 1-0 district), Central (3-1), Norland (0-4, 0-1 district), Hialeah-Miami Lakes (0-4, 0-1 district)

Carol City came into the season as the Class 6A preseason favorite and arguably the top team in the state. The Chiefs have lived up to the hype so far, with wins over Plantation American Heritage (34-16), Columbus (35-0) and Norland (36-7). Defending Class 6A champion Northwestern and Central are the clear-cut Nos. 2 and 3 in the district and are expected to make playoff berths barring a midseason collapse. Norland and Hialeah-Miami Lakes are still looking for their first win.

DISTRICT 16-5A

The teams: Plantation American Heritage (3-1, 1-0), Cardinal Gibbons (2-2, 1-0), Jackson (3-1, 0-1), Coconut Creek (3-1, 0-1), Stranahan (1-2), Hallandale (1-2)

Heritage’s 26-game win streak came to an end in the season opener. Cardinal Gibbons dropped its first two games of the year.

Both have since rebounded nicely as they aim for the ultimate goal of a Class 5A title.

For Heritage, it followed a 34-16 loss to Carol City with a 20-17 win over New Jersey powerhouse St. Joseph Regional on a last-second field goal, an 11-3 win over Miramar and a 40-0 win over Coconut Creek to start district play. Gibbons dropped its first two games to Central and Milton (Ga.) before rebounding with wins over Dillard and Jackson.

Jackson opened the season with three shutouts, outscoring Mourning, Hialeah-Miami Lakes and North Miami by a combined 109-0 before dropping its district opener to Gibbons.

Coconut Creek has had its moments, but it will need to make some noise in district play if it wants a chance for a playoff berth.

REGION 4-4A

The teams: University School (4-0), Booker T. Washington (2-2), Pace (3-1), North Broward Prep (1-3), Key West (3-1), Gulliver (2-2), Edison (1-3), La Salle (1-3), Pine Crest (2-1), Coral Springs Charter (2-1)

The University School Sharks have proven to be not only the frontrunner of their region but also have a legitimate case to be Class 4A’s top team. The Sharks have won their four games this year by a combined score of 208-32 and should be able to roll through most of its remaining regular season schedule.

Booker T. has put itself through the ringer early, losing to Central and Columbus but pulling away with a double-overtime win over Southridge in between. The Tornadoes now face Northwestern this week.

REGION 4-3A

The teams: Chaminade-Madonna (3-1), Palmer Trinity (4-0, 3-0 region), Westminster Christian (4-0, 1-0 region), Marathon (3-1), Westminster Academy (3-1, 1-1 region), Calvary Christian (2-1), Palm Glades Prep (2-2, 1-2 region), Everglades Prep (0-4)

Credit Chaminade-Madonna for putting itself through the wringer early and often this season and so far coming out as the better team. Following a season-opening 13-10 loss to Class 8A’s Deerfield Beach, the Lions have outscored opponents 114-21. The tests continue with games against Plantation American Heritage, Booker T. and University School down the stretch.

Shoutout are also in order here for Palmer Trinity and Westminster Christian for their 4-0 starts to the season.

REGION 4-2A

The teams: Champagnat (2-1, 1-0 region)

The defending Class 2A state champion opened the year with wins over Somerset Silver Palms and Village Academy before dropping an overtime game against Superior Collegiate. The Lions are on the path for another playoff run and will play a couple tune up games in early October against Venice and University School to really show where they’re at before postseason play begins.

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