Coral Reef football coach Chevas Clements was fired from his position Monday, three days before the school’s final regular-season game.
Clements said principal Adrianne Leal was tired of hearing speculation and rumors of him leaving the school for another job.
“They relived me of my duties,” said Clements, who was surprised by the move. “They told me they were going in a different direction. I came in this morning and they had bolts on the locker room doors.”
Clements was in his sixth season leading the Barracudas, who were a win away from making the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but a 19-3 loss to South Dade and Killian’s 24-0 win over Southridge on Friday ensured their elimination.
“I think I’m a good coach,” Clements said. “I think I do a good job, especially at that program where you can’t get athletes in, so I just think maybe people say, ‘What can he do with the people over here?’ But that’s just speculation.
“For her to be annoyed that everybody is coming after her coach, that should be a [compliment] to her that she has a good coach. All the time I’ve been loyal to her.
“I’ve had plenty of times to leave, and I haven’t.”
Coral Reef (5-4) plays Hialeah at Harris Field on Thursday with a chance of posting its fifth consecutive winning season.
St. Thomas Aquinas — sporting warm-up T-Shirts with the caption “Unfinished Business,” referring to its defeat in the 2012 state finals — used its superior size, strength and athleticism to dispatch Miami Ronald Reagan 25-8, 25-6, 25-12 in the Class 7A Region semifinals on Monday night.
The host Raiders (27-2) set the tone early with four consecutive kills by Nikki Lyons and Kimeko Bennett for a quick 10-2 lead.
Although the Bison played tough, they ultimately didn’t have the personnel to counter Aquinas’ hard-hitting duo of Kara Mason (six kills, five digs) and Lyons (eight kills, four digs).
Lyons, especially, put on a hitting clinic, elevating from the middle row for one emphatic kill after another.
“I thought Nikki played very well,” said Raiders coach Lisa Zielinski. “Nikki does a great job finishing but we had some great passing and the sets were good. We got a contribution from everybody which freed her up a little bit as well.”
The Bison (13-5) rallied in the first set to cut the lead to 14-6, only to watch the Raiders rattle off a 10-2 run, highlighted by kills from Mason and Lyons to open a 24-8 lead.
Kaylie McHugh had five digs and Mackenzie Zielinski had a game-high 32 assists for the Raiders, who advance to face the Atlantic-Dwyer winner in the Regional finals Saturday.
Jessica Almeida had three kills and Monique Douglas had three aces, one block and a kill for Ronald Reagan.
The Bison saved their best play for the third set, taking their first lead, 5-4, when the Raiders’ Kristyne Beauzil’s return hit the net. But freshman outside hitter Brook Bauer erased any hope of a Bison comeback with four aces to push the lead to 15-7.
•Sunset d. Southridge 6-0:
Eddy Pineiro 4 goals. Jonathan Diaz 1 goal, 1 assist. Christian Gutierrez 1 goal. Mario Malpica 3 assists. David Villegas 1 shutout. SUN 1-0.
•South Dade d. Coral Reef 1-0:
Tim Handy 1 goal. Richard Martinez shutout. SD 1-0.
•Ferguson d. Palmetto 4-2:
Carlos Sanchez 2 goals. Fernando Montes 1 goal. Danny Herrera 2 assists. FER 2-0-0.
•MAST d. Westland Hialeah 2-0:
Santiago Morales 1 goal, 1 assist. Daniel Regalado 1 goal. Daniel Godoy 1 assist.
•Varela d. Killian 3-0:
Gian Artuso 1 goal. Kevin Pizzolo 1 goal. Jake Tosta 1 goal.
•Columbus d. Coral Gables 4-2:
Eddi Diaz 1 goal, 1 assist. Danny del Rio 1 goal. David Gunter 1 goal. Pedro Van Eerdewijk 1 goal. CC 2-1-0
•Ransom Everglades d. Jackson 4-1:
Ferris Bustamante 2 goals, Matt Lirman 2 goals. RE 1-0.
•American Heritage d. Cypress Bay 2-2:
Zackery Atkinson 1goal Kenn Guichard 1 goal. AH 1-0.
•Reagan d. Southwest 3-0:
Daniella Borjas 1 goal. Sofia Betancour 1 goal. Jessica Mendez made 1 goal. Belen Lella 1 assist. RR 4-1-1.
•Florida Christian d. Miami Country Day 2-0:
Katelyn Godoy 2 goals. Natalia Tohme 7 shutouts. FCS 1-0
MAST d. Key West 4-2: Mariana Speckmier 3 goals. Nati Gilbert 1 goal. MAST 5-0.
•Dade Christian d. Greater Miami 8-1:
Abby Clanton 4 goals. Amanda Martin 3 goals. Sofia Diaz 1 goal. DC 3-1.
•Hialeah-Miami d. Booker T. Washington 3-1:
Apsen Arias 2 goals. Syann Marc1 goal.
•American High 2, Mourning 2:
Soma Gubasci (ATM) 2 goals. ATM 0-1-0.
•St. Brendan d. Carrollton 3-1:
Alexa Dussaq 2 goals. Alex Guixens 1 goal. Mallory Ryan 6 saves, Nicole Dennis 1 assist. Kate Alvarez 1 assist. SB 3-0.
•TERRA d. Homestead 8-0:
Natalie Diaz 2 goals. Karina Bermudez 1 goal, 2 assists. Carolina Schooley 1 goal, 1 assist. Nina Maceo 1 goal, 1 assist. Sofia Aviles 1 goal. Nikole Bermudez 1 goal. Kaitlyn Ritter 1 goal. Alexandra Pepin 1 assist. Silvana Naccarato 1 assist. TER 3-0