A historic 2013 football season for Miami-Dade County included a record four state champions.
Westminster Christian, a state semifinalist in Class 3A, finished a couple of wins short of joining the festivities.
But with a combined 16 starters returning, the Warriors could be in striking distance of their first state title once again.
Westminster enters the season ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 3A behind defending state champion Jacksonville Trinity Christian and runner-up Clearwater Central Catholic — the team that ousted the Warriors in a 7-0 defensive struggle last season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
The Warriors enter the season with that lofty status thanks to a talented core of seniors who hope to end the school’s state title drought.
Senior Tim Irvin, nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, totaled over 1,850 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns last season and returns along with senior running back Jordan Cronkrite to power Westminster’s potent offense.
Residing in a tiny, two-team District 8-3A with rebuilding Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, the Warriors are guaranteed a playoff berth. So Westminster will once again play a tough non-district schedule that includes games against Gulliver, Boynton Beach and Champagnat Catholic to prepare it for a potentially tough playoff road that could include games against Delray American Heritage, West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman or Pahokee.
•Team to beat
: Westminster Christian. The Warriors return a core group from last year’s state semifinalist squad that has the potential to make a deeper push this season. The region is still very tough and both Clearwater Central Catholic and Jacksonville Trinity Christian present major obstacles on the road to a state title.
•Player to watch
: Tim Irvin, Westminster Christian. Irvin has had a spectacular career at Westminster. His final season should be a great one as he is one of those players who is college ready right now.
Rashad Broadway, Westminster Christian.
Broadway needs to anchor a defense that will be tested the further the Warriors get in the postseason.
Oct. 3, Westminster Christian at Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, 4 p.m. It’s the district championship game.
•Predicted order of finish
: 1. Westminster Christian; 2. Chaminade.
Jamboree at Cypress Bay: Stranahan, Piper, 7
Jamboree at Deerfield Beach: Monarch, Columbus, Plantation, 5
Dillard at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
Miami Beach vs. North Miami Beach (N. Miami), 7
Fort Myers Bishop Verot at North Broward Prep, 7
Hillel at Doral, 7
Pine Crest at Florida Christian, 7
Hallandale at Miramar, 7
Carol City at Boyd Anderson, 7:30
Hollywood Hills at Western, 7
Champagnat Catholic at Coral Gables, 4
Ferguson vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30
Mater Academy at Southridge, 7:30
Miami High vs. Edison (Curtis), 7:30
Blanche Ely at Coconut Creek, 7
Belen at Cardinal Gibbons, 7
West Broward vs. Goleman (Milander), 7:30
Palm Beach Central vs. Northwestern (Traz), 7:30
Sunset vs. Mourning (N. Miami), 7:30
Somerset at Pines Charter, 7
Gulliver at Duval Charter, 7
Westminster Christian at Westminster Academy, 7
Reagan at Braddock, 4
Krop at Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 7
American Heritage-Delray at Coral Springs Charter, 7
Cooper City at South Broward, 7
Treasure Coast vs. Taravella (Piper), 7
West Boca Raton at Douglas, 7
Coral Glades at Pompano Beach, 7
Inlet Grove at Dade Christian, 7
Evangel Christian at Calvary Christian, 7
Somerset Charter at Palmer Trinity, 4
Zion Lutheran at Highlands Christian, 7
Saturday, Aug. 23
Central at Hoover (AL), noon
Booker T. Washington at Oscar Smith (Va.), 9
Sunday, Aug. 24
Palm Beach Dwyer at American Heritage, 3