Miami-Dade High Schools

Football, basketball streaks define year for Miami-Dade high schools

From left, Central’s Olin Cushion III, Fermin Silva, Anthony Jones and Da’Vante Phillips hold the trophy after defeating Seffner Armwood in the Class 6A title game for the Rockets’ third championship in a row.
From left, Central’s Olin Cushion III, Fermin Silva, Anthony Jones and Da’Vante Phillips hold the trophy after defeating Seffner Armwood in the Class 6A title game for the Rockets’ third championship in a row. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Booker T. Washington and Central achieved something no other Miami-Dade County football team had before.

Each won its third consecutive state championship.

Their dramatic early season clash, won by Booker T., set the tone for another wild sports season in Dade that saw 15 teams bring home state championships.

Booker T. Washington broke the county record for consecutive victories in the playoffs and extended the streak to 41 games by winning the Class 4A state title and winning a game in the inaugural Bowl Championship Series. The Tornadoes beat Bingham (Utah) in overtime to finish the season.

Central defeated Washington powerhouse Bothell two weeks after capturing the Class 6A title. The Rockets won 12 in a row following the Booker T. loss behind a swarming defense that totaled 83 sacks and figures to be among the nation’s best again this season.

The Rockets and Tornadoes weren’t the only ones providing good theater during the football season.

Columbus reached the state finals for the first time since 1982 with a dominant playoff run in Class 8A. The Explorers crushed rivals Coral Gables and Killian before losing to Apopka at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

HOOPS DYNASTY

Norland’s boys’ basketball team showed how resilient it could be once again this season. The Vikings overcame the loss of several transfers before the season and some difficult regular-season defeats on their way to becoming the first Dade team to win four state titles in a row. Norland coach Lawton Williams III became the first coach to win six state titles in county history.

The Vikings weren’t the only state champion in basketball, however.

Miami Christian entered the season as one of the favorites and overcame a tumultuous start to win its first state title since 2002.

Dade County’s girls’ powerhouses took it a step further.

Miami Country Day not only repeated as Class 3A state champions but also finished with a No.3 national ranking by USA Today after winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals tournament.

The Spartans became the first South Florida team to win the tournament and beat fellow South Florida powerhouse Fort Lauderdale Dillard in the final at Madison Square Garden.

Miami High also repeated as state champions in Class 8A behind All-American star center Beatrice Mompremier. The Baylor University signee led the Stingarees throughout the season with clutch performances in numerous games, including a dramatic regional final win over Ferguson in triple overtime.

Gulliver’s second state title in a row in boys’ soccer and South Dade’s 10th state crown in wrestling also highlighted a successful winter sports season.

The spring season began with Northwestern’s girls overwhelming the track and field competition on its way to a state-record 12th title. Ransom Everglades’ girls’ water polo team won its sixth in seven seasons. Belen won its first since 2009 on the boys’ side.

SWINGING THE BATS

A year after the county had four state champions in baseball, Dade followed up with three more champions.

Columbus capped a dramatic playoff run as it took down nationally ranked Lake Worth Park Vista on its way to its first state title since 2003.

Westminster Christian dealt with rain delays and celebrated indoors after its championship game was called following a two-hour rain delay. The Warriors matched Key West’s state record for state championships by winning their 11th. Brito won its second Class 2A crown in a row and is now second on the county’s all-time list with seven.

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