WINNING THREE S TATE CHAmPI- onships in a row from 2008 through 2010 did many things for Cocoa High School’s football
program. It lined the trophy case, brought out
college coaches looking for talent and delivered untapped talent from the hallways to fill
a once spotty roster.
The Tigers haven’t won the last two state
titles they’ve sought, but they are still one
of Florida’s most competitive teams and
one of its most athletic. The talent and the
scouts it attracts still seek out Cocoa, and
there’s a good dose of potential stardom on
the 2013 roster.
The Tigers are coming off a rough end to
last season, when eventual 4A champion
Booker T. Washington handled them in their
own stadium, but head coach John Wilkinson
has welcomed some qualified replacements.
The offensive line is big, and there is speed
running behind it. If a starter can be found for
the quarterback spot and the line blends well,
Cocoa could be playing well into December.
YOUNG PANTHERS ROAR
The city of Palm Bay has plenty of football
talent. Years ago, Palm Bay High loaded up
on it and won two state championships while
sending several players on to colleges and
Now, that talent has been divided among
three schools. The newest is Heritage and the
Panthers erupted in their fourth season to
win 10 games and qualify for a playoff berth.
They defeated Sebastian River on the road in
the quarterfinal round and have most of their
skill players back. There are athletes up and
down the roster and Heritage could become a
Freddie Booth-Lloyd, Cocoa
The primary challenger for the Panthers
this season will be more established
Class 6A, District 14 lead.
DISTRICT LINE WOES
Fort Pierce Central has been
knocked off by powerhouse Manatee
in the last two regional finals, but the
Cobras should be back and challenging
for a deep state playoff run in 2013.
The question is what will happen beyond that. Coach Josh Shaffer has said
changes in the district lines could alter
the talent pool for his school. What has
been built could be in danger of fading away.
The Cobras might be on the verge of losing
some of their bite just as they were threatening to become a truly elite program and
this might be their last real chance to get
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Imagine making the playoffs in your first
season as a program’s head coach. Now
imagine making it the first five years.
If you can do that, you’re only getting start-
ed down the road Palm Bay coach Dan Burke
has traveled. For 17 years in a row, the Pirates
have won a spot in the regional playoffs.
The team will face a new challenge this
year after dropping down to Class 5A to play
against more appropriately sized schools.
Palm Bay is now in a district with Merritt
Island, Astronaut and Rockledge, meaning at
least a couple of worthy teams are going to
be left out.
ALL-EAST COAST TEAm
QB Alex Ogle
RB Lorrenzo Pratt
RB Alec LaFlore
RB Jamaal Eveillard
WR Will Dawkins
WR Javonte Bagley
TE Brandon Sluder
Melbourne Ctl. Cath.
OL Freddie Booth-Lloyd Cocoa
OL Phil Norman
OL Adam Valletutti
OL Sage Kempfer
OL Stewart Reese
Ft. Pierce Ctl.
DL Trevonte Valentine
DL Tomell One
DL Rashawn Shaw
Ft. Pierce Ctl.
DL J. T. Hassell
LB S. Rhaheed-Muhammed Ft. Pierce Ctl.
LB Greg Miclisse
LB Sean Bowens
DB Alex Jasmin
DB John Batch
DB Steven Ralph
DB Nate Simmons
UT Antoine Griffin
TOP 5 TEAmS
1COCOA: The Tigers haven’t won a state title since Chevelle Buie played, but
they have some burners in the backfield this
year and could contend.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA 2013