1WILL SOUTH FLORIDA TEAMS OCK IT TO ’EM AGAIN?
Given the talent stockpiled in Dade, Broward
and Palm Beach Counties, that’s always a good
bet. A year after the 2012 finals were split right
down the middle – four champs from the top
half of the brackets and four from the bottom
– the South all but owned the Citrus Bowl last
South Dade (8A), Dwyer (7A), Miami Central (6A)
American Heritage-Plantation (5A) and consensus
national No. 1 Booker T. Washington (4A) swept the
top five classifications. Those wins were decisive.
And Champagnat Catholic of Hialeah came out of
nowhere to go from 2-9 to 14-0 with the 2A crown.
The tally was South 6, North 1 without counting
Trenton’s win in 1A rural, which remains a league
located entirely north of Orlando.
Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian thumped
Clearwater Central Catholic 34-7 in the 3A final
for the only upper half victory.
2IS THERE A CRACK IN THE BOOKER T. DYNASTY?
Booker T. Washington head coach Tim “Ice”
Harris left the Tornadoes in March to accept a
position on the University of Miami staff. That’s
his second move to UM. The last time he left
following a 14-0 state title season, Booker T.
slipped some with records of 10-4, 10-2 and
8-3 from 2008-’ 10.
This time, Booker T. also lost the youngest
son of the program patriarch, star quarterback
Treon Harris, who signed with Florida. Those
are two huge voids to fill.
But the fact that coach Harris handed the ball
off to his eldest son and faithful assistant coach,
Tim Jr., a.k.a. “Little Ice,” bodes well for a program
that sent a ton of talent to the college ranks. Har-
ris Jr. took the job at age 28, but still has veteran
coaches on staff – and there is talent.
“We’re putting together our team to try to
make another run at a national championship,”
he said. “I think the kids believe in me. We’re
coming in with the same expectations.”
Miami’s Booker T., which went 96-10 in eight
seasons under his dad’s direction, carries a
26-game winning streak into a 2014 schedule
that is again built for national notoriety – or a
3WHO IS THIS YEAR’S SOUTH DADE? Class 8A has the biggest schools, but it
doesn’t have any private school superpowers and
has been a smorgasbord with seven different
champions since Miami Northwestern repeated
in 2007, when the large class was still 6A.
That makes it a division always ripe for surprise endings, like the one South Dade wrote last
season when it climbed from unranked in the
preseason to the top of the awards podium. The
Broncos were No. 10 when the playoffs started.
Miramar might be the sensible pick to come
out of the South this year, even with a coaching
change. But let’s go for a more bodacious prediction: Former FSU and NFL defensive back Devin
Bush led Flanagan to its first district title and
first playoff berth in his first season as a head
coach. His encore will be seeing the Falcons soar
to a state semifinal matchup with Coral Gables,
which has won playoff games in consecutive
seasons (2012 and ’ 13) for the first time since
it was Florida’s premier program in the 1960s.
Our sleeper pick with potential to represent
the North is Fort Pierce Central, which is 40-7
over the past four years.
4WHICH 2013 CHAMP IS A LOCK TO REPEAT?
It’s never easy to win consecutive champion-
ships in Florida high school football, but the
easy answer is Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian.
The Conquerors won four playoff games by
an average of three touchdowns and they could
be a couple of TDs better this fall. Trinity went
into spring practice with seven players commit-
ted to FBS schools and several others holding
offers. No 3A team can match that firepower.
Trinity has repeated before (2002-’03) with a
bumper 2004 recruiting class. This crop is even
better, particularly on defense. Coach Verlon
Dorminey, who is 220-59 in 24 seasons, can
book his charter buses for the finals.
5WHICH SUPERPOWER SLIPS THE MOST?
We hate to pile on but this one is another
no-brainer. The sun is setting – at least for
now – on University School of Fort Lauderdale,
which launched football with a 7-1 season in
2006 and averaged almost 10 wins over the
past seven seasons.
Roger Harriott, the coach who made the
Suns shine so brightly from day one with a
76-15 record, resigned last December to take
a position on FAU’s staff. Almost immediately,
key University players began looking for new
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel,
11 University players transferred out in Janu-
ary. The report stated that six landed at Ameri-
can Heritage-Plantation and four at 7A power
BY BUDDY COLLINGS