I can not believe the high school regular season is already over.
And tomorrow we start District playoffs up North, down South in 32 and in some Treasure Coast locations.
So much crammed into so small an amount of time. And with missing the first two weeks, it really came down to only 6 weeks for me.
32 Districts and 128 playoff slots
195 High Schools played the season at the varsity level.
67 schools, 67 head coaches, numerous assistants and about 2,000 players have finished playing already.
Figure about 20% of the kids are seniors.
400 kids have mostly finished playing their last game. Some of those coaches are not coming back.
Thank you for your efforts . . . coaches and players alike.
Not all of the schools sitting at home are in the bottom 67 of the state . . . some of them are just in very tough districts.
Fleming Island and West Boca . . . Olympia lost twice by one goal to Windermere Prep, including Friday night, to fall just short. Suncoast-Riviera Beach loses to Palm Beach Gardens in what is now looking like a heck of a big upset now, given how they finished the season with 5 straight wins, including a really nice one over a resurgent Wellington to end the season but will be at home watching. Calvary Christian’s early loss to North Broward Prep cost them their district playoff spot. Cypress Bay in District 29 is this year’s big thump, going from perennial District champ to not even making it into the Top 4 this year.
District 13 has a bizarre result. Celebration nabs the fourth spot with a 2-3 record while Winter Haven goes 2-7 in district with Celebration taking the head to head matchup. What if Winter Haven had gone 4-5 with the HTH loss? Who would have gone? And how does such a disparity in games played in the District happen?
Then there is District 16. If LaxPower’s schedule has this right then I am in fantasy land.
5 teams. Three of them tied for the last two spots.
Freedom-Tampa, Alonso and Wharton. All 3 are 1-3 in the District.
In the complete season we had F-T at 7-6 with an 8-2 loss to Alonso and a 12-9 win over Wharton. Alonso goes 5-7 with a loss to Wharton.
Wharton’s ONLY WIN is over Alonso.
How does Freedom-Tampa miss out on the district playoff?
The only possible thing I can think of is a COIN TOSS.
Can anyone confirm that?
In District 21 Cocoa Beach is edged out for the 4th spot by Rockledge as they lost the HTH game. Cocoa only played 5 district games while Rockledge played 7. How does that district decide which games to count if they had split the HTH and Cocoa had gone 2-4 versus Rockledge’s 2-5?
Inquiring minds want to know . . .
Okay, maybe just one mind.
In District 23, Vero narrowly beat South Fork at home by one goal in the first game of the season. And that was the difference between the fourth and final spot.
And St. Edward’s became the biggest beneficiary of a decision made in a County Administrator’s office last year . . .
The gutting of Vero this year by some nameless bureaucrat is one of the least appreciated stories of 2017.
Anyhow, the important thing to me is that the players, coaches and parents of the kids who are no longer playing be thanked for their efforts and their support in the case of the parents for the long season and off-season in preparation.
For those kids who have played their last game I wish you the best in your futures! It was a pleasure covering your games.
The last week of the regular season was full of interesting matchups as a number of schools had back-loaded their schedules and the intrastate rivalry between Florida and Georgia heated up with some top games, including Georgia power Centennial, coached by former Gulliver Prep assistant Bryan Wallace, splitting two games this weekend, with a 16-13 victory over SA and a 16-11 loss to Oxbridge.
Last Weeks Key Results . . .
Jupiter defeats Martin County 13-10 on the road
Boone defeats Montverde Academy 12-11, also on the road
Nease nips Bolles 14-13
Plantation defeats Boca/Delray in the American Heritage derby 17-12
Berkeley Prep 16-9 over Riverside-Sarasota
Lake Mary pops West Orange’s bubble 11-6
Bishop Moore with the 13-0 shutout at Melbourne Central Catholic
Oak Hall at home over Creekside 11-5
Saint Andrew’s eases by Valor Christian (CO) 16-6
SJP II over Cardinal Gibbons 12-7
Barron Collier downs Cardinal Mooney 14-8
Bolles 14-9 over St. Augustine
Hagerty continues to roll with the 11-8 road win over Boone
Ponte Vedra continues Maclay’s season of misery with the 20-5 defeat
Belen Jesuit continues to finish strong with the 9-5 win over American Heritage/Plantation
Bishop Moore cruises to a 15-7 win over West Orange
Berkeley Prep travels to Gulliver Prep and takes the 10-8 win
STA goes to Jupiter and holds off the late rally for the 11-10 win
Stoneman Douglas rips AH/B 20-8 on the road to continue their late season rise
Naples gets the OT 9-8 win at Bishop Verot
Lake Mary takes down Johns Creek (GA) 13-7
Ponte Vedra handles Oak Hall 13-7
Centennial (GA) outlasts SA in Boca 16-13
Johns Creek (GA) rebounds with the 13-10 win over Bolles
Barron Collier travels to Gulliver Prep and wins 12-11
Oxbridge takes down Centennial (GA) 16-11
Not a bad way to end the season
Time to Look at Memory Lane!
50 Years Ago this Week . . . the Top 10 songs on the charts!
- The Turtles – Happy Together
- The Mama’s & The Papa’s – Dedicated To The One I Love
- The Beatles – Penny Lane
- Herman’s Hermits – There’s A Kind Of Hush
- Four Tops – Bernadette
- Petula Clark – This Is My Song
- The Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)
- The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever
- Nancy Sinatra – Somethin’ Stupid
- The Five Americans – Western Union
That’s a pretty good collection.
I really liked #1 and #7.
#7 has a special place in my history because in summer camp in 1969 we used it to come up with a spoof song of 6-12 Bug Spray, the gold standard for trying to protect yourself against mosquito bites in the camp.
Not that it did much good. My mosquito bites had two layers . . . original and right on top of it. Lightning might not hit the same place twice but mosquitoes did!
Stop, children what’s that sound . . . .
Everybody looks what’s going down . . .
Stop, hey what’s that sound
Everybody pass that 6-12 round
I’m going to take a look at schools that improved their records significantly this year in a separate article later on. There were some really inspiring success stories this year and we’ll handle that as a standalone.
And now the Underdog Upset of the Week
Sorry Adam, but Spanish River struggled all season to a 3-10 record but one of those was their last game with the 6-5 win on the road. Congrats to the Sharks for ending their season on a high note.
An Interesting Thought
Most of those who follow the lacrosse scene throughout the state have conceded that the southeast region still has the overall best reputation.
But I have had discussions with many of the coaches down here and one thing that we all agree on is that this year is not an easy year to pick the 10 All Americans for the US Lacrosse region down here. Last year it was difficult because there were more than ten that could easily be named.
This year ALL of them struggled to name me ten.
Is this sort of a first hint that maybe the southeast is due for a rough patch?
Now, because I’ve held off any sort of humor for this week’s poll so far . . .
Here’s something to make us chuckle
Okay, now a look back at last week’s Top 20
#1 – St. Thomas Aquinas – no reason to even consider moving them out
#2 – Ponte Vedra – the march north was really impressive, Jupiter loss now in rear view mirror
#3 – Saint Andrew’s – spring break better not be dangerous to a team’s health
#4 (t) – Benjamin – can’t be giving up 5-0 leads at home
#4 (t) – Bishop Moore – an LHP win might have made them #3
#6 – Oak Hall – really sticking my neck out here . . . Friday is probably the biggest game in their program’s history
#7 – Jupiter – Thursday will be terrific
#8 – Stoneman Douglas – really coming on strong. Swept St. Edwards and Oxbridge this weekend
#9 – Oxbridge – maybe this is where they’ve belonged all along
#10 – Lake Highland Prep – great win over Bishop Moore and an awful effort against Mountain Vista . . . I just can’t see it this year
#11 – West Orange – now it gets real this week
#12 – Tampa Jesuit – nothing to report
#13 – Pine Crest – just cruising along
#14 – Hagerty – schedule, schedule, schedule
#15 – Saint Edward’s – the yo-yo season continues
#16 (t) – Barron Collier – wins when they should, defense is stellar again
#16 (t) – Nease – the schedule looks a heck of a lot better now than earlier
#18 – Lake Mary – Coach Robinson could use a beer after the two one goal losses to Top 10 teams
#19 – Newsome – this schedule does not, it looks worse every week when compared to the teams moving in front of them
#20 – American Heritage/Plantation – a sleeper problem for STA . . . the likely district final matchup
Saint John Paul II
There will certainly be some movement here.
How many of you know about the Harlem Lacrosse Foundation and their endeavors?
Here’s an intro.
They are taking this model around the country and we even have some versions down here too.
If you are looking for a new charitable venture to get behind you could do far worse than something like this
By the way, the Coach Melzer he refers to in the video is likely Wyatt Melzer, the former Saint Andrew’s LSM who won a national championship with UVA and I believe was one of, if not the first, program directors when Harlem Lacrosse was initiated.
Now it’s time to come up with the final Top 20 of the regular season
Districts need fans! Get to the games!
To lead us in . . . The Ramones with Blitzkreig Bop!
The Top 20 For 4/2/2017
#1 – St. Thomas Aquinas
#2 – Ponte Vedra
#3 – Bishop Moore
#4 – Benjamin
#5 – Jupiter
#6 – Saint Andrew’s
#7 – Stoneman Douglas
#8 – Oxbridge
#9 – Lake Highland Prep
#10 – Oak Hall
#11 – Barron Collier
#12 – Tampa Jesuit
#13 – Pine Crest
#14 – Hagerty
#15 – Saint Edward’s
#16 (t) – Lake Mary
#16 (t) – Nease
#18 – Newsome
#19 – West Orange
#20(t) – Berkeley Prep / Belen Jesuit
Saint John Paul II
Again, get out to a game this week!