Football

New playoff format breakdown: New regions set the mark in Classes 1A-4A for 2017 & 2018

On Wednesday afternoon, the Florida High School Athletic Association released the final districts and regions for each classification for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years with the incoming new playoff format that will use a points system to seed teams into the playoffs.

RELATED: FHSAA Board of Directors approves new football playoff format

The changes to the playoff format left teams in Classes 5A-8A with districts while teams in Classes 1A-4A were left on their own to form conferences and schedule their own 10 games. The teams in 1A-4A were each assigned a region in which they would come out of if they qualify for the playoffs the next two seasons.

RELATED: FHSAA finalizes points system for new football playoff format

One of the biggest goals of the new format was to be able to draw teams back that have been independent over the last few years, giving some teams a chance to compete for a chance to reach the playoffs as well as possibly for a state championship.

As such, the FHSAA was able to get commitments from over 30 teams that were independent. As such the FHSAA was able to reduce the number of teams classifying themselves as independent by nearly 40 percent. The majority of teams that are remaining independent are those that are still part of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference.

Teams assigned to a region in Classes 1A through 4A do not have a requirement to play any set amount of teams from that region. It is possible for a team from a certain region to not play any teams at all from their assigned region for the next two years until the playoffs.

Each tab below breaks down the new regions that were assigned by the FHSAA including notable changes with teams that have come or gone.

4A3A2A1A

Region 4A-1
Callahan West Nassau
DeFuniak Springs Walton
Fernandina Beach
Havana East Gadsden
Jacksonville Andrew Jackson
Jacksonville Raines
Jacksonville Wolfson
Marianna
Panama City North Bay Haven
Panama City Rutheford
Santa Rosa Beach South Walton

NOTABLE: North Bay Haven which was assigned to Class 3A during the tentative process was granted an appeal to move up to Class 4A. Wolfson which was in Class 5A-District 4 was granted an appeal to move down as the school has seen a significant drop in enrollment after the school was converted into a full-time military academy high school. Andrew Jackson also decided to stay in Class 4A after dropping to independent status last year due to the low participation turnout for the team. South Walton was added to Class 4A after spending the previous six seasons in the rural Class 1A. With the school’s enrollment now the largest of the three public high schools in Walton County, there was no way for South Walton to remain in Class 1A. The biggest team now missing from this region is Bolles which appealed to go to Class 5A and was assigned to District 5A-4.

Region 4A-2
Alachua Santa Fe
Bushnell South Sumter
Dunnellon
Gainesville P.K. Yonge
Interlachen
Keystone Heights
Mount Dora
Starke Bradford
The Villages

NOTABLE: All teams in this region were previously Class 4A teams that have remained as such for the new playoff system and were all part of the districts inside of Region Two previously.

Region 4A-3
Avon Park
Cape Coal Oasis
Cocoa
Cocoa Beach
Fort Myers Bishop Verot
Fort Myers Gateway Charter
LaBelle
Lake Placid
Lakeland Tenoroc
Mulberry
Orlando Lake Highland Prep
Port Orange Atlantic
Titusville Astronaut
Wesley Chapel Cypress Creek

NOTABLE: Cocoa Beach moves back up from being an independent into Class 4A after being there the past two seasons. The new Cypress Creek High in Wesley Chapel (Pasco County) will start off in Class 4A when the school opens next fall. Oasis High, a charter school in Cape Coral, is moving up from 8-man football to 11-man football and will join this region for the next two years. The rest of the teams that are in this region were that were previously in districts for this region.

Region 4A-4
Belle Glade Glades Central
Coconut Creek North Broward Prep
Coral Springs Charter
Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest
Fort Lauderdale University School
Homestead Keys Gate Charter
Key West
Miami Booker T. Washington
Miami Edison
Miami Immaculata-La Salle
Miami Monsignor Pace
Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy
Pinecrest Gulliver Prep

NOTEABLE: A lot of new faces in this region as schools like North Broward Prep, Pine Crest, Immaculata-La Salle and Gulliver Prep make the jump up from independent status to Class 4A. Clewiston which was assigned to this region is now in Class 5A after getting an appeal to move up. The rest of the teams are holdovers from the districts that were part of this region in Class 4A.

Region 3A-1
Baldwin
Fort White
Jacksonville Episcopal
Jacksonville Providence
Newberry
Pensacola Catholic
Perry Taylor County
Tallahassee Florida High

NOTABLE: The biggest change here is that Jacksonville Trinity Christian is gone from this region in Class 3A and has been sent to District 5A-4 after an appeal. That should make things even more competitive now given that teams like Fort White, Newberry and Baldwin all join this region in Class 3A from Class 1A.

Region 3A-2
Daytona Beach Father Lopez
Melbourne Central Catholic
Melbourne Holy Trinity
Orlando The First Academy
Pierson Taylor
West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman
West Palm Beach King’s Academy
West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy
Winter Park Trinity Prep

NOTABLE: This region consists mostly of teams that were either part of Region Two or Region Four with districts the past two years. However, do take note that Pierson Taylor has moved up from Class 1A while The King’s Academy has moved up to Class 3A from independent status.

Region 3A-3
Clearwater Calvary Christian
Clearwater Central Catholic
Lakeland Christian
Ocala Trinity Catholic
St. Petersburg Catholic
Sarasota Cardinal Mooney
Tampa Berkeley Prep
Tampa Catholic

NOTABLE: All the teams in this region were Class 3A teams this past two seasons, so nothing has changed here. The biggest notable thing though is that while this region is pretty much a Tampa Bay region, Trinity Catholic is the odd addition to the region which stretches the region all the way up to Ocala. Might be the most questionable move on all of the region assignments, but the map line has to be drawn somewhere here and this is where the FHSAA placed it at, so we have to go with it.

Region 3A-4
Boca Raton St. Andrew’s
Boca Raton St. John Paul II
Delray Beach American Heritage
Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian
Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy
Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna
Homestead Everglades Prep
Miami Pinecrest Prep
Miami Somerset Sliver Palms
Miami Westminster Christian
Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin
Palmetto Bay Palmer Trinity

NOTABLE: Region 4 seems to be the notable area in each class where teams that have moved up from independent status are being placed. Those rejoining the state series for the first time in a while that includes St. Andrew’s, Benjamin, Palmer Trinity, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian, and Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy. The rest of the programs are current holdovers from the region’s former districts.

Region 2A-1
Jacksonville Cedar Creek Christian
Jacksonville Eagle’s View
Jacksonville Harvest Community
Jacksonville North Florida Educational Institute
Jacksonville University Christian
Monticello Aucilla Christian
Niceville Rocky Bayou Christian
Quincy Munroe Day
Tallahassee FAMU
Tallahassee Maclay
Tallahassee North Florida Christian
Tallahassee St. John Paul II

NOTABLE: Quite a few independent teams from the last several years join this region including Maclay, St. John Paul II, Rocky Bayou Christian, Munroe Day, and North Florida Educational Institute. The remaining teams are Class 2A teams that were in districts inside of Region One the last two years.

Region 2-2A
Belle Isle Cornerstone Charter
Daytona Beach Halifax Academy
Deltona Trinity Christian
Gainesville Oak Hall
Gainesville St. Francis
Lakeland Victory Christian
Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian
Merritt Island Christian
Ocala St. John Lutheran
Orlando Agape Christian
St. Augustine St. Joseph
South Daytona Warner Christian
Winter Garden Foundation Academy
Zephyrhills Christian

NOTABLE: Another Class 2A region that gained multiple teams that were formerly independent over the last few years. Included in that mix are Oak Hall, St. Joseph, St. Francis, St. John Lutheran, Seven Rivers Christian, Merritt Island Christian, and Zephyrhills Christian. Agape Christian which suspended its football team this past season after issues will field a team once again this coming fall.

Region 2A-3
Fort Myers Evangelical Christian
Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian
Largo Indian Rocks Christian
St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut
St. Petersburg Keswick Christian
St. Petersburg Northside Christian
Seffner Christian
Tampa Cambridge Christian
Tampa Carrollwood Day

NOTABLE: Most of the teams in this region are teams that were already assigned to Region Three in Class 2A under the previous district alignments. The biggest changes here are the addition of Keswick Christian from independent status as well as Evangelical Christian and Southwest Florida Christian that move from Region Four to Region Three.

Region 2A-4
Belle Glade Glades Day
Delray Beach Village Academy
Hialeah Champagnat
Marco Island Academy
Miami Dade Christian
Moore Haven
Naples Community School
Naples First Baptist
Naples St. John Neumann

NOTABLE: Dade Christian makes a return to football and has been added to this region for the next two years. Also, Glades Day makes a return to the state series after a one-season absence and will also participate in this region. The rest of the teams included are teams that were in the district that was formerly a part of this region. The only team that is missing from this is International School of Broward which has stepped out of the state series after one season and is returning to independent status.

Region 1A-1
Baker
Bonifay Holmes County
Bratt Northview
Chipley
Freeport
Graceville
Jay
Sand Hills Bozeman
Vernon

NOTABLE: With districts gone, the regions for Class 1A pretty much being cut up where the lines are drawn as evenly as possible on the map. In this case teams like Bozeman, Freeport and Chipley which were in Region Two districts the last two years are now part of Region One under this assignment for the next two years.

Region 1A-2
Blountstown
Bristol Liberty County
Cottondale
Eastpoint Franklin County
Greensboro West Gadsden
Monticello Jefferson County
Port St. Joe
Sneads
Wewahitchka

NOTABLE: The majority of the former District 2 teams now reside in Region Two as the map lines redrawn with the elimination of districts. Jefferson County is moved over from Region Three to Region Two with the changes to balance out the number of teams in the regions.

Region 1A-3
Bell
Branford
Chiefland
Cross City Dixie County
Hilliard
Jasper Hamilton County
Lake Butler Union County
Madison County
Mayo Lafayette
Trenton

NOTABLE: Most of the old teams from District 7 were shifted to Region Three from Region Four including Trenton, Chiefland and Dixie County. The rest of the teams remaining in the region are teams from the previous districts that resided in Region Three.

Region 1A-4
Bronson
Crescent City
Fort Meade
Frostproof
Hawthorne
Pahokee
Williston
Wildwood

NOTABLE: All of the District 8 teams from the last two seasons remain in this region except Pierson Taylor which got moved up to Class 3A. Bronson and Wildwood make the move back into Class 1A after being independent the last year.

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