Editors Note: This is the first in many different primers in spring football that we will bring you. We plan to have something new each day during the month of May and we welcome you suggestions to what we should talk about. Please email your suggestions to us at news@floridahsfootball.com or shoot us a message on Twitter or Facebook

Last year we saw some exceptional teams go through the deep playoff runs that landed them at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, for the right to be crowned state champions.

This year we expect some of those teams to make a return trip no matter if it is to defend a title or to compete again to be crowned champion. The teams we have picked for this list have their own way defining why they will likely be back again.


Starting with number 5 (likely to be back) and going to number one (most likely to be back), we present to you our arguments as to why these teams will be back.

5. Jacksonville Bolles, 2011 Class 4A State Champion  – Head Coach: Corky Rogers
When one thinks of Bolles, they can see the number of times that the Bulldogs of the Bolles School in Jacksonville have appeared in a state championship game in the last two decades or so. Corky Rogers is back for another season, after having to have septuple bypass heart surgery just a month after winning the 4A championship. We are not sure when Rogers will call its quits, but we believe the coach has what it takes to get back to the game this year and win it again as well. Rogers, who has talent that comes in each year will make an impact despite the loss of some talented seniors who are on their way to the next level. With knowing that anything is possible with Bolles, it is hard to leave them off this list.

4. Tampa Plant, 2011 Class 8A State Champion – Head Coach: Robert Weiner
When most people hear the Plant Panthers come up in conversation about teams that will contend for a state title, they take them pretty serious. Each year Coach Weiner seems to have a knack for getting the most out of the talent that he has at the South Tampa school. As such it has raised the school’s profile and its enrollment numbers since winning the Class 4A State Championship in 2006. If highly talented players like RB Wesley Bullock and WR Aaron Aikens don’t sound like enough, new names will emerge during the spring jamboree and over the summer that will make other teams cringe week in and week out during the fall. And don’t tell me that oh they are losing a lot doesn’t mean they will be back. Just go back and look at 2010 for a season that saw new talent emerge.

3. Bradenton Manatee, 2011 Class 7A State Champion – Head Coach:  Joe Kinnan
Don’t let age fool you on Joe Kinnan. He has just as much fire now as he did over 25 years ago when he brought his alma mater home their first ever state championship trophy. Manatee which is likely to be nationally ranked entering the season, will see the return of a highly skilled QB in Cord Sandberg who is a dual threat quarterback that can either burn you down field with the passing or escape out of the gate on the run. He will be accompanied by WR Anthony Lauro who was one of Sandberg’s favorite targets in the 2011 State Championship game against Jacksonville First Coast. Also if you don’t think that Manatee is gearing up to be back again, just look at the schedule. With dates looming against Miami Central and possibly Miramar along with district foes Venice, Manatee will be building itself once again for excellence.

2. Miami Booker T. Washignton, 2011 Class 4A State Runner-Up – Head Coach: “Ice” Harris
In his first season back as a high school head coach after serving under Randy Shannon at the University of Miami, Coach Harris came back to hopefully win another one again for the team he got his first ring with in 2007. While the Tornadoes came close to upsetting the team and the coach who has the most wins in the state overall, things looked bright as they exited the Citrus Bowl. Losing only a few seniors, the Tornadoes will have most of the nucleus back to make another strong run. Just take a look at LB Matthew Thomas and QB Treon Harris as examples of talent that Booker T. Washington has and you can fill in the rest with your imagination. This could be a team that will be hard to stop for sure. Also don’t discount the game against Cedar Hill (TX) as it will be a game that will tough the physical and mental boundaries of this team.

1. Monticello Jefferson County, 2011 Class 1A State Champion – Head Coach: Jeremy Brown
A team that almost lost its head coach over issues unknown, fans in Jefferson County can be rest assured that the man who led them to their first state title in 20 years will be back to hopefully do it all over again. With it known that only a few senior have graduated, most of the team will back in its 2011 form on both sides of the ball and that has already given fans in Jefferson County a ton of hope for a repeat championship. If everything holds together do not expect the Tigers to go down without a fight in any given week with the tough schedule they will have again this year.

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