Here are the 2015 Preseason Miami-Dade & Keys Regional Rankings from FloridaHSFootball.com
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1. Miami Central Rockets
2014 Record: 14-1
Why: The Rockets have maintained consistency over the last five years and have played in a state championship game every year since 2010. The Rockets will have some new faces in the line up including Darnell Salomon who comes over from Champagnat and Tahj Brigthaupt who transferred in from Hallandale over the summer. Both the offense and defense are going to be solid and could be in line to make some history this season.
2. Booker T. Washington Tornadoes
2014 Record: 14-0
Why: The Tornadoes are coming off their third straight championship like Miami Central is, but there is concerns surrounding the team. The biggest concern is the major lack of returning starting talent which is only a handful players that are back. However, given the tradition and heritage built up the Tornadoes over the last few seasons, it remains to be seen how deep things will go for the Tornadoes under their third head coach in three years.
3. Columbus Explorers
2014 Record: 13-2
Why: The Explorers are of the those teams that does not necessairly have big name talent, but that really means nothing. This is a team that can compete with any team week-in and week-out. The Explorers will be playing a tough schedule like always and they will have a chance to show that they could potentially be the best Class 8A team once again from Miami-Dade County.
4. Miami Carol City Chiefs
2014 Record: 4-6
Why: Despite the missing the playoffs last year, the Carol City Chiefs have plenty to feel good about coming into the 2015 season, especially knowing how close they were last season to being in the playoffs. With the Chiefs having a solid quarterback in Steve Calvert, the team will build around him and should be a playoff contender in District 6A-16 this season.
5. South Dade Buccaneers
2014 Record: 7-3
Why: Despite winning seven games last season, the Buccaneers managed to miss the playoffs and was the first team from the county to miss the playoffs the following season after winning a state championship since the 2001 Gulliver Prep team. The team has quite a bit of talent in the district, but will have to worry about teams like Miami Southridge and Miami Killian for the two playoff spots in the district.
6. Miami Jackson Generals
2014 Record: 6-5
Why: The Generals were able to reach the playoffs last year, but was knocked out early by Naples Lely. However, the Generals could be in for the fight of their lives despite the fact the team will have 14 starters back due to being one of the toughest districts in the state in District 5A-16. With only two playoff spots and having to contend with Broward County teams like Plantation American Heritage, Hallandale and Coconut Creek, every game will count this year.
7. Coral Gables Cavaliers
2014 Record: 9-4
Why: Some are hot about the Cavaliers and some are not. Depends on who you ask and why about the team, but Coral Gables has been able to be competitive under head coach Roger Pollard and there is no reason to believe that this team could be a playoff bound team once again this season. However, some key players will need to find their making quickly to help the Cavaliers to get back to the playoffs at Columbus will be a strong competitor while Miami High could be looked at as a threat to keeping Coral Gables out of the playoffs.
8. Miami Southridge Spartans
2014 Record: 7-4
Why: The Spartans will have a new head coach in Billy Rolle who comes over after spending one year at Coral Reef. The Spartans reach the playoffs last year should find the transition easy as the team will return many starters that will help the team contend in District 8A-16. If anything this team will be playoff bound come November.
9. American Patriots
2014 Record: 9-2
Why: American is one of the top teams in northern Miami-Dade, especially when it comes to coach and talent, but winning nine games in the regular season wasn’t enough for the Patriots as they were bounced early in the playoffs. However, a jump to Class 8A could prove fruitful for this season as they enter District 8A-13 where they are the projected favorite. However, North Miami and North Miami Beach will battle with American for the two playoff spots.
10. Miami Norland Vikings
2014 Record: 4-4
Why: Only able to play eight games last season, the Vikings didn’t get a full schedule in that could have allowed them to have at least five to six wins on the season instead. But, coming into 2015 things look better with a nine schedule at least and some competitive competition on the schedule. 11 of 22 starters are back and being in District 6A-16 still, the Vikings know it will be a challenge with Miami Central, Miami Carol City and Miami Northwestern all looking to lock up the two playoff spots from the district.