With the FHSAA announcing the finalized districts for Classes 5A-8A and the new regions for the now district-less Classes 1A-4A, some new conferences featuring teams across the lowest four classes are starting to take shape. The formation of these conferences come as teams look to keep a balanced schedule of guaranteed games while being able to schedule other teams that will complement the schedule to get the necessary points to advance into the playoffs for the next two years.
The first conference to be mentioned that is has formed is a conference that will consist mostly of former teams from the now-defunct Southeastern Football Conference as well as the now-defunct Gold Coast Conference which will consist of nine teams. That was first announced on FloridaHSFootball.com earlier this week.
Another conference that has formed consists of parts of a former historical conference for years called the Suwannee Conference. As first reported by Larry Savage at the Gainesville Sun, the Suwannee Conference will consist of three Class 3A teams in Fort White, Newberry and Taylor County and three Class 1A teams in Williston, Dixie County, and Union County. Dixie County and Union County are notable members of past incarnations of the conference.
Information provided to FloridaHSFootball.com by Trenton head coach Bill Wiles indicates the formation of a new Mid-Florida Conference that will consist of six teams from the North Central Florida region. Teams in the conference include Trenton, Bell, Branford, Lafayette, Bronson and P.K. Yonge. All teams in this conference consist of Class 1A teams with the exception of P.K. Yonge which is assigned to Class 4A.
In another conference that is currently forming is one consisting of five teams from North and Central Florida. The mix of teams will consist of Class 4A, 2A and 1A teams with a name still to be determined. Teams in the new conference will consist of Keystone Heights (4A), Interlachen (4A), Wildwood (1A), Pierson Taylor (3A) and Umatilla (4A).
One conference that is a carryover from the last six years is the North Florida Football Conference (NFFC). The NFFC will consist of the same teams that are part of regions in Class 2A with the exception of Florida Deaf and St. Johns County Day. Both of those programs chose to remain independent of the new playoff format changes, possibly in efforts to rebuild their programs. The teams will consist of Rocky Bayou Christian, Munroe Day, Tallahassee St. John Paul II, and Aucilla Christian in the North Division while the South Division will consist of St. Joseph, St. Francis, Oak Hall, St. Johns Country Day and Florida Deaf. According to St. Joseph head coach Matt Olesnevich, the conference championship against each division’s first place teams will be played in Week 11, which points will not be given to either team since all games must be finalized prior to Week 11. Second, third and fourth place teams from each division will play each other as well in Week 11 for a 10th game on as well. The fifth place team from the South Division will not have a game in Week 11.
While this is a start to the conference formation that was intended with the new playoff format as created by the FHSAA, expect more conferences to be created here over the next month as teams start to put their schedules together for 2017 in Classes 1A through 4A.
If you know of any new conferences that forming that we have not mentioned on here, please email us the information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include teams to be in the conference as well as how the conference champion will be determined.