New playoff format breakdown: Class 5A-8A districts 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

For some teams, though they were left to wonder if they could find 10 games on their own. That included the likes of powerhouse teams of Bolles and Trinity Christian, while a few others like Jones, John Carroll, and Clewiston were also uncertain if they could get the 10 games they needed. As such these teams filed an appeal to the FHSAA along with a few independents to reshape some of the districts in Class 5A-8A.

Here are the most important changes in 5A-8A.

  • No changes were made to any of the districts in Class 8A leaving those districts the same as they have been the past two seasons. Most districts in Classes 7A, 6A and 5A also remain the same except for the following changes below.
  • The new Windermere High School in Windermere (Orange County) will open with 9-11 grades next year. They have been assigned to District 7A-5. The district will also consist of existing teams of Celebration, East River, Harmony, Lake Nona, Kissimmee Liberty and St. Cloud.
  • District 7A-16 still remains 9 teams despite concerns this could hurt some teams chances for the playoffs out of that district. However, it appears to be a good bet that three to four teams could emerge out of that district now in 2017.
  • Mainland’s appeal to go up to Class 8A was denied per Zach Dean at the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Mainland will remain in District 6A-13 for the next two years.
  • Archbishop McCarthy was added to District 6A-15 after playing the last few years as an independent in the Gold Coast Football Conference. They will join existing teams Boyd Anderson, Boynton Beach, Dillard and Oakland Park Northeast in the district.
  • Hialeah-Miami Lakes has been moved back to District 6A-16 after spending the last year in District 4A-8. Will rejoin Miami Carol City, Miami Northwestern, Miami Central and Miami Norland in the district.
  • Bolles and Jacksonville Trinity Christian both successfully appealed to move up from Class 4A and Class 3A respectively joining District 5A-4 for the next two years. At the same time, Wolfson appealed to move out of the district and go to Class 4A as their enrollment has significantly dropped since being converted into a full-time military academy this school year. Bolles and Trinity Christian will join remaining district teams that include Bishop Kenny, Ponte Vedra, Terry Parker and Westside.
  • Clewiston appealed to move up from Class 4A into Class 5A due to geographic issues. They will now join District 5A-12 that also includes existing district teams, Cypress Lake, Dunbar, Immokalee, Lely and Mariner.
  • As the only public school in Class 4A, Jones debated about making the move up to Class 5A and did so as they were placed in District 5A-13 along with Bishop Moore, Eustis, Poinciana, South Lake, and Tavares.
  • District 5A-14 gets smaller as two teams from that district have left for independent status next two years as the programs rebuild. The district will now consist of Merritt Island, Palm Bay, Rockledge and Titusville after Satellite and Space Coast exited.
  • Over in District 5A-15 the district grows from three teams to five teams as Pompano Beach moves up from independent status while John Carroll was granted an appeal from Class 3A to Class 5A. Both teams will join existing teams, Fort Pierce Westwood, Port St. Lucie, and Suncoast in the district.

To view the new districts in their entirety, click here.


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