GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the final step to fully closing the 2017 season is almost here, we are proud to reveal our candidates for our Class 8A Coach of the Year candidates. For Coach of the Year, five coaches are selected as candidates based upon the resume they had for the season. For Player of the Year, three players are selected on offense and three on defense as candidates for Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. One player from each classification of the six candidates total will be selected as the Overall Player of the Year for their respective classification.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Watch the first team reveal for all eight classifications including the award winners for Coach of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Overall Player of the Year, this Wednesday night on the Gridiron Report on Varsity Sports Network, starting at 8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. CST by clicking here.

Without further ado, here at the candidates for 2017 Class 8A Coach of the Year:


• Sedrick Irvin, Miami High (11-2) – Guided his alma mater to their deepest playoff run since the 2000 season along with their best season overall since winning the Class 2A state championship in 1965.

• Rodney Wells, Dr. Phillips (13-2) – Led Dr. Phillips to their third overall state championship game appearance this decade, their second straight appearance and their first state championship victory.

• T.J. Jackson, Delray Beach Atlantic (12-2) – Jackson, who has been the head coach for the Eagles since 2013, lead them to their best season since 2001 and their first state championship game appearance in 40 years.

• Rich Bedesem, Apopka Wekiva (12-2) – Guided the Mustangs to their best season in school history which included their first district championship, beating crosstown rival Apopka for the first time in 11 tries and their first state semifinal appearance.

• Adam Ratkevich, Davie Western (10-2) – When no one thought they make it past the first round, Western won their first two playoff games in school history under Ratkevich’s leadership, guiding the Wildcats to their first regional final appearance in school history.