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SportsNut25

STORY: Five teams we didn’t expect to make the playoffs but did

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Somebody is on record trying to convince the forum about Gulf Breeze. But did anyone take the new guy seriously? It's okay, I tried to tell the previous GBHS coach he didn't know what he was doing. He didn't believe me, then he got fired. I watched things on film under his regime that blew my mind.

 

For instance, they had a kid on kick return that I noticed in the pre-season kickoff game. For anonymity we'll call the kid Mary. Well, the very first kickoff I happened to notice Mary not block anyone. Nor did Mary look like he wanted to block anyone. So I watched Mary each kickoff and saw basically the same thing. So I told my wife "you watch, Mary won't be on kick return the next game". Because I remembered how my coaches watched film, I knew he'd be replaced. Didn't happen. First regular season game he's still there. Same result. OK surely they'll notice this time. Didn't happen. Mary played kick return every single game of the year. The guy made intentional contact with the other team maybe a handful of times all year. And by contact I mean the most timid run up to the defender and stop, brace, close eyes and lean one shoulder toward the oncoming beast you can imagine. Simply put, Mary gave no effort to block all year. Zero effort! How can you defend that? It's on film. The big eye in the sky don't lie. I watched him every play.

 

The kick returner was actually very good but would sometimes get crushed because he had so many unblocked scud missiles coming at him. He should have called Mary and others out on it. I'm gonna get blown up repeatedly and your not even TRYING to block? We'd have a come to Jesus meeting if it were me.

 

Meanwhile you've got kids blowing Mary up in practice that don't play. One kid(we'll call him John Lynch) told me how they were running a play they liked but it wasn't working because the kid(John) Mary was supposed to block kept blowing up the play. The position coach finally says "who keeps blowing up the play?". Of course it's John.

The coach calls Mary out on it but John does it again the next play. John was thinking "this guy can't block me all year in practice and he starts over me?". Those coaches have no idea how close John came to giving them a piece of his mind and walking off that field. And Mary kept his starting position. BTW, John is a very good player. That's just one example of the way things were done under the previous coach.

 

Lastly, the previous coach got another head coaching job at a middle school that feeds players into Choctaw. Well GB played Choctaw the first game this season. And who comes walking up to the press box with a Choctaw coaches shirt on? Yep, Choctaw hired him to help coach against his former team. As he walked past, one GB fan said "damn, that poor guy is going to lose this game again". And he did. He'd lost the game on the GB side for years then the very next season after his departure he loses on the Choctaw side. Nice/good guy that worked hard and he knows his X's and O's but it takes more than that to win. He knew "coach speak" but didn't "walk the walk". Softest practices I've ever seen in my life. And that includes peewee football.

 

I will admit that I was wrong about Pine Forest. I've heard chatter about why they didn't play well. Key injuries and discipline problems seem reasonable. More chatter was no heart and selfishness. Less chatter was coach is over the hill and should retire.

 

Anyway my 6a playoff take is;

 

Navarre over Escambia - but after watching the first game in which Navarre came from behind to barely win, I won't be surprised at all if Escambia wins. Regarding the first game, did Escambia relax after they easily drove down the field early in the game for two scores and think "we got this"? Or did Navarre figure out how to defend their triple option offense? I lean towards the latter.

 

Gulf Breeze vs Tate - GB should win but Tate is capable and they've been there before. This is uncharted territory for GB. First home playoff game EVER. Let that sink in. They've been playing football since like 1970 give or take. Lost both starting inside linebackers for Tate game due to injuries vs Crestview last week. Still gotta go with GB.

 

Niceville vs St. Augustine - haven't seen Augustine play but based on record it should be a close game. A lot depends on if Niceville's star receiver (Thomas?) is playing/healthy. That guy is really good. And I believe they were without him vs Crestview and Navarre. I do believe the winner of this game will beat the Crestview game winner.

 

Still believe a GB vs Navarre rematch would be a toss-up.

 

Should Escambia or Tate win a couple, I don't see either getting past the Niceville/Augustine winner.

 

So my 6a R1 winner possibility ranking is.

1. Gulf Breeze

2. Navarre

3a.Niceville

3b.St. Augustine

5. Crestview

6. Escambia (no chance @ R1 champ)

7. Tate. ( " " )

8. Middleburg ( " " )

 

We'll see...

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Gulf Breeze QB Tyler Phelps is finally starting to get more interest from college recruiters. I believe Davidson was the only offer he had prior to the first game. Recently some ivy league schools have shown interest and now word that The Tar Heels are interested. Tyler is a great student so The Ivy league schools may have the best shot. I'm thinking I heard his coach mention Yale as a strong possibility. He's a left handed Greg McElroy(former BAMA QB) clone.

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I didn't expect Riverview HS to make the playoffs or win the district either. They beat Manatee for the first time since 2008 (somewhere along those lines) and finished 8-1 on the season. They play Olympia HS this Friday in the first round of playoffs.

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I didn't expect Riverview HS to make the playoffs or win the district either. They beat Manatee for the first time since 2008 (somewhere along those lines) and finished 8-1 on the season. They play Olympia HS this Friday in the first round of playoffs.

 

 

Who wins that match?  Olympia or Riverview?

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