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Class 3A Classification Opinion


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The family finally had a chance to review the upcoming changes to the Class 3A classifications and wanted to provide some feedback due to the individuals asking.

  First, we'll break the regions down:

Region 1:
The 800lb gorilla in the room is that Jacksonville Trinity Christian is back in 3A. The frustration was immediately evident in the individuals I communicated with in the region. JaxTCA took a chainsaw to class 3A years ago and is likely to do so again. To be fair, the individuals I've spoken with on the Trinity coaching staff do not WANT to be in 3A, it's being forced on them. Trinity was very happy in 5A and obviously very successful. 

That said, there are some good quality teams in region 1. Pensacola Catholic has made strides in rebuilding their program and I believe will continue to do so into 2019. Florida High School has a very talented team coming back in 2019 and will field a competitive team. Public schools are well represented in region 1: Baldwin is coming off a highly successful season and will be joined by Interlachen, Andrew Jackson, Wolfson and Walton. P.K Younge will also be in region 1.  Trinity Catholic moves from region 3 to region 2 is now in the north.

Region 2:
This is probably the most open region in the state and will be fun to watch in 2019. There's a lot of evenly matched teams like Orlando First Academy, Lakeland Christian, Melbourne Central Catholic, Frostproof, Holy Trinity, Father Lopez. I don't see a team you can point to and say "yeah, that's the clear favorite to win".  LCS would likely be my pick right now, but MCC is expected to field a good team in 2019 after struggling in 2018. 

Region 3:
This region was changed the most (geographically) of any region in 3A as it now extends from Tampa down the west coach to Ft. Myers/Naples and across the state to West Palm Beach. Similar to Region 1 there's a lot of quality teams here: Benjamin, King's Academy, Berkeley Prep, Bishop Verot, John Carroll, Calvary Christian. I don't know anything about Oasis or Bonita Springs.  The question will be, can any of these teams knock off Clearwater Central Catholic in the regional rounds?  King's is the defending state runner-up and returns a fair amount. Benjamin isn't going away. This will be Calvary Christian's best team in school history (on paper), Bishop Verot has become a quality football team in the past 2 seasons. Berkeley Prep is always a factor.  Still, pre transfer season I'm going with CCC.

Region 4:
This could end up being the most lopsided region in the entire state and be in the running for most lopsided in the country. With American Heritage Delray now in 4A there really isn't anybody around that can compete with Chaminade-Madonna, which is a shame because there are some up and coming schools down there. Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian is a good program and Palmer Trinity isn't bad for the team they should be playing.  The only question mark is Miami Edison down the road. If Coach Campbell can build the program up and get buy in from the Miami community he could have a powerhouse on his hands, but as currently constructed they would likely be a 4-5 TD underdog against Chaminade-Madonna.


Looking at the classification as a whole, here is my pre-transfer season top 10:

1) Jacksonville Trinity (Region 1)
2) Chaminade-Madonna (Region 4)
3) Clearwater Central Catholic (Region 3)
4) King's Academy (Region 3)
5) Pensacola Catholic  (Region 1)
6) Calvary Christian (Region 3)
7) Benjamin School (Region 3)
8) Orlando First Academy (Region 2)
9) Florida High (Region 1)
10) Berkeley Prep (Region 3)

 

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No ability to move up + no relegation system system (like some states have) + Era of the Superteam = A handful of teams utterly dominating the lower classes

Some things were fixed with the new classifications, but it appears someone punted on this issue this time around.  I guess it is going to take some very embarrassing results and/or or teams bailing out to prompt action and address the issue.

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18 hours ago, SPCjessica2004 said:

Region 4:
This could end up being the most lopsided region in the entire state and be in the running for most lopsided in the country. With American Heritage Delray now in 4A there really isn't anybody around that can compete with Chaminade-Madonna, which is a shame because there are some up and coming schools down there. Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian is a good program and Palmer Trinity isn't bad for the team they should be playing.  The only question mark is Miami Edison down the road. If Coach Campbell can build the program up and get buy in from the Miami community he could have a powerhouse on his hands, but as currently constructed they would likely be a 4-5 TD underdog against Chaminade-Madonna.


 

Thought this might interest some folks.  The closest thing I know of to Florida's 3A class is Pennsylvania's 4A class.  Each of the past three seasons, Cathedral Prep(CP) of Erie and Imhotep Charter(IC) of Philadelphia have met in the title game and dominated the competition along the way.  In the past two seasons, nobody has gotten within 2 TD's of them in the playoffs. 

Below are their regional playoff games scores over each of the past 3 seasons. As dominant as they are, neither team has won both regional playoff games in one year by over 35 points.  Trinity Christian did just that in 2015 and Chaminade-Madonna did it last year.    

I hope I am wrong, but what we see in 3A next year could be one of the most lopsided classes anywhere in the country in terms of two teams being so far ahead of the rest.

 

2018-4A

CP 42-10, 55-21

IC 20-0, 37-9

 

2017-4A

CP- 56-0, 42-17

IC 40-7, 41-0

 

2016-4A

CP 58-12, 30-13

IC 36-6, 38-7

 

 

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18 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

I hope I am wrong, but what we see in 3A next year could be one of the most lopsided classes anywhere in the country in terms of two teams being so far ahead of the rest.

In terms of rankings I see it breaking down like this:

JaxTCA and Chaminade Madonna will be in the top 20 in Florida for all classes and be in the all school national ranking polls pending on the success of their seasons against elite level competition. I think JaxTCA will be  in the 9-12 range and Chaminade in the 13-18 range starting in 2019.

CCC will be in the 20-27 range in Florida for all classes and be in the small school national rankings.

After that?  I see the next closest 3A teams in the 100-125 range for the state.

Granted anything can happen with transfers, but that's probably the most realistic outcome for the next few years.

 

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23 hours ago, SPCjessica2004 said:

In terms of rankings I see it breaking down like this:

JaxTCA and Chaminade Madonna will be in the top 20 in Florida for all classes and be in the all school national ranking polls pending on the success of their seasons against elite level competition. I think JaxTCA will be  in the 9-12 range and Chaminade in the 13-18 range starting in 2019.

CCC will be in the 20-27 range in Florida for all classes and be in the small school national rankings.

After that?  I see the next closest 3A teams in the 100-125 range for the state.

Granted anything can happen with transfers, but that's probably the most realistic outcome for the next few years.

 

Here's the problem I see with 3A, Jessica.  Below I have broken out the 3A teams into private and public schools.  After each team, I listed the number of playoff games they have won historically and some pertinent notes.  About 25% of them have never won a playoff game, and about 50% of them have not won 5 playoff games.

I've bolded the teams that have had some success over the past 10 years.  As you can see, Trinity and Chaminade are way ahead of the pack.  Of the remaining 9 teams, who has a reasonable shot against those two?  Trinity and Chaminade are both private schools with football winning traditions in talent-rich, metro areas.  Schools like Florida High, Trinity Catholic, Pensacola Catholic , MCC and CCC will always be at a substantial disadvantage against those two schools because the talent pools they have access too are so much leaner.  That leaves us with 4 schools... Benjamin, King's Academy, Westminster Christian, Berkeley Prep.  Benjamin is the only one with a rich tradition of football, and that has waned.  All four of those schools have had limited success over the past 20 years. 

In places like Ohio and Maryland/DC, lots of smaller, private schools have been playing serious football for many years.  There are about 10 Catholic schools in Cleveland/northern Ohio that play in leagues with each other.  And they can compete reasonably well with one another.  They grew up doing so.  That is not the case in Florida.  The evolution of our private schools has been somewhat fragmented. 

The vast majority of private schools in Florida lack what I would consider serious football traditions.  The relative few that do tend to be light years ahead of the rest.  It's a problem that extends beyond private schools.  I have pointed out in other posts the large number of lagging football programs in FL.  Those programs need a means of getting traction.  Playing against teams that beat them 60-0 is not the way.

The unique problem we have in Florida is that there are simply not enough "good" private schools to make leagues, even in metro areas like Tampa.  I am convinced that playing in such leagues help raise the bar in certain other states and improved parity amongst private schools, especially Catholic ones.  So, we end up with a situation like 3A, and no present means of addressing, ie a team opting to play up in class.  In our upper classes, there is enough good public school competition to keep the private schools in check.  In Ohio, many of the private schools play in the "middle" classes and get reasonably good competition from the public schools.  Their lower classes are not presently dominated by private schools. 

In Florida, we have such relatively massive public schools(compared to other states), many of our private schools end up in the lower classes.  So, we have historically ended up with a few private school powerhouses in our lowest classes who dominate.  It's not a completely new problem, but the problem is getting more pronounced in the era of the superteam.  

I don't see the problem I describe going away anytime soon.  We will likely always have a relative few number of small, private school powerhouses who will wreak havoc in the lower classes unless we have a way to allow them to play up in class.  It's no mistake that Bolles, Trinity, University Chr, NFC and Glades Day are at the top of the list of schools with state titles.  St Thomas is the only bigger private at the top of the list.       

 

Private Schools in 3A

Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) -59

Chaminade-Madonna - 38

Trinity Catholic - 23

Clearwater Central Catholic - 23

Benjamin - 21

Pensacola Catholic - 16

Kings Academy - 14

Bishop Verot – 11 (1 win in last 15 years)

Westminster Christian - 10

Berkeley Prep - 10

Cardinal Mooney – 9 (1 win in last 12 years)

Cardinal Newman – 7 (1 win in last 15 years)

First Academy(Orlando) - 7

Pinecrest Prep – 6 (last in 1998)

Melbourne Central Catholic - 5

Father Lopez – 4 (last in 1984)

John Carroll - 4

Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) – 3 (last in 2006)

Trinity Prep – 3 (last win in 1977)

Lakeland Christian - 2

Calvary Christian (Clearwater) - 2

Palmer Trinity – 1 (in 1977)

St. Andrews – 1 (in 1974)

Episcopal - 0

Holy Trinity - 0

Cornerstone Charter - 0

Palm Glades Prep - 0

St. John Paul II (Boca Raton) - 0

Everglades Prep - 0

Somerset Charter (Silver Palms) - 0

 

Publics Schools in 3A

Frostproof – 32 (2 playoff wins in last 10 years-struggled in 1A)

Florida High - 17

Miami Edison – 11 (1 win in last 12 years)

Walton – 11 (last win in 2004)

P. K. Yonge – 11 (1 win in last 15 years)

Andrew Jackson – 9 (last winning season in 2009)

Wolfson – 5 (last in 1978)

Taylor/Pierson – 3 (last win in 2001)

Baldwin - 0

Interlachen - 0

Discovery - 0

Bonita Springs - 0

Oasis - 0

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OldschoolLion,

You make very valid points; however, I would also point out that the schools you listed after Chaminade and JaxTCA have administrations that will not let nearly as many players into the school. Jacksonville and Hollywood have tons of athletes, no doubt, but to get them enrolled into the school and pay for tuition requires the administration to assist with getting financial aid.

There is a reason that Chaminade went into the dump between 2009-2015. The administration stopped letting players in for athletics as the school had garnered a bad reputation by the full tuition individuals. JaxTCA is a state powerhouse and household name, but 15 years ago they had to go independent to start fielding a competitive team.

CCC to me is the most interesting team in 3A because even though they haven't gotten to the state finals since 2013, they've consistently made the later rounds (Regional Final, State Semi-Finals) for years and really show no signs of slowing down.  Now, I've been told the administration there will let kids in so they have a better program than SPC/TC/Berkeley/Calvary/Mooney, but won't let the amount in needed to defeat Chaminade/JaxTCA. In this case, it's not a lack of money, it's clearly the administration drawing a line in the sand which is odd, considering they've won the most soccer boys state championships in state history and if you look at their championship history, they're in the top 25 of all teams in Florida history with most state championships in athletics.

Ocala Trinity Catholic is another example. This is a team that has had success in championship games against South Florida. They had a great coaching staff and a liberal administration who let guys transfer in.  Part of the reason Brantley left was because the administration wanted to go in a different direction. Even as late as 2014 they were within 30 seconds of defeating JaxTCA in the regional final round.

So, to answer your question who can realistically compete with Chaminade and JaxTCA? My response? All of them, but a big part of the equation is buy in from the administration to WANT to compete with them. The other side of it is coaching and the right players at the right times.



 

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32 minutes ago, SPCjessica2004 said:

OldschoolLion,

You make very valid points; however, I would also point out that the schools you listed after Chaminade and JaxTCA have administrations that will not let nearly as many players into the school. Jacksonville and Hollywood have tons of athletes, no doubt, but to get them enrolled into the school and pay for tuition requires the administration to assist with getting financial aid.

There is a reason that Chaminade went into the dump between 2009-2015. The administration stopped letting players in for athletics as the school had garnered a bad reputation by the full tuition individuals. JaxTCA is a state powerhouse and household name, but 15 years ago they had to go independent to start fielding a competitive team.

CCC to me is the most interesting team in 3A because even though they haven't gotten to the state finals since 2013, they've consistently made the later rounds (Regional Final, State Semi-Finals) for years and really show no signs of slowing down.  Now, I've been told the administration there will let kids in so they have a better program than SPC/TC/Berkeley/Calvary/Mooney, but won't let the amount in needed to defeat Chaminade/JaxTCA. In this case, it's not a lack of money, it's clearly the administration drawing a line in the sand which is odd, considering they've won the most soccer boys state championships in state history and if you look at their championship history, they're in the top 25 of all teams in Florida history with most state championships in athletics.

Ocala Trinity Catholic is another example. This is a team that has had success in championship games against South Florida. They had a great coaching staff and a liberal administration who let guys transfer in.  Part of the reason Brantley left was because the administration wanted to go in a different direction. Even as late as 2014 they were within 30 seconds of defeating JaxTCA in the regional final round.

So, to answer your question who can realistically compete with Chaminade and JaxTCA? My response? All of them, but a big part of the equation is buy in from the administration to WANT to compete with them. The other side of it is coaching and the right players at the right times.



 

Great points, Jessica. No doubt there were some years in the recent past when CM and TC were vulnerable, and there will be in the future.

I was simply trying to look at "long-term" variables, ie geography/demographics and program history, that don't change, at least not in the short term.  As you know, the "Administration variable" can shift with the wind and change over a very short time.  So, using such a variable to determine competitiveness in a class can be difficult, if not impossible. 

All things being equal, I think CM and TC will always have a substantial leg up on much of the competition simply because of their geography and tradition.  In any one year, that could change, decreasing the gap in talent disparity or taking it in the opposite direction and making CM and TC even greater favorites. 

In a manner of speaking, CM and TC's programs have had big head starts over a lot of the teams that will be in 3A, and it will be very difficult for most of them to close the gap in a meaningful, sustainable way in the short term.  Doing drastic things to close the gap is often bad for a program in the long-term, as history has taught us.    

  

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On 12/16/2018 at 12:03 PM, SPCjessica2004 said:

In terms of rankings I see it breaking down like this:

JaxTCA and Chaminade Madonna will be in the top 20 in Florida for all classes and be in the all school national ranking polls pending on the success of their seasons against elite level competition. I think JaxTCA will be  in the 9-12 range and Chaminade in the 13-18 range starting in 2019.

CCC will be in the 20-27 range in Florida for all classes and be in the small school national rankings.

After that?  I see the next closest 3A teams in the 100-125 range for the state.

Granted anything can happen with transfers, but that's probably the most realistic outcome for the next few years.

 

Agree with most of this. I don't think CCC is in the top 25 in the state if they look like the CCC I saw. A very good team, but there are a lot of powerful teams in Fla and I don't put CCC in that mix yet. I could be wrong, but I just don't think so (yet).

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4 hours ago, 181pl said:

Agree with most of this. I don't think CCC is in the top 25 in the state if they look like the CCC I saw. A very good team, but there are a lot of powerful teams in Fla and I don't put CCC in that mix yet. I could be wrong, but I just don't think so (yet).

They are in that range, not specifically a top 25 team, but in that area. The highest publication I've seen has them ranked (Football hotbed) #19 in the state, Maxpreps has them at 30, Laz has them at 28.  We personally have them at 28 in the state of Florida.

I'm anxiously awaiting transfer season to see who transfers where...

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On 12/17/2018 at 10:21 PM, SPCjessica2004 said:

They are in that range, not specifically a top 25 team, but in that area. The highest publication I've seen has them ranked (Football hotbed) #19 in the state, Maxpreps has them at 30, Laz has them at 28.  We personally have them at 28 in the state of Florida.

I'm anxiously awaiting transfer season to see who transfers where...

...for what it's worth, Jessica.  In any one year, there are usually about 10 teams in Miami-Dade that on any given night could beat just about any smaller team in the state.  Teams like Central, Northwestern, Carol City, Booker T and Columbus are a given.  But there are teams like Southridge, South Dade, Palmetto, and Coral Gables that are VERY big, physical and deep.  And there are a handful of other teams there that in certain years field strong teams, ie Jackson and Norland.  

Not that being a Miami-Dade team automatically makes you talented and unbeatable.  There are plenty of lousy teams there.  But there are also teams that do not get a lot of love in the polls that are better than some people realize.  We do not get to see a lot of games between these teams and other areas of the state.  Heck, even Broward/Dade games have been somewhat scant over the years.  

If we did see more of such games, I think it would become very clear that these B+ Miami Dade schools play at a different level than most in the state.  Teams like CCC would not be used to the level of physicality these teams bring.  And that's coming from someone who spent years around both south FL and Tampa-area football. 

 

 

 

     

 

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On 12/17/2018 at 12:28 PM, SPCjessica2004 said:

OldschoolLion,

You make very valid points; however, I would also point out that the schools you listed after Chaminade and JaxTCA have administrations that will not let nearly as many players into the school. Jacksonville and Hollywood have tons of athletes, no doubt, but to get them enrolled into the school and pay for tuition requires the administration to assist with getting financial aid.

There is a reason that Chaminade went into the dump between 2009-2015. The administration stopped letting players in for athletics as the school had garnered a bad reputation by the full tuition individuals. JaxTCA is a state powerhouse and household name, but 15 years ago they had to go independent to start fielding a competitive team.

CCC to me is the most interesting team in 3A because even though they haven't gotten to the state finals since 2013, they've consistently made the later rounds (Regional Final, State Semi-Finals) for years and really show no signs of slowing down.  Now, I've been told the administration there will let kids in so they have a better program than SPC/TC/Berkeley/Calvary/Mooney, but won't let the amount in needed to defeat Chaminade/JaxTCA. In this case, it's not a lack of money, it's clearly the administration drawing a line in the sand which is odd, considering they've won the most soccer boys state championships in state history and if you look at their championship history, they're in the top 25 of all teams in Florida history with most state championships in athletics.

Ocala Trinity Catholic is another example. This is a team that has had success in championship games against South Florida. They had a great coaching staff and a liberal administration who let guys transfer in.  Part of the reason Brantley left was because the administration wanted to go in a different direction. Even as late as 2014 they were within 30 seconds of defeating JaxTCA in the regional final round.

So, to answer your question who can realistically compete with Chaminade and JaxTCA? My response? All of them, but a big part of the equation is buy in from the administration to WANT to compete with them. The other side of it is coaching and the right players at the right times.



 

I don't think JAX TCA went independent 15 years ago. They won the State Title in 2003. 

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3 hours ago, smashmouth80 said:

I don't think JAX TCA went independent 15 years ago. They won the State Title in 2003. 

Smashmouth80,  you're correct! I just recall there was a time that JaxTCA had to go independent to rebuild and refocus their program. Late 90's maybe?  I recall Verlon Dorminey saying it in an interview.

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