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Mike Sumner

Does the level of play seem to be down this season in Florida?

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With the exception of STA, the ones I've seen against Georgia teams appear to be several levels below what we saw in 2013. Plant, Manatee, Godby, Trinity, Miami Central, and Booker T. all appear to be very average this season, compared to the recent past. 

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Booker T. Washington is very good this year and Central's defense will be the key for them. Central has an offense but not as explosive as last year and with that being said I don't see Central loosing anymore games and Booker T. Washington is the same and will probably blow all it's opponents out.

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It may be down if your only looking at the teams that are normally talked about. However I see a lot of teams that are playing better this year that are normally mid to high level teams.

 

So yeah, if your talking about Florida elites... it all goes in cycles, some last longer and some only a year or 2.

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I have seen too many losses by STA in the last 4 years.  We have the most talent on our side of the ball but in 9 games, have come up short.  That has to be fixed to get back to MNC discussions. 

 

This was, unquestionably, the year STA and the talent to get the 3rd national ring, but didn't execute. 

 

Teams in the future will be hard pressed to have another 17+ D1 kids on a single team (even though Trinity Christian does- they are all skill). 

 

I stop and try to reflect on that fact, 17 or more of the starters for STA could go D1.   How can you lose, yet we did?  It's a tough pill.

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I have seen too many losses by STA in the last 4 years.  We have the most talent on our side of the ball but in 9 games, have come up short.  That has to be fixed to get back to MNC discussions. 

 

This was, unquestionably, the year STA and the talent to get the 3rd national ring, but didn't execute. 

 

Teams in the future will be hard pressed to have another 17+ D1 kids on a single team (even though Trinity Christian does- they are all skill). 

 

I stop and try to reflect on that fact, 17 or more of the starters for STA could go D1.   How can you lose, yet we did?  It's a tough pill.

I wonder how many people will blame coaching....Rocco has been questioned many times and it did not look like there were many if any adjustments made at halftime of the DBP game. I hope it isnt coaching holding us back but you are right 9 losses in 4yrs despite a title in 2012 is too many for my liking as well. It is always a tough pill to swallow regardless of how big the loss is or who it is to

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Watching that game was extremely disappointing and unfortunately coaching is going to be blamed for it, whether fair or unfair. One thing that has not been pointed out however is chemistry. You have kids that transferred in with kids that have already been there who are also talented and if the dynamics don't mesh, it can bite you just like it did against a team like DBP. One thing we all need to take into consideration however is not that Florida's elite have taken a step back, but other states have made efforts to improve their level of high school football, which has now closed the gap.

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I also feel like other schools in broward and dade county are stepping there game up i mean its boring going into a season every year saying oh i this team is going to do this and this team is going to that. Where is the suspense in that?? What happend to wanting to beat the best instead of everyone jumping on 1 bandwagon making a super team...ST THOMAS USE TO B U SCHOOL NOW HERITAGE ETC its more fun when u can see the "best of the best" can b beatin.....you raider fans are just spoiled.!!! Spoiled rotten lol and i cant blame u but 9 loses in 4 years with a state title inbetween moat would kill for that resume but hey i love whats going on right now its suspenful anybody can lose on any week.

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No. The level of play is not down. Aquinas is a better team, and more loaded than last season. They just got the snot beat out of them to a better DBP team. If you want to use a better way of saying it. You can say that the real elite teams are more younger this season like Central, Apopka, Dwyer, Cocoa, but the talent is just as good as it was. 

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I think the advantage the national powerhouse such as DBP has over a team like St. Thomas Aquinas is easier recruiting.  Not that St. Thomas doesn't do a great job pulling in talent but think about...from Palm Beach to Dade all of the teams that are putting out D1 talent.  Whether it is grades or personal choice some of these more talented athletes now are staying local and going to public schools.  If I would have told you in 2003 that the brand new school Monarch (pathetic at football at the time) was going to send two skilled position players to National Champion Alabama - you would tell me I was insane.  Even a school like Boyd Anderson who can barely win in Broward county usually puts out a couple of D1 players every year.  Why can't they win in Broward?  Not sure if it is coaching or the competition is just that good...

The point is in South Florida there now are at least 20 very good or better football teams that compete respectable against one another on most given matchups.  Go up to NJ and you have Don Bosco Prep and that is it! I would go out on a limb and say the top 20 teams in South Florida could compete respectively against the top 5 in NJ (Of course your Booker T, Miami Central and Bosco appear to be on another level) Maybe St. Joseph or St. Peters Prep.....So essentially not a few but pretty much ALL of the major talent from not only NJ but NY and part of PA head to Don Bosco Prep.  Just the best option for talented football players... They can easily sell a student athlete that is trying to get to the next level more easily because they are essentially the only major producers of talent up there.  Take a large public school from NJ that goes undefeated up there (say 10-0) ...now put them in Broward or Dade county and you might have a 8-2 or 7-3 team.  At the end of the day there surely are schools nationwide that can compete with the best in Florida but there is definitely more VERY GOOD teams in the whole state of Florida, Texas and California.  Here is another interesting fact between PA, NJ, NY and ALL of New England you have populations almost triple the state of Florida.  Florida easily produces more Division 1 talent every year, in fact I would guess South Florida alone with it's 7 million population might even produce more D1 players.....Big 10 schools are now actually buying offices and condos statewide in Florida to make recruiting more convenient for them ( they hate admitting to that but it's happening- why wouldn't you?).  So to conclude I think the talent is just more spread out in Florida now in this entire football rich state.

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@BrowardHandicapper You are absolutely right in what you're are saying but I just wanna add something and that's education. Traditionally inner city black schools like Northwestern, Central, Edison, Carol City, Norland, Jackson, Dillard and Blanche Ely just to name a few are now A or B schools. When it comes to schools like Gulliver Prep, Columbus, Belen Jesuit, St. Thomas, American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, North Broward Prep, Chaminade-Madonna, University School and so on these coaches come to certain areas and recruit the best of the best talented players. Now if your child has the opportunity to play football for a good school and get a good education free of charge parents will send their children left and right. Meanwhile you have those schools like Miami Palmetto, Miami Beach, Krop, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning, Coral Reef, Everglades, Stoneman Douglass, Taravella, Cooper City, Cypress Bay, West Broward, Nova, Pompano Beach and so on where the education is good but the football isn't so you'll have kids who'll transfer or don't wanna transfer into he school. Last thing Central has been to states 4 years straight and Booker T. Washington has been 3 years straight and are the best 2 running Miami and now with the education proving kids are now staying and grabbing others from other schools. So when it comes to Miami/Broward I think it's talent all across the board just spread out but I can't really speak on the rest of Florida though.

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the state of florida as a whole is still the best state of any, problem is a lot of very presigest programs have seemed to struggle in recent years, another thing is their seems to be lacking balance, like serious what was it 5 straight years of armwood vs central in title game, teams were not stepping up, but i think their are some teams in north florida that are beginning to rise up and could contend which will lead to a higher competitve balance and might allow it to not be the same exact teams facing off in title game every single year

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the state of florida as a whole is still the best state of any, problem is a lot of very presigest programs have seemed to struggle in recent years, another thing is their seems to be lacking balance, like serious what was it 5 straight years of armwood vs central in title game, teams were not stepping up, but i think their are some teams in north florida that are beginning to rise up and could contend which will lead to a higher competitve balance and might allow it to not be the same exact teams facing off in title game every single year

Great post! I think you are right though. As teams in North Florida rise up and begin to compete a little more it'll make the state better as a whole. However, with Central, BTW, and STA dominating 4A, 6A, and 7A. It could be a bit before we see the Northern teams make an impact in those classes.

However, in 8A Apopka which surprised a lot of people I think proved that the North is right up there with the South in terms of competing for a title.  

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I thought Apopka was in the south region, but it only takes one really good year and it could cause a southern champ to fall bc north florida has great football, just doesent have the talent pool that places in south florida have

Apopka is north, maybe not by much but they are in the north. North Florida does have great football you are right, but the title games don't always reflect it. 

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im hoping that Columbia is the one who steps back into the spotlight we held in the 90s and early 00s, if we can play like that we could have a shot at a championship which could cuminate with CHS vs STA which would I think end up being the top game of a state championships should it happen

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