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4 FLHS Football Programs That Collapsed


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Over the years, we have seen a number of "flash in the pan" teams that have collapsed.  The following 4 programs all had extended reigns of dominance before collapsing.

Bradenton Southeast-Southeast was one of the top programs in the state in the 80's and 90's and was recognized nationally for its accomplishments.  Between 1983-2004, under coaching legend Paul Maechtle, Southeast made 19 playoff appearances and won 35 playoff games.   During those years, they won 7 region titles and made 5 title game appearances, winning back-to-back state titles in 1993 and 1994.  Southeast has not had a winning season since 2013. 

Haines City-Haines City was a very strong program in the early 70's and throughout the 90's.  In the early 70's, the Hornets made 2 title game appearances, winning it all in 1973.  They won 9 playoff games in the 90's and made a title game appearance in 1991.  During those 2 time frames, the Hornets won 6 region titles.  The Hornets have won only 5 games over the past 6 seasons and this year they have been outscored, on average, 47-4.  They have not won a playoff game since 2000. 

Springfield Rutherford-Under Coach Steve Hardin between the years of 1993-2002, Rutherford was an absolute powerhouse.  They were even making noise on the national scene.  During those years, they won 21 playoff games, 5 region titles and made 2 title game appearances.  Over the past 7 years, Rutherford has won only 18 games and have not won a playoff game since 2002.   They have not had a winning season since 2009.

Warner Christian-Between 2005-2014, Warner Christian was a small school power, winning 20 playoff games and making 3 title game appearances. Over the past 7 seasons the Eagles have won only 14 games.  In the past 2 seasons they only managed to score, on average, only about 6 points per game.   

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53 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Over the years, we have seen a number of "flash in the pan" teams that have collapsed.  The following 4 programs all had extended reigns of dominance before collapsing.

Bradenton Southeast-Southeast was one of the top programs in the state in the 80's and 90's and was recognized nationally for its accomplishments.  Between 1983-2004, under coaching legend Paul Maechtle, Southeast made 19 playoff appearances and won 35 playoff games.   During those years, they won 7 region titles and made 5 title game appearances, winning back-to-back state titles in 1993 and 1994.  Southeast has not had a winning season since 2013. 

Haines City-Haines City was a very strong program in the early 70's and throughout the 90's.  In the early 70's, the Hornets made 2 title game appearances, winning it all in 1973.  They won 9 playoff games in the 90's and made a title game appearance in 1991.  During those 2 time frames, the Hornets won 6 region titles.  The Hornets have won only 5 games over the past 6 seasons and this year they have been outscored, on average, 47-4.  They have not won a playoff game since 2000. 

Springfield Rutherford-Under Coach Steve Hardin between the years of 1993-2002, Rutherford was an absolute powerhouse.  They were even making noise on the national scene.  During those years, they won 21 playoff games, 5 region titles and made 2 title game appearances.  Over the past 7 years, Rutherford has won only 18 games and have not won a playoff game since 2002.   They have not had a winning season since 2009.

Warner Christian-Between 2005-2014, Warner Christian was a small school power, winning 20 playoff games and making 3 title game appearances. Over the past 7 seasons the Eagles have won only 14 games.  In the past 2 seasons they only managed to score, on average, only about 6 points per game.   

You can add Evans in Orlando to the list above. In the 1980s through 2001, they were one of the best teams in the greater Orlando area and shared the 1991 large class state title with Southridge. Except for two brief seasons when Chip Gierke was head coach, they have not made the playoff since. It's a pity as there is still a lot of talent in the school zone. Unfortunately, the cream of it goes elsewhere these days. For a good coach willing to put in the work and commit four years minimum, this would be an excellent opportunity to turn around a program as there is no reason this school should not make the playoffs with frequency. 

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3 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Over the years, we have seen a number of "flash in the pan" teams that have collapsed.  The following 4 programs all had extended reigns of dominance before collapsing.

Bradenton Southeast-Southeast was one of the top programs in the state in the 80's and 90's and was recognized nationally for its accomplishments.  Between 1983-2004, under coaching legend Paul Maechtle, Southeast made 19 playoff appearances and won 35 playoff games.   During those years, they won 7 region titles and made 5 title game appearances, winning back-to-back state titles in 1993 and 1994.  Southeast has not had a winning season since 2013. 

Haines City-Haines City was a very strong program in the early 70's and throughout the 90's.  In the early 70's, the Hornets made 2 title game appearances, winning it all in 1973.  They won 9 playoff games in the 90's and made a title game appearance in 1991.  During those 2 time frames, the Hornets won 6 region titles.  The Hornets have won only 5 games over the past 6 seasons and this year they have been outscored, on average, 47-4.  They have not won a playoff game since 2000. 

Springfield Rutherford-Under Coach Steve Hardin between the years of 1993-2002, Rutherford was an absolute powerhouse.  They were even making noise on the national scene.  During those years, they won 21 playoff games, 5 region titles and made 2 title game appearances.  Over the past 7 years, Rutherford has won only 18 games and have not won a playoff game since 2002.   They have not had a winning season since 2009.

Warner Christian-Between 2005-2014, Warner Christian was a small school power, winning 20 playoff games and making 3 title game appearances. Over the past 7 seasons the Eagles have won only 14 games.  In the past 2 seasons they only managed to score, on average, only about 6 points per game.   

Warner Christian's downward trend can be chalked up to the school Administration. I don't know why, but for some reason it was decided that football would not be a priority anymore for the Eagles. 

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4 hours ago, Jambun82 said:

Warner Christian's downward trend can be chalked up to the school Administration. I don't know why, but for some reason it was decided that football would not be a priority anymore for the Eagles. 

It is probably a matter of economics. It costs a private school effort and often good money, to maintain a consistent winning program in most instances.

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