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New Florida HS Programs Often Struggle


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Since 1992, FL hs football has grown from 5 to 8 classifications, the number of annual playoff games has increased from 48 to well over 200, and over 100 more high schools are playing football.  What is the result?

Let's look at 25 of these "newer" schools in the Tampa area and their results over the years.  After the name of each school is the year the school opened, the number of playoff wins since then, and their recent record.  20 of the 25 schools currently play in 6A-8A.

How many of these programs are flourishing? ...or floundering?  By the way, if we do this same exercise for the Orlando and south FL metros, we would find similar results.

What will happen if we do not change the way we think about "onboarding" new high schools?  Imagine 25 years from now when we have that many more new high schools.

Many of these schools are, by necessity, "large" schools.  That is what justifies their opening.  That means that they get placed in the large classifications.  And in competitive metro areas, these newer schools often struggle to get traction.  They develop a culture of losing and the longer this culture gets entrenched, the harder it is to change.

  

Hillsborough

Alonso(8A) 2001     1 p/o wins (2-7 this season)

Blake(6A) 1997     3 p/o wins (1-7 this season)

Durant(7A) 1995     6 p/o wins (5-5 this season; 1 p/o win by forfeit this season)

Freedom(6A) 2002     0 p/o wins (0-9 this season)

Lennard(8A) 2006     2 p/o wins (4-5 this season)

Middleton 2002(6A) (reopened)     2 p/o wins (4-5 this season)

Newsome(8A) 2003     5 p/o wins (7-2 this season with 2 p/o wins)

Riverview(8A) 1998     2 p/o wins (1-8 this season)

Sickles(7A) 1997     3 p/o wins (2-7 this season)

Spoto(6A) 2006     1 p/o win (3-6 this season)

Steinbrenner(8A) 2009     4 p/o wins (4-3 this season with 1 p/o win)

Strawberry Crest(7A) 2009     0 p/o wins (1-8 this season)

Wharton(8A) 1997      7 p/o wins (7-2 this season with 1 p/o win)

 

Pasco County

Anclote(5A) 2009     1 p/o win (3-8 with 1 p/o win this season)

Fivay(6A) 2010     0 p/o wins (6-3 this season)

Mitchell(7A) 2000     6 p/o wins (11-0 this season with 3 p/o wins)

Sunlake(7A) 2007     2 p/o wins (2-6 this season)

Wesley Chapel(5A) 1999     0 p/o wins (5-4 this season)

Wiregrass Ranch(7A) 2006     1 p/o wins (4-5 this season)

 

Pinellas

Calvary Christian(3A) 2000     2 p/o wins (7-2 this season)

Palm Harbor(8A) 1996     2 p/o wins (4-5 this season with 1 p/o win)

 

Polk County

George Jenkins(7A) 1993     1 p/o win (3-5 this season with 1 playoff win)

Lake Region(5A) 1995     0 p/o wins (0-6 this season)

Ridge(8A) 2005     2 p/o wins (5-5 this season)

Tenoroc(4A) 2008     0 p/o wins (3-4 this season)

 

 

 

 

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I will keep hammering the idea that the FHSAA should slowly move good teams up and bad teams down regardless of population. Use the average of the RPI over 2 seasons, highest 8 teams move up, lowest 8 teams move down. New public schools start at 3A. 

Forgetting even playoff wins, how many .500 seasons in the lot?

Meanwhile schools like Madison County, Trinity Christian, and Bolles rack up win after win and state championship appearance after appearance.

If the fear is that Madison County is rural, fine, find the smallest rural school that doesn't get to play in 1A and ask them to move into Madison's spot (even if they are above the 600 threshold).

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Let's see how 19 "newer" teams in south FL have fared.  After the name of each school is the year the school opened, the number of playoff wins since then, and their record from 2019, unless otherwise noted).  Although a few of these teams have had some success, none of them has been a consistent contender.  

The 7 Miami-Dade schools, all of whom had been struggling, all went freelance in 2019.  

Broward County

Coral Glades(Ind) 2004     0 p/o wins (3-7 last season)

Coral Springs Charter(4A) 1999      0 p/o wins (4-6 last season)

Cypress Bay(8A) 2002     10 p/o wins (5-5 last season)

Everglades(7A) 2003     2 p/o wins (1-9 last season)

Flanagan(8A) 1996      9 p/o wins (5-5 last season)

Monarch(8A) 2003     0 p/o wins (6-4 last season)

West Broward(8A) 2008     1 p/o win (1-9 last season)

 

 

Miami-Dade County

Dr Krop(Ind) 1998     4 p/o wins (1-9 in 2018 when they were in 5A)

Ferguson(Ind) 2003     0 p/o wins (2-8 in 2018 when they were in 5A)

Goleman(Ind) 1995     1 p/o win (4-6 in 2018 when they were in 6A)

Hialeah Gardens(Ind) 2009     0 p/o wins (4-6 in 2018 whren they were in 6A)

Reagan(Ind) 2006     0 p/o wins (5-6 in 2018 when they were in 7A)

Varela(Ind) 2000     0 p/o wins (0-10 in 2018 when they were in 6A)

Westland(Ind) 2007     0 p/o wins (1-8 in 2018 when they were in 7A)

 

 

Palm Beach County

Boynton Beach(4A) 2001     0 p/o wins (4-5 last season)

Palm Beach Central(8A) 2003     5 p/o wins (9-3 last season with 1 p/o win)

Park Vista(8A) 2004     3 p/o wins (6-4 last season)

Royal Palm Beach(7A) 1997     5 p/o wins (6-4 last season)

West Boca(7A) 2004     2 p/o wins (1-9 last season)

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Let's see how 17 "newer" teams in the Orlando metro area have fared.  After the name of each school is the year the school opened, the number of playoff wins since then, and their record from 2019.  

 

Lake County

East Ridge(8A) 2002     6 p/o wins (4-4 this season)

Lake Minneola(6A) 2011     5 p/o wins (9-1 this season with 3 playoff wins)

South Lake(7A) 1993     1 p/o win (4-4 this season)

 

Orange County

Cypress Creek(8A) 1992     0 p/o wins   (0-9 this season)

East River(7A) 2009     1 p/o win (5-3 this season with 1 p/o win via forfeit)

 Freedom(8A) 2003     0 p/o wins (2-4 this season)

Lake Nona(8A) 2009     0 p/o wins (4-4 this season)

Ocoee(8A) 2005     0 p/o wins (3-5 this season)

Olympia(8A) 2001     2 p/o wins (5-5 this season with 1 p/o win)

Timber Creek(8A) 2001     5 p/o wins (7-2 this season with 1 p/o win)

Wekiva(8A) 2007     7 p/o wins (6-4 this season with 2 p/o wins)

Windermere(8A) 2017     1 p/o wins (2-7 this season with 1 p/o win)

 

Osceola County

Celebration(Ind) 2003     0 p/o wins (4-6 last season when they were in 8A)

Harmony(Ind) 2004     2 p/o wins (2-8 last season when they were in 7A)

Liberty(Ind) 2007     0 p/o wins (1-9 last season when they were in 7A)

 

Seminole County

Hagerty(8A) 2005     1 p/o win (5-5 this season with 1 p/o win)

Winter Springs(7A) 1997     1 p/o win (0-8 this season)

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Of the 61 "newer" schools listed above in 3 of Florida's major metro areas,  6 have won a region title(listed below)  and 12 have won 5 or more playoff games since opening.  21 of the teams have never won a playoff game.  It would likely be safe to say that the majority of these 61 teams have struggled to be consistently competitive.  

Wharton 2002

Durant 2003

Cypress Bay 2010, 2012

Flanagan 2014, 2015

Wekiva 2017

Steinbrenner 2019

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Of those 100+ schools that opened since 1992, only 13 have managed to win a region title. Here they are with the year(s) they won a region title.  In parentheses after each is the county where the school sits.  Those with an asterisk won a state title.  An interesting stat...only one larger school that has opened over the past 25 years has won a state title...Flanagan.  And as everyone knows, Flanagan was a bit of a one hit wonder.

Although they have never won a state title, the real outlier in the bunch is Bartram Trail.  Arguably no school that has opened over the past 25 years has been so consistent.  BT opened in 2000 and has only missed the playoff a few times.  They have won 23 playoff games during that span.  It begs the question...what is it about Bartram Trail that enabled this school to be so successful so quickly? 

Bartram Trail 2007, 2011, 2013, 2017

Belleview 2000 (Marion)

Braden River 2015 (Manatee)

Cypress Bay 2010, 2012 (Broward)

Durant 2003 (Hillsborough)

*Flanagan 2014, 2015 (Broward)

*Northview 2010, 2011, 2012

Ponte Vedra 2016 (St Johns)

Steinbrenner 2019 (Hillsborough)

Viera 2015 (Brevard)

Wekiva 2017 (Orange)

West Florida 2017 (Escambia)

Wharton 2002 (Hillsborough)

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Of those 100+ schools that opened since 1992, only 13 have managed to win a region title. Here they are with the year(s) they won a region title.  In parentheses after each is the county where the school sits.  Those with an asterisk won a state title.  An interesting stat...only one larger school that has opened over the past 25 years has won a state title...Flanagan.  And as everyone knows, Flanagan was a bit of a one hit wonder.

Although they have never won a state title, the real outlier in the bunch is Bartram Trail.  Arguably no school that has opened over the past 25 years has been so consistent.  BT opened in 2000 and has only missed the playoff a few times.  They have won 23 playoff games during that span.  It begs the question...what is it about Bartram Trail that enabled this school to be so successful so quickly? 

Bartram Trail 2007, 2011, 2013, 2017

Belleview 2000 (Marion)

Braden River 2015 (Manatee)

Cypress Bay 2010, 2012 (Broward)

Durant 2003 (Hillsborough)

*Flanagan 2014, 2015 (Broward)

*Northview 2010, 2011, 2012

Ponte Vedra 2016 (St Johns)

Steinbrenner 2019 (Hillsborough)

Viera 2015 (Brevard)

Wekiva 2017 (Orange)

West Florida 2017 (Escambia)

Wharton 2002 (Hillsborough)

 

 

 

I'll take a stab at it

 

I believe Bartram Trail is the only one on the list who has had only one head coach and the fact of that stability is what makes them a great program as well as the fact their coach is very good at developing QBs which overall is not a strongly developed position in Florida historically compared to other power states 

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I think @ColumbiaHighFan2017classhits it on the head. I will add one more thing as well.

Money matters: you are talking about upper middle class families, a school with a free and reduced lunch rate of 7% with high academic scores. Parents are going to put the money into training/camps/clinics, kids don't have to focus on school or sports or job. They can do sports, get decent grades and have parents provide everything else. Better academics gives principals better flexibility in who they hirer. They can hire another on-campus football coach. A growing area allows football coaches to get staff positions at local elementary and middle schools as PE teachers (instead of a more rigorous math, English, science, or social studies). 
 

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13 hours ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

I'll take a stab at it

 

I believe Bartram Trail is the only one on the list who has had only one head coach and the fact of that stability is what makes them a great program as well as the fact their coach is very good at developing QBs which overall is not a strongly developed position in Florida historically compared to other power states 

 

9 hours ago, gatorman-uf said:

I think @ColumbiaHighFan2017classhits it on the head. I will add one more thing as well.

Money matters: you are talking about upper middle class families, a school with a free and reduced lunch rate of 7% with high academic scores. Parents are going to put the money into training/camps/clinics, kids don't have to focus on school or sports or job. They can do sports, get decent grades and have parents provide everything else. Better academics gives principals better flexibility in who they hirer. They can hire another on-campus football coach. A growing area allows football coaches to get staff positions at local elementary and middle schools as PE teachers (instead of a more rigorous math, English, science, or social studies). 
 

Bingo. Both of the above posts hit the nail on the head. One final comment: Bartram Trail's community is very supportive of football. I can think of other schools with similar demographics in Old School's list that have not done nearly as well. The chief factor in my opinion is that football is not prioritized to the degree it is at BT. 

BT has a great program and will, in my opinion, win a state title in the next decade. 

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22 minutes ago, DarterBlue2 said:

 

Bingo. Both of the above posts hit the nail on the head. One final comment: Bartram Trail's community is very supportive of football. I can think of other schools with similar demographics in Old School's list that have not done nearly as well. The chief factor in my opinion is that football is not prioritized to the degree it is at BT. 

BT has a great program and will, in my opinion, win a state title in the next decade. 

But In all fairness Bartram is not just a football school

 

 

They are very good In several other sports as well, the question I'm wondering though is does Bartram maintain this once their coach eventually retires because programs can go in either direction after losing a coach who is there as long as Sutherland has been there 

 

As for a state title I wouldn't be shocked if it happens this year

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1 minute ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

But In all fairness Bartram is not just a football school

 

 

They are very good In several other sports as well, the question I'm wondering though is does Bartram maintain this once their coach eventually retires because programs can go in either direction after losing a coach who is there as long as Sutherland has been there 

 

As for a state title I wouldn't be shocked if it happens this year

The Darters will have something to say about that statement!:angry:

I was very impressed with BT's set up when I made the trip back in 2018 to watch their game with Apopka. Though we won, we paid a huge price as Jacyorian Davis-Hamilton ended his high school football career in that game. Though only a junior, his injuries kept him from playing either that year or his senior season. Had he been healthy, the Darters would have beaten Columbus easily last year and JDH would be at a Power 5 program instead of FIU. Hope he ends up doing well in college and possibly beyond. 

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4 minutes ago, DarterBlue2 said:

The Darters will have something to say about that statement!:angry:

I was very impressed with BT's set up when I made the trip back in 2018 to watch their game with Apopka. Though we won, we paid a huge price as Jacyorian Davis-Hamilton ended his high school football career in that game. Though only a junior, his injuries kept him from playing either that year or his senior season. Had he been healthy, the Darters would have beaten Columbus easily last year and JDH would be at a Power 5 program instead of FIU. Hope he ends up doing well in college and possibly beyond. 

Just so you know I was laughing at the first statement

 

Hope the kid does well at FIU and I'm sure they glad to get him and he can ball there and make it to the NFL 

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I've been out to Bartram a few times, you can tell they have some rich connections and boosters just by looking around

 

Like I think their baseball team had a Nike sponsorship if I recall correctly as did softball

 

Probably made those connections through football and it's benefiting the entire athletic department

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3 hours ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Just so you know I was laughing at the first statement

 

Hope the kid does well at FIU and I'm sure they glad to get him and he can ball there and make it to the NFL 

I know, I have met you and you are a decent person. You would not laugh at an injury sustained by a kid you don't know. 

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10 hours ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

But In all fairness Bartram is not just a football school

They are very good In several other sports as well, the question I'm wondering though is does Bartram maintain this once their coach eventually retires because programs can go in either direction after losing a coach who is there as long as Sutherland has been there 

As for a state title I wouldn't be shocked if it happens this year

Very rarely is an upper middle class school only good at one sport. For various reasons, I have a general dislike of that school. 

In Cross Country, the Boys team is consistently in the top 5 in their class (one runner-up). The Girls teams have won 2 in their class (not as good recently).
In Swimming, Boys were runner-up recently and girls runner-up 3 times and a state championship.
In Golf, Boys have won a state championship and 3 individual championships and in girls one team runner-up.
In Tennis, Boys have won a state championship and a runner-up.

In Girls Volleyball, one state runner-up and 16 playoff appearances since 2000.
In Basketball, boys have been sporadically 1 and dones in the playoffs. Girls have been in the Final Four, 4 times.
In soccer, girls have won one and runner-up once.
In baseball, state runner-up once, with lots of one and dones (not consistent).
In softball, 2 state championships
In girls lacrosse, a state runner-up and state championship.

We have schools that could only wish they had a tenth of this much success in the last 20 years. This is all to say, you don't succeed in all of these sports over such a long period of time without the family backing. When Coach Sutherland eventually retires, Bartram Trail's success will live on after him. It might have a transition moment, but it will be fine.

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Bartram Trail has gradually moved up in class over the years.  They became 6A in 2011, 7A in 2015, and 8A in 2019.  They were 5A in much of the 00's.  Maybe that is the key.  Regardless of size of school, start new schools in the lower classes, regardless of time, and allow them to move up over time. 

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Below is a relevant thread from a couple of years ago.  A newer school is already struggling to compete and they get moved up in class where, in theory, they will run into even tougher competition.    

Look at Windermere as an example.  They were 2-18 their first two years of playing in 7A, and then they got moved up to 8A, where they have won 3 games over the past two years.

 

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23 hours ago, Perspective said:

Please remind me which coach you're referring to. 

Brian Turner.. Son of Coach Billy Turner. He was doing a fantastic job with the program (after taking over for Pat O'brien, who was also doing a great job). They lost a few tough playoff matches to Armwood and Lakeland, but the program was going in the right direction! They played Osceola in the state semis one year in a tight game. After his departure they have fallen back a bit, not knocking the current staff! As an alumni of the school, I was happy to see them progressing and disappointed when he was gone!

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23 minutes ago, fl2sc said:

Brian Turner.. Son of Coach Billy Turner. He was doing a fantastic job with the program (after taking over for Pat O'brien, who was also doing a great job). They lost a few tough playoff matches to Armwood and Lakeland, but the program was going in the right direction! They played Osceola in the state semis one year in a tight game. After his departure they have fallen back a bit, not knocking the current staff! As an alumni of the school, I was happy to see them progressing and disappointed when he was gone!

Thanks.   I figured that out last night and meant to come back and post a "never mind."  But I appreciate you confirming it was Brian Turner. 

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On 12/2/2020 at 10:33 AM, Perspective said:

Thanks.   I figured that out last night and meant to come back and post a "never mind."  But I appreciate you confirming it was Brian Turner. 

Absolutely! He is a great coach and a great guy! I hope that he gets a well deserved opportunity soon!

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