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2020 All-State Football Teams


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1 hour ago, SportsNut25 said:

MUCH discussion happening about these all-state accolades on Twitter - pretty surprised nobody is chirping Josh (or praising him) about them on here! 

I'll wait and see 6a and I may give him a hard time directly 

 

Depends on my mood at the time LMAO

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Advance warning:  this will be a long post. 

First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to Josh (and any helpers he may have had) for creating the all-state teams.   It no doubt takes a tremendous amount of time.  I’m somewhat curious of the process:  does he create his own list of candidates and then whittle it down?  Does he solicit and/or accept nominations?  Does he watch film on all of the nominees?   Regardless of the process, I know it’s incredibly time-consuming and often time a thankless job. 

So, with that in mind, this post is not intended to criticize the selections or the selection process.   Let me say that again:  this post is not a criticism of which players got selected and which players did not (although I was left wondering how Armwood’s mountain-of-a-man Desmond Watson (DL), a UF commit, was not first, second, or third-team or even honorable mention selection in 6A, but I’ll just let that one sit here).  

You must be wondering now “if Perspective’s not here to bitch about the selections, what’s the purpose of his post?”  Truth is, I’m not 100% sure.   It’s more about my observations.   It seemed to me that a very small number of schools within each classification dominated the all-state honors.  (Another caveat:  I didn’t look at 1A at all – sorry Madison and Jesse – and I didn’t look past Hialeah Champagnet Catholic in 2A). 

I realize this is a chicken-and-egg situation:  are the players receiving the honors because their teams had great seasons or did the teams have great seasons because the players are so good.   And, I suspect, for the most part, the answer to both questions is “yes.”  

But, I also always hear coaches saying that it doesn’t matter where a kid plays; if he has talent, he’ll be found.   Generally, this applies to scholarships.   But it doesn’t appear to apply to all-state honors.  

General comment:  for 5A through 8A, this site selected a first-team offense and defense, a second-team offense and defense, and a third-team offense and defense.  Within each group, the offense has 17 players selected (including 2 QB’s, a kicker and an “Athlete”) and the defense had 17 selected (including a punter and an “Athlete”).  The site also selected numerous “honorable mention” selections.  For 1A through 4A, no third team offense or defense was selected, which I get – fewer teams, fewer players. 

I used to be able to find the classifications from past years on fhsaa.org.   Now that the site has “moved” to fhsaa.com, I can’t seem to find past year’s classifications.   The only one available is for 2020-21.  And this excludes all the Broward public schools and most of the Miami-Dade schools.  But kids from these schools were considered for all-state honors. 

Notwithstanding the south-state opt-outs, 8A had 48 teams, 7A had 56 teams, 6A had 74, 5A had 69, 4A had 30 and 3A had 40.  For the teams in 5A through 8A, let’s assume each team, on average, had 45 players on the roster (I suspect many had more than that, but I know several had fewer).  If that’s the case, approximately 2,160 kids played football for teams in the 8A classification; 2,500 played for 7A teams, 3,300 played for 6A teams, 3,100 for 5A teams, 1,350 for 4A teams and 1,800 for 3A teams.  Again, it is important to remember that these numbers do not include the vast majority of kids from Broward and Miami-Dade counties.  That’s a lot of kids!

So, with the above in mind, here are some of my observations:

8A:

(Sanford) Seminole, Bartram Trail, Miami Columbus, Vero and Deerfield stand out.  Seminole had six kids selected (including 3 first-teamers); Bartram Trail had 6 (including a total of 5 on first and second-team offense – did they ever have to punt?); Miami Columbus lead the way with 8 players on the list (including 4 first-teamers and 3 second-teamers); Vero had a total of 7 (including 3 first-teamers); and Deerfield had a total of 7 (including 5 first-teamers, 4 of which were on the defense side of the ball – how did anyone score on them this year?).  

Sum:  34 of the kids (probably around 25% of the total list) came from 5 schools.  And because the Miami-Dade and Broward kids were included in the process, it’s not just 5 of 48 schools, but more like 5 of 60-something schools. 

7A:

The upper echelon of 7A can be divided up into two groups:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Niceville and Venice, in the top half and Buchholz, Bloomingdale and Edgewater are in the second half.   STA picked up 10 selections, including 6 first-teamers, while Niceville (4 first-teamers) and Venice (5 first-teamers) each had 12 kids selected.  That’s 34 kids from 3 schools!  Buchholz had 5 (including 3 on first-team offense), as did Edgewater, while Bloomingdale had 6 (including 3 on first-team O). 

Another way of looking at 7A:  12 of the 17 players selected to the first-team offense came from 5 schools and 9 of the 17 players on first-team defense came from the same 5 schools.  That’s 21 out of 34 first-teamers from 5 of 56 schools (plus how many other schools from Miami-Dade and Broward).  

6A:

Three teams dominated: Miami Central with 13 (6 on 1st team O; 4 on 1st team D), Lake Minneola with 10 (including 3 first-teamers) and Lake Gibson with 9 (of which 5 were first-team).  Remember, 6A had a bunch of teams: 74.  And while Miami Central opted to participate in the state playoff series, most Miami-Dade/Broward schools did not (but their kids were still considered).  So, from more than 74 teams, 3 teams landed a total of 32 kids on the all-state list! 

5A:

Of the 69 total teams (not including M-D/B), Plantation American Heritage landed 12 kids on the list (including an astonishing 11 on first team (4 on O; 7 on D).  Jesuit was just behind, spreading out their 11 kids, placing at least one kid in each of the 7 categories (1st O, 1st D, 2nd O, 2nd D, 3rd O, 3rd D and Honorable Mention).    2 of the 69 schools accounted for 23 kids on the list!

4A:

Cardinal Gibbons (10 total, but 9 on 1st team), Bolles (13 total; 6 on 1st team) and Belle Glades Central (12 total) dominated this group of more than 30 schools. 3 teams with 35 selections. 

3A: 

Jacksonville Trinity Christian lead the way with 11 (5 on 1st team), Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna was close behind with 10 (including 5 on 1st team D) and Ocala Trinity Catholic had 7 (of which 4 were 1st team O).  Hmm, can you imagine combining OTC’s offense with Chaminade’s defense?   Of more than 40 schools, 28 all-state players came from 3 schools. 

2A: 

All I noticed on this group was that Hialeah Champagnet Catholic had 10 kids on the list, 6 of whom were 1st team. 

 

So, what do you make of all of this?   Has it always been this way?  I don’t think so . . . at least not to this same degree.  Does the Covid pandemic have anything to do with the selections this year?  Or is this just further evidence that kids are “migrating” to essentially form geographic all-star teams?  If so, is this good for Florida high school football?   Haves and Have Nots? 

Or, is this just a case of kids at lower-echelon schools are being overlooked by sports pundits who simply don’t have the time to study tape on all the kids and all the schools?   How much of the selection was based on MaxPreps stats?   Are certain kids getting noticed because their coaches are more diligent in recording and updating the stats?   Are some coaches taking, um, liberties with the stat books?   Are really good players playing at schools with bad records getting lost in the shuffle?

By the way, here’s what this site says about the selection process:  “Publisher Joshua Wilson along with the consideration of information received from coaches, statistics on MaxPreps, and consultation of all-area/all-county teams as published by various media outlets from around the state.”

 

Any thoughts on all of this?   Where is this leading us?   What does this say about the state of high school football in our state?  Do you have to play on a championship-caliber team in order to get recognized?   Will colleges and universities still find a way to find the kids who were shunned?   Why does Perspective ask so many dang questions?   :P

Ball’s in your court. 

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Lot to take in here, @Perspective, and it certainly is interesting to see how things played out geographically. 

 

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First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to Josh (and any helpers he may have had) for creating the all-state teams.   It no doubt takes a tremendous amount of time.  I’m somewhat curious of the process:  does he create his own list of candidates and then whittle it down?  Does he solicit and/or accept nominations?  Does he watch film on all of the nominees?   Regardless of the process, I know it’s incredibly time-consuming and often time a thankless job. 

All Josh, no helpers on this project! Though he doesn't take help on this project, I am aware of the process so I can speak on that some. It all starts with the solicitation of nominees from coaches around the state. I couldn't tell you how many coaches nominate their dudes (and some nominate dudes from other teams) but I know it's alot. (Granted, if only 100 teams nominated players that only be 25% of the teams.) 

All those nominees, with stats, go to a spreadsheet. From there, Josh will pull together all the all-region selections newspapers pull together to a) fill in any gaps he may have and b) see where, say, the Orlando Sentinel placed Johnny Footballer from Apopka. 

He'll have conversations along the way with both reporters and coaches about various players, and teams, to talk about performances/impact. 

Slowly but surely, he'll start slotting the guys as best he can until he has filled the teams up. I'm not sure how much, if any, film he breaks down. 

 

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General comment:  for 5A through 8A, this site selected a first-team offense and defense, a second-team offense and defense, and a third-team offense and defense.  Within each group, the offense has 17 players selected (including 2 QB’s, a kicker and an “Athlete”) and the defense had 17 selected (including a punter and an “Athlete”).  The site also selected numerous “honorable mention” selections.  For 1A through 4A, no third team offense or defense was selected, which I get – fewer teams, fewer players. 

Yes. Not enough at that level to produce a solid third team. 

 

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Do you have to play on a championship-caliber team in order to get recognized?  

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Or, is this just a case of kids at lower-echelon schools are being overlooked by sports pundits who simply don’t have the time to study tape on all the kids and all the schools?   How much of the selection was based on MaxPreps stats?   Are certain kids getting noticed because their coaches are more diligent in recording and updating the stats?   Are some coaches taking, um, liberties with the stat books?   Are really good players playing at schools with bad records getting lost in the shuffle?

No, he has recognized dudes from lower than championship caliber teams in the past. 

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Thanks, SportsNut.  You actually confirmed for me one point that I intentionally glossed over in my original post:  coaches are an integral part of the process.   I'm guessing there is a correlation between coaches who participate in the process and the kids who are selected.   Coaches who actively promote their kids are more like to reap the reward of seeing their kids named all-state.   Without knowing anything more than what I currently know, I'm guessing that the coaches at Venice, Jesuit and Niceville (just to name a few) fall into that "active promoter" category. 

Again, consistent with my original theme, this is an observation, not a criticism.  As a player or a parent, I would certainly want to play (or have my kid play) for a coach who is going the extra mile to promote his players. 

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