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Great start, but you've got to finish
Sad to see teams like Lake Mary and Palmetto lose emotional games a week ago - then lose the next week. It's so hard for high school kids to stay up every week- it's just not in their nature. Lake Mary started the season 7-0, then lost to Lake Brantley last week 21-17. That opened the door for Seminole (Sanford) to sneak in with a win over the Rams. That happened when the Seminoles upended the Rams 13-0 and effectively ended their playoff hopes. Palmetto was more fortunate - the Tigers were mauled by Manatee two weeks ago 62-0 and fell to Southeast 31-17. That gives the Seminoles the district crown and puts Palmetto on the road for the playoffs. Fast start, but you've got to finish.
Don't count out Northwestern
With their backs against the wall, the Northwestern Bulls found a way to keep their playoff hopes alive. Northwestern manhandled Homestead 35-18 to assure the Bulls of a three-way shootout with Carol City and Homestead. Then the Bulls manhandled their way past both Homestead and Carol City and into the post-season. Just when everyone was giving up on the boys in gold and blue (except a few loyal faithful) Northwestern pulls it out.
Going back to wild cards
A couple of weeks ago - we discussed it - so I want to reiterate it. It's time for the FHSAA to revisit the 12 district method (in the bigger classes) and go back to two wild cards per region. The evidence stands when schools like the aforementioned Lake Mary go 7-2 and miss the post-season - yet a team like Edgewater (3-6) gets in. Or better yet, in the case of a three-team district - Golden Gate (3-6) get in and Fort Myers (7-2) get left out. If we're going to expand the playoff format to include eight classes (two too many IMHO) and create a 'rural' and 'urban' division in small school (read public-private) - then let's fix it where the 24 best teams get in and the 8 next best get in... it creates more interest, more competition and a greater chance for very good teams in a very competitive district.
We called you out - you responded
Four weeks ago - we called out Glades Central, Pahokee and Clewiston for being winless. Now the Raiders have won the district and Clewiston is heading for the post-season. Way to respond to the challenge of stepping up and playing to the level that most of us have come to expect from 'Muckville'. The Muck Bowl will be interesting - with Pahokee hoping to snap Glades Central's five-game winning streak. The talent is there in the Muck... always has been and always will be.
A rule is a rule is a rule
Some folks were upset Monday when the FHSAA declined to rule on the Jefferson High School student who was thought to be ineligible due to a grade point average. I got at least three emails and tweets calling the ruling 'bias' towards a certain school in Hillsborough County. My response to them was - the same rule that stopped this ruling from being applied is what allowed Armwood and Miami Central to play through the post-season. The FHSAA simply said they didn't have 'enough time to research the matter and make a correct ruling'. Because the matter was referred to the Department of Education for clarification - there was far too much at stake to issue a ruling without all the facts in evidence. I don't always praise the folks from Gainesville - but at least it appears this one has been right along with the by-laws.
My two cents
The election is behind us and the board got a little dicey. There were some insults hurled (maybe tongue-in-cheek) and name-calling. However, this site has always been -and always be - about high school football. We know you have opinions about other issues and we try to be tolerant of Neutral's rants on his drive-thru career at 'Wendy's' ... or BlindEyes' constant promoting of his future NFL star. One is somewhat football related and one is not.
But as we all know - the political process can bring out the best and the worst in us all. People say when they're angry what they think when they're not. If I offend you by taking down your post - trust me - I'm not doing it for my own opinion, but because at some point - I have to draw a line in the sand and establish boundaries that we need to live by.
The message board 'Football Central' is for football talk and discussion. Let's please try to keep it focused on the game that involves pigskin and gridiron.
Got a rant or a rave? Want to vent? Want to sound off on something we said or wrote? Send us an email - email@example.com - and we'll publish our weekly 'rants and raves' feature - starting Thursday.