Larry Blustein

STATE FINALS – Exciting Matchups Await Area Teams This Weekend

Larry Blustein
December 05, 2018 - 10:33 am

The stage is set and the teams are ready to show that what has happened to this point of the 2018 high school football season was certainly no fluke.

Sixteen programs head to Camping World Stadium in Orlando for the annual state championships that will produce 8 winners.

This yearly meeting of Florida’s best will have a south Florida flavor once again – as defending state champions Hialeah Champagnat Catholic (2A), Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna (3A) and Miami Northwestern (6A) look for a repeat – while Miami Christopher Columbus (8A) and Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (5A) look for that elusive win.

Every year, some of the top prospects in Florida get the chance to showcase their skills on the biggest stage. This week will be no exception.

Here is a look at the State Final Matchups this weekend in Orlando:

THURSDAY – Dec. 6

1 p.m.

1A – Baker (14-0) vs. Madison County (13-1). The defending state champion Cowboys will have their hands full with the Gators in the first game of the 2018 state finals.

7 p.m.

4A – Cocoa (10-3) vs. Jacksonville Raines (12-1). A rematch of last year’s state title game when the Vikings beat the Tigers. Will be an uphill climb for first year head coach Ryan Schneider and his football program.

 

FRIDAY, Dec. 7

10 a.m.

2A – Hialeah Champagnat Catholic (8-5) vs. Tallahassee North Florida Christian (8-4). The defending state champs are back – and after beating the No. 1 seed in 2A – they have to be feeling pretty good. NFC used to be a fixture at these championships. This is the first time they have been back in a while.

3 p.m.

5A – Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (12-2) vs. Citra North Marion (12-2). For the first time in three years, American Heritage is not here, but district rival Cardinal Gibbons is – for the first time since 1990. The Colts pulled the biggest upset in the playoffs – knocking off nationally rated Jacksonville Trinity Christian.

8 p.m.

7A – Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (13-1) vs. Lakeland (14-0). This will be a ticket that you want to get. Two of the top programs in Florida back at it – a decade after some of their classic matchups. This is what football is all about in the Sunshine State.

SATURDAY, Dec. 8

10 a.m.

3A – West Palm Beach The King’s Academy (13-1) vs. Chaminade-Madonna (11-2). The defending state champions once again facing off against a program from West Palm Beach. Both teams have played very well in the playoffs, setting up a huge matchup.

3 p.m.

6A - Miami Northwestern (9-5) vs. Seffner Armwood (13-1). A rematch of last year – when the Bulls won the title in a very good game. This year promises to be much of the same – with Northwestern having an edge as a team that has NOT played a home game in the playoffs, but still dominating all four opponents!

8 p.m.

8A – Miami Christopher Columbus (14-0) vs. Jacksonville Mandarin (10-4). Two programs that never figured to be facing off in the final game of the 2018 state championships. The Explorers are on a dominating run that has them being an overwhelming favorite to win a state title.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Tuesday night (8-9) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 11 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!