Something you may or may not know is that Florida’s spring practice ends with real football games against other schools. Manatee’s home game with (Tallahassee) Lincoln is considered the #1 game of the spring. We're going to look at the 7-A and 6-A Florida schools and some of these schools are better that a large portion of the 8-A schools.
Manatee suffered a huge loss in the 7-A state semi-final game against St. Thomas Aquinas. It ruined any national championship hopes and ended their season at 13-1. Aquinas held a 21-10 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter and outscored Manatee 14-8 in the 4th to secure a solid 35-18 win. I included Manatee because the Kentucky coaching staff has been there looking at players and an offer or two may be coming soon. Here's an update from the Bradenton Herald on the Manatee vs. Lincoln Spring game. This game was considered to be the # 1 game for the Spring. These games are three quarter games.
(Ft. Lauderdale) St. Thomas Aquinas
Aquinas won the 2012 7-A state championship by defeating (Tallahassee) Lincoln 41-25 and finished with a 13-2 record. Their two losses came from (Ramsey, NJ) Don Bosco Prep 20-10 at home and 8-A Miramar on the road 27-24. Kentucky has offered (5.8) 4 star WR Corey Thomas and Florida commit (5.8) 4 star DL Anthony Moten. Holmes is listed at #21 and Moten is listed at #42 in the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida top 100 for the 2013 season. Moten was honorable mention A/P 7-A all-state as a Jr.
Lincoln created quite a stir around Lexington when it was learned that LB Thomas Hearns wanted to commit to Stoops and UK. Unfortunately, his academics were not sufficient enough to gain entrance at UK or any other Div I school. Lincoln produces talent fairly consistently and we’ve offered (5.8) 4 star DB Kendall Randolph this time around. Lincoln finished as state runner-up to St. Thomas Aquinas. Randolph is #80 in the Orlando Sentinel top 100.
(Palm Beach Gardens) Dwyer
Dwyer finished their 2012 season at 9-2 with a loss 6-3 loss to Boyd Anderson in the regional semi-finals. Alumni Matt Elam (University of Florida) was drafted at #32 in the 2013 NFL Draft. Kentucky has offered (5.9) 4 star WR Johnnie Dixon. Dixon was a second team A/P all state player who is ranked #13 in the Orlando Sentinel top 100.
Kentucky has offered (5.7) 3 star DB Chris Lammons. The Plantation Colonels lost in the regional 7-A semi-finals to St. Thomas Aquinas 38-7 to cap a 8-3 season.
Plant City had a bad year, finishing at 4-6. Kentucky has offered (5.6) 3 star DL Montel McBride.McBride is ranked #33 in the Orlando Sentinel Florida top 100.
Central won the Florida 6-A championship by beating Gainesville 37-14 to bring their record to 12-2. DL Raul Diaz has a UK offer. He’s a (5.4) 2 star player currently. Miami is expected to compete for another state championship in 2013. Diaz was named to the 6-A A/P all-state 3rd team.
As pointed out, Miami Central beat Gainesville in the state finals. Gainesville had previously been unbeaten. They still had an excellent 14-1 season. Kentucky has offered (5.8) 4 star RB Tony James. Gainesville will also be in the mix for another title game.
Largo lost to perennial powerhouse (Seffner) Armwood 10-6 in the regional qualifier round of the state playoffs. It was Largo’s only loss on the season and they finished with an 11-1 record. Kentucky has offered two Packers, Francisco Hernandez and Jarvis Stewart. Hernandez is a (5.5) 3 star linebacker and Stewart is a (5.6) 3 star running back. Both have committed to USF. Jarvis Stewart was 3rd team A/P 6-A all-state.
Kathleen is a suburb to the east of Lakeland which lies between Tampa and Orlando on I-4. Their 6-5 record kept them out of the playoffs. They did produce Ja’Von Harrison who Kentucky has offered. He’s a (5.8) 4 star Athlete who has committed to Virginia Tech. Harrison was named 3rd team A/P all-state.
Niceville Finished their season at 6-4 with a loss to Milton (38-31) in the regional qualifying round. Kentucky signed (5.6) 3 star OL Nick Haynes in the 2013 class. Haynes made 2nd team 6-A A/P all-state.
Jefferson ended their 6-4 season with a 41-0 win over 1-9 Brandon (nationally known for its wrestling program). (5.4) 2 star LB Juwaun Brown has an offer from the Wildcats.
(Jacksonville) Atlantic Coast
The Stingrays had a 5-5 season in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have good players. Kentucky has offered (5.8) 4 star DB Stepheny Durham.
(Lakeland) Lake Gibson
The Lake Gibson Braves finished their season with a 10-1 record after losing to 9-4 Daytona Beach Mainland by 49-42 in the regional qualifier. (5.7) 3 star S Kendall Gant has a Kentucky offer. Gant was named to the 6-A A/P all-state second team.
(Cape Coral) Baker
The Bulldogs are unique in that they had a tie game during the 2012 season. Their first game was canceled due to weather, apparently. The FHSAA counted the game as a tie. At any rate, they ended up at 7-3-1 for the season. Kentucky signed (5.3) 2 star DL Regie Meantlast February. Meant was named to the 6-A all-state second team.
Winter Haven’s Kendrick Holland has a UK offer. The (5.5) 3 star recruit plays wide receiver for the Blue Devils. He’s ranked #99 in the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida top 100. Winter Have lost to Daytona Beach Mainland in the 6-A regional semi-finals 34-33.
That covers the 7-A and 6-A schools in Florida. Next up will be the 5-A and 4-A schools.
2012-2013 Class 7-A Florida Championship Bracket
2012-2013 Class 6-A Florida Championship Bracket
2012-2013 A/P 7-A All-State Teams
2012-2013 A/P 6-A All-State Teams
Orlando Sentinel 2014 Top 100