To the comment by Frank for NW. I agree Jacory Harris is extremely talented, more than anything his poise and solid decision-making in the pocket. As for Roland Smith, I've heard there are a few young coaches in Dade eager to jump on board that revamped UM coaching staff next year.
As for Shardy, you make a few good points, but I think you're overblowing Lakeland's schedule a bit.
Granted NW did not play outside its county until the final game. Lake brantley, by the way, proved it was the best team in the Orlando area by taking down Apopka and Edgewater in the playoffs.
NW is in the process of scheduling a major out-of-state opponent next season likely in the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge.
As for Lakeland's opponents,
St. Xavier -- good scheduling as Lakeland did go to this year's Ohio challenge.
Mainland and St. Thomas are each quality opponents, products of a 5A bracket that is more spread out around the state than 6A.
But that's where it gets a little questionable.
Kathleen? I was there. They barely beat Pace on a field goal that followed a roughing the passer call.
then you have Lake Gibson, which beat Plant but lost to Winter Haven, the same Winter Haven, which beat Armwood in 2OT on a bad year by Armwood standards and the Winter Haven team that got slaughtered by Plant. That's Plant, which beat Booker T. by 5 points.
By the way, NW does play perennial teams from this area, like Booker T., whom they beat in the preseason 20-6 with 9 starters on the bench, and Central twice (80-12 combined score), and North Miami Beach 42-20.
While Lakeland beats Norland and Krop at home, two teams that this season, at least, weren't exactly Dade powerhouses. They combined for a 5-16 record. Typical scheduling in recent years when Lakeland has played teams like Miami High when they were on down years.
It would be interesting to see if Lakeland would agree to face some teams like Booker T. (which by the way has asked to play them next season) or a Glades Central or a Pahokee, not sub .500 squads to later claim that they've handled teams from strong football areas.
I've received a few emails regarding the Northwestern-Lakeland question.
GIve us your thoughts America...or at least Florida.
Here's one favoring Lakeland and another for Northwestern:
I am tired of hearing about Northwestern being better than
Lakeland & Deerfield
How good was St. Thomas' near comeback against Lakeland last night?
Well, it made the ESPN Sportscenter top 10!
I tell you, I'm a 305 guy and I was standing there on the sidelines at Dolphin Stadium mesmerized.
All the reporters no matter how young or old looked like kids with grins on their faces and kept saying "wow" or "did you see that."
For me it was back in 1987 watching the Canes come back against FSU in Tallahassee or watching Dan Marino direct touchdown drive after touchdown drive until hitting Mark Ingram in the end zone after a fake spike to beat the Jets.
It was that kind of football magic at Dolphin Stadium last night.
Sorry for those of you that left the game early. I can't say I blame you. I was done with my work by the third quarter and almost left. But helping my boy Manny Navarro videotape the game enabled me to stay until the STA fireworks began.
In the end, an inch saved Lakeland from losing its state title. The Dreadnaughts might lose their status as the state and nation's best team, however.
Antwain Easterling's playing status for tomorrow night's Class 6A title game remains undecided. I was at the school this morning and his mom and dad and aunt were among the family members pleading their case to Northwestern principal Dwight Bernard to let him play.
But it's up to the School Board to let him play. Should Antwain play and if he doesn't will the Bulls still finish with a state title in spite of the big distraction?
I'm sure most football fans in Miami-Dade County have seen and heard about the FHSAA's investigation of Lakeland star RB Chris Rainey for possibly violating the rules of amateurism after Rainey made his comments in a Miami Herald story this week.
What do Dade fans think? Did Rainey really accept these gifts or was he just joking as he now claims? Do you think Lakeland's coach Bill Castle should sit his star running back and should the state sanction the Dreadnaughts should they find proof and how severely?
Do you think this will affect the outcome of the game even if he does play?
Who says Dade doesn't produce kickers?
Homestead senior kicker Julio Moraga, who connected consistently from 40 or more yards this season, has been added to the East roster of the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Moraga joins Hialeah-Miami Lakes RB Armando Allen as the two Dade players selected to the roster thus far.
Moraga is rated the 4th best kicker in the nation by scout.com and according to their site has interest from Miami (OH).
Might not hurt Miami (FL) to take a look.
The All-State team that ran in the paper today is NOT the All-State football team picked at the end of the year.
That was simply an All-Star team picked from the 8 teams playing this weekend at Dolphin Stadium.
All-State selections won't come out probably for another few weeks.
I heard an interesting rivalry possibility for next week's high school football season once the state redistricts.
Archbishop Curley could be moving down to Class 1A, which would set up an interesting district battle between the Knights and 13-1 Dade Christian.
The Crusaders are working to set up games against Plantation American Heritage and possibly Archbishop Carroll.
La Salle is said to be moving up to District 8-2A, which will probably be a 3-team district next year with Carroll and Gulliver, which will be playoff eligible again.
And Booker T. may be getting a big time non-district opponent for their schedule next year.
I'll give hints as to who the top two possibilities are. One is playing for a national title this weekend, the other potential opponent plays in an game known as "the Muck," and its not Pahokee.