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Lakeland or the West- the great debate

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:

 

Northwestern Get's My Vote For #1
I would have a very hard time voting a team that gave up 42 points number one even if the game went into 2 overtimes.  Northwestern beat a very stubborn Lake Brantley team that lacked a good passing game.  But I grew up playing high school football in Miami and played college football.  I have never seen a High School team as skilled at every position like NW High!  If the U of Miami lets that NW quarterback get out of this town next year they need to pack and go with him he is awesome.  The Dolphins could use that kid!  Ok maybe that's taking it a little far.  But I do think coach Smith should be considered for the FIU job what do you think?
Frank
And a vote for the Dreadnaughts:
Andre,

I am tired of hearing about Northwestern being better than

Lakeland

, or that they may be able to beat them.  It never stops.  There has always been, and apparently will always be those who think they can beat

Lakeland

just by looking at the way they play other teams.  Yet, when they line-up on the field they soon realize it is not as easy as it looks from the stands, or on TV.   Lakeland has played many teams (STA, Mainland, Kathleen, etc.) that are just as talented as them and/or Northwestern, with better quarterbacks, however, the result is always the same; Lakeland Wins!  The mind-boggling thing is this,

Lakeland

has a simple run-oriented offense that every team knows about, but is still unable to stop.  What is even more amazing is the fact that this run offense scores just as fast as any passing offenses.  Furthermore, on the other side of the ball, they have a defense that can create and capitalize on turnovers, as well as special teams.
Now, I will outline my argument against Northwestern.  The fact that NW is the first school to win a

Florida

state title without leaving its own county, or city for that matter, says it all. I think it is ridiculous that any team would consider themselves for a national title, or think that they have a legit argument for the state’s all-class title, when at best; all they have proven is that they are “City Champs”; with the exception of the championship game against Lake Brantley, they basically played the same sorry (Miami) teams in the playoff that they blowout during the season.  Therefore, how can they consider themselves to be the all- classification state champs?  In addition to that, they play in 6A, which everyone in the state knows is the weakest classification, even more so before the 1A and 2A split.  I mean, how competitive can that classification be when the Southern bracket comprises of teams in the Greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Area, and the Northern bracket is the rest of the state, particularly Sarasota, Orlando, and Jacksonville area.  They don’t even play the traditionally good teams in their area during the season, like STA, Monsignor Pace, Chaminade-Madonna,

Deerfield Beach

, or

Washington

Booker T.  Yet, they want to call out

Lakeland

, give me a break. Northwestern is just a cheap imitation of Belle Glade Central and you saw what happens to a team that just relies on raw talent without good coaching or discipline in South Carolina.
Now my argument for

Lakeland

is this, they played a schedule that not only included a national power, but they also played competitive teams from 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A (talk about all-classification).  Secondly, they played the traditionally top teams in their area, Lakeland Kathleen and Lakeland Lake Gibson, and just for kicks, they play Tampa Hillsborough in the Kickoff Classic (though cancelled this year due to weather) and Bradenton Manatee (5A semi-finalist) in their spring game.  The only reason they don’t play Armwood is because Armwood would rather not play them (anymore), if you check the history books of the late 80’s and 90’s you will see why.  Thirdly, they played a schedule of which teams representing different areas of the state, Tampa, Daytona, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Kissimmee, Port St. Lucie, Venice, and had they not played in Ohio they would have played Cape Coral. In addition to that, the team NW played in the final was in no way comparative to the one

Lakeland

played, as was the case in

Ohio

when

Lakeland

played St. Xavier and De La Salle played an Elder team that finished the season (6-4).  However, that’s another issue altogether.  Lastly,

Lakeland

beat more state ranked and higher Beef O’ Brady Top 25 ranked teams than NW, also many teams

Lakeland

beat had significant wins over good teams, and only lost to other good teams. 
·        STA (12-2) (beat Coconut Creek (11-2), Atlantic (10-2), & Manatee (9-5)) only lost to

Lakeland & Deerfield

Beach

(8-3)
·        Mainland (13-1)(beat Madison Co (10-3) & Bartram Trail (10-3)) only lost to

Lakeland

·        Kathleen (9-3) (beat Miami Monsignor Pace (9-2) &

Cocoa

(9-2)) only lost to

Lakeland

,

Lake

Gibson

& Hardee (11-2)
·       

Lake

Gibson

(10-3) beat (Kathleen & Winter Haven) only lost to

Lakeland

twice &

Tampa

Riverview (8-2)
·       

Winter Haven

(9-3) (beat Armwood (11-2) & Bartow (10-4)) only lost to

Lakeland

,

Lake

Gibson

, &

Tampa

Plant (15-0, 4A Champ)
·        St. Xavier (10-2) (beat St. Edwards (12-2)) only lost to Lakeland & Colerain (13-1) All national competition
·       

Kissimmee

Osceola (7-3) only lost to

Lakeland

,

Lake

Gibson

&

Orlando

Edgewater (10-2, 6A #1 at the time)
Ironically, the only trash on Lakeland’s regular season schedule was Venice, George Jenkins, St. Lucie West Centennial (who held their own against Lake Brantley which only scored 10 point on them while LHS score 38 in the 1st half.) and the two garbage teams from Miami (Norland & Dr. Krop).  Moreover, no team in

Miami

beat Norland or Dr. Krop as bad as

Lakeland

; these two teams were actually competitive in

Miami

, go figure.  Well that’s my position on the subject; I would love to hear a rebuttal for “Da West”.
Shardy

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RICK

THREE WORDS. TOO MUCH SPEED. NORTHWESTERN YOU KNOW AND MANY OTHERS KNOW NOT ONLY ARE YOU THE BEST IN FLA.(REMMEBER LAKELAND ONCE HAD A LARGE CONTINGENTS OF VOTES A HEAD OF YOU, BUT YOU PREVAILED AND TIED THEM FOR NUMBER ONE IN FLORIDA). BUT IN ALL HONESTY THIS YEAR I FEEL YOU ARE NUMBER ONE IN THE COUNTRY. THIS IS THE BEST FLORIDA TEAM I HAVE SEEN IN OVER FOURTY YEARS OF OBSERVATION. NORTHWESTERN FINISHED IN DADECOUNTY IN 6A. 1. ONE IN DEFENSE 1. ONE IN OFFENSE. THE NUMBER ONE QUARTERBACK, THE NUMBER ONE RUNNING BACK AND THE NUMBER ONE AND TWO RECIEVERS. NO DIS RESPECT TO LAKELAND, BUT I'M WILLING TO BELIEVE LAKELAND DID NOT ACCOMPLISH THAT IN 5A. RUMOR HAS IT THAT BOOKER WASHINGTON OFFERED TO PLAY THEM NEXT YEAR. I'M SURE THEY WILL DECLINE. IT'S A HEART THING AND I BELIEVE THAT DEEP IN THEIR HEART THEY LAKELAND KNOW THEY WOULDN'T BEAT NORTHWESTERN. IN FACT I DON'T BELIEVE LAKELAND COULD STOP NORTHWESTERN FROM SCORING THIRTY FOUR POINTS WHICH WAS THE LEAST AMOUNT THAT THEY SCORED ALL YEAR, THE LARGEST AMOUNT WAS FIFTY FOUR POINTS AND THAT WAS WITH THE STARTERS OUT OF THE GAME. I WATCHED THE GAME BETWEEN LAKELAND AND ST. THOMAS AND ONLY A MIRACLE KEPT LAKELAND FROM LOSING. IN FACT IT'S A HEAVY DEBATE AS TO WETHER OR NOT ST. THOMAS INDEED SCORED ON THE LAST PLAY AND WON THE GAME. IN ALL HONESTY I WAS UNABLE TO TELL BECAUSE LOOKING AT IT FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES SOME APPEARED AS THOUGH HE SCORED AND SOME APPEARED AS THOUGH HE DIDN'T. I AM PRETTY SURE ST. THOMAS WOULD NOT HAVE SCORED THAT AMOUNT OF POINTS ON NORTHWESTERN. IN FACT VERY FEW TEAMS SCORED ON NORTHWESTERN IN THE SECOND HALF AS LAKE BRANTLEY FOUND OUT. LAKELAND YOU WON CONGRATULATIONS, HOWEVER THE BEST TEAM HAS YET TO BE DISCOVERED. I FEEL NEXT YEAR WILL PROVE TO THE THE DISCOVERY PHASE. NORTHWESTERN BULLS BE PROUD OF YOURSELF. SOMETIMES THE GREATEST SMILE IS WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND LOOK AT WHO'S LOOKING BACK AT YOU. I RECENTLY RETIRED AND THAT CHAMPIONSHIP WAS A GREAT RETIREMENT PACKAGE. I,M BLESSED I'VE BEEN ABLE TO WATCH ALL THREE CHAMPION SHIP GAMES 1995, 1998 AND THE GRANDADDY OF THEM ALL 2006. MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Anthony

I don't know whether NW or Lakeland was better; I personally was a lot more impressed with NW, but I'm not going to argue that point. What I will argue is the "sorry Miami teams" comment. Was it those same "sorry Miami teams" that produced the bulk of UM's 5 national titles? Was it those same sorry Miami teams that have produced Chad Johnson, Santana & Sinorice Moss, Antonio Bryant, Jonathan Vilma, Willis McGahee, and Frank Gore in recent years, or Michael Irvin, Alonso Highsmith, and numerous others in past years? I'm sorry that Lakeland High School football is the only game in town and really the only thing you guys can brag or even talk about. The inner-city rivalries involving Carol City, NW, Central, HML, Booker T, etc. make South Fla the best place for high school football. Whatever, go root for the kids at Lakeland for 12 games a year, then wait for 90% of them to work at grocery stores or Blockbusters (if you even have those there) when they graduate so you and they can reminisce about the highlights of their (and sadly your) life back when they were in high school.

Vicente

I think this was it's all good for everyone

Matt Cates

I hope that the new coach can get them ready for SLC.

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