Can you all believe that there are only two weeks left in the high school football season?
It seemed like just yesterday that everyone was full of and optimism, counting victories and saying they were destined to play for a state championship this year.
While everyone put in some level of hard work going all the way back to January 2017, we’re looking at only a select – pretty much predictable – few that have almost made their way to the apex of the season and are mere minutes away from reaching their ultimate goal.
If you haven’t realized by now, playoff football is a much different brand of football than what is played in the regular season.
Ask Columbus, which saw its 22-point second-half lead evaporate as it ended up being knocked out the team that it rallied back on to beat during the regular season. Or look at American Heritage, which needed to rally back and then needed three overtimes to eke out a win over Cardinal Gibbons – a team that the Patriots took down during the regular season without much drama.
(Tooting my own horn: I told you all that the gap had closed between Gibbons and Heritage.)
Nothing is guaranteed this time of year. Being the better team on paper is worth as much as the paper it’s written on. You only have to be the better team – that night.
Major congratulations to Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna and Hialeah Champagnat Catholic on reaching the state championship games in Class 3A and Class 2A respectively. Both programs are making their second straight trip to Orlando and both feel they have “unfinished business” there – since they both came up short last year.
The four remaining South Florida (Miami-Dade and Broward) teams should take note of the way Chaminade and Champagnat took care of business in their state semifinal games (winning by a combined score 87-3) – leaving no doubt and leaving nothing up to chance as they punch their tickets to Mickey Town.
Teams that win this week will be the ones who can focus on the task at hand. That should be easy for playoff veterans St. Thomas Aquinas and American Heritage. Aquinas is looking to make its fourth straight trip to the 7A championship game while Heritage is trying to make its fourth 5A final in the past five years.
Miami High and Northwestern – especially Miami High – has plenty of state championship experience in the past, but the current versions of both these programs haven’t been here before.
Time to “handle up” and take care of business.
Record last week: 6-2
Playoffs record: 35-7 (.833 Correct Pick Percentage)
Four games picked this week with all four games in the Bald Predictions Spotlight.