By: Wells Dusenbury
Every two years, the high school football landscape in Florida shifts as the FHSAA makes redistricting changes across the state. This past season was the end of a two-year cycle, and as a result, the FHSAA has released its tentative new districts for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Some schools have moved up a class, some have dropped down, while some have been pushed into different districts. These new districts are not yet final and can still be appealed by the schools.
Centennial (Port St. Lucie)
Fort Pierce Central
Treasure Coast (Port St. Lucie)
Breakdown: Ft. Pierce Central jumps up from 7A to 8A to join what was a 3-team district the past two years. Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce Central have been the top two teams on the Treasure Coast over the past two seasons, so it'll be fun to see these two square off as district rivals after two tight games between the two in 2011 and 2012. Treasure Coast and Centennial are the losers in this re-formatting, as Central and Vero are both a clear step above the two. With the 3-team district, one of those two was guaranteed a playoff spot.
Palm Beach Gardens
Seminole Ridge (Loxahatchee)
Breakdown: This is the only district to stay the exact same.
John I. Leonard (Greenacres)
Palm Beach Central (Wellington)
Park Vista (Lake Worth)
Spanish River (Boca Raton)
Breakdown: Santaluces and Spanish River both jump up from 7A to form a six-team district with Boca Raton, John I. Leonard, Park Vista and Palm Beach Central. Those teams made up a 4-team district last year. The biggest winner is Santaluces, who will have a better chance at competing for a playoff spot in this district, as opposed to fighting their way through Dwyer, Atlantic and Royal Palm Beach.
Martin County (Stuart)
Breakdown: Martin County stays in 7A, but now goes into a district with no area teams. From a competitive perspective, they should still be able to compete for a playoff spot, but will have to travel further for district games.
Atlantic (Delay Beach)
Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens)
Forest Hill (West Palm Beach)
Olympic Heights (Boca Raton)
Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach)
Royal Palm Beach
West Boca Raton
Breakdown: The three-headed monster of Dwyer, Atlantic and Royal Palm Beach stays together in District 13-7A. Lake Worth and West Boca also stay in the district. The biggest losers in the re-districting are Olympic Heights and Palm Beach Lakes. Heights competed for a playoff spot in a weaker 6A district last year, but it will be tough to see them break into that upper echelon here. Palm Beach Lakes is still rebuilding under Willie Snead and this district will do them no favors in their development.
Bayside (Palm Bay)
Eau Gallie (Melbourne)
Heritage (Palm Bay)
Port St. Lucie
South Fork (Stuart)
Breakdown: Port St. Lucie drops down from 7A, Jensen Beach moves up from 5A, while South Fork and Okeechobee remain in 6A. With talented out-of-area squads like Bayside and Heritage, Jensen Beach and Port St. Lucie should have a tougher time here. Jensen made the post-season last year in 5A, while Port St. Lucie just missed out in 7A, but it will be tougher to see these teams compete here.
Dillard (Fort Lauderdale)
Pembroke Pines Charter
Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale)
Breakdown: Boynton Beach gets the raw end of the re-districting as they go from a district with all area teams, to one in which they're the lone team remaining.
Fort Pierce Westwood
Palm Bay (Melbourne)
Breakdown: Ft. Pierce Westwood shares a similar plight as Boynton Beach as they now go into a district with no area teams. Travel will be a pain for Westwood as most of the Space Coast teams they'll face are around an hour and a half away.
American Heritage (Plantation)
Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches)
Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale)
Suncoast (Riviera Beach)
Breakdown: This is clearly the most ridiculous district of them all. Suncoast is the lone area team in the district and they will have to play a road game at Key West, which is just a convenient 4 1/2 hours away from Riviera Beach. In addition, every other team is south of Palm Beach County.
Glades Central (Belle Glade)
Inlet Grove (Riviera Beach)
North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek)
Pine Crest (Ft. Lauderdale)
Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines)
University School (Fort Lauderdale)
Breakdown: Glades Central has had an easy road to a district title each of the past two seasons in 5A, but that won't be the case over the next two years. The Raiders drop down to 4A, but will now be in a district with national powerhouse University School, fresh off a state title in 3A. Inlet Grove though is the biggest loser of them all. Last year, Inlet Grove actually won this 3-team district a year ago, but they have zero shot of making the playoffs again this year.
American Heritage (Delray Beach)
Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach)
King's Academy (West Palm Beach)
Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach)
Breakdown: By far the most intriguing district, but not from a competitive stance. American Heritage, Cardinal Newman, King's Academy and Pahokee will all be in the same district, but former Heritage head coach Doug Socha and his Oxbridge Academy Thunderwolves will join the fray. As we've seen over the past year, most notably with the fax-gate incident, there's been no love lost between Socha and Heritage. While these teams are nowhere close to equal footing from a competitive state, the match-up will have plenty of buzz surrounding it next year.
Boca Raton Christian
Coral Springs Christian
Glades Day (Belle Glade)
Highlands Christian (Pompano Beach)
Summit Christian (West Palm Beach)
Village Academy (Delray Beach)
Breakdown: Not much is different from a year ago. Glades Day, Jupiter Christian, Village Academy and Summit Christian will all stay together, but Boca Raton Christian will join the fray this year. Boca Raton Christian, which has previously competed as an independent, will now step up into the 7-2A district.
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