High school blitz
Published: Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7:45 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:19 p.m.
5 things of note in area sports
■ A reminder to coaches in the area that Athlete of the Week nominations are taken each Monday from noon-4 p.m. Nominations should be called in at (352) 374-5050 or emailed to Larry Savage at email@example.com. This past Monday, only one nomination was made: Branford senior guard Kenny Hitt, in four games last week, averaged a double-double, with 21.5 points per game for the 3-1 Buccaneers.
■ Just wondering ... are Buchholz football fans rooting for Bartram Trail and Clay to keep on winning in football? Afterall, the Bobcats (3-7) did beat these two teams which tonight play in the Class 6A and 5A state semifinals, respectively. Don't know which is the more suprising of the two, but Bartram Trail is playing at No. 2 Seffner Armwood and Gainesville High fans know how tough it is to win there. Clay, which upset No. 1 Pensacola Catholic 9-7 on the last play of the game, is hosting St. Petersburg Lakewood. That win came one week after Clay's video game-like 74-73 win over Jacksonville Bishop Kenny in the regional semifinals.
■ Dixie County cornerback Duke Dawson, who has committed to UF, will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Jan. 4. This game is sponsored by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and JuniorRank Sports. Dawson was also invited to play in the Under Armour High School All-American Game on Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg but chose to travel to California.
■ Lafayette will host the Andy Hart Memorial Invitational girls basketball event Friday and Saturday, which involves eight teams, three locally. Unbeaten Oak Hall takes on the host Hornets Friday at 6:30 p.m., followed by defending 7A state champion Buchholz (4-3) against defending 4A state champion Jacksonville Ribault (9-1) at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Buchholz faces defending 4A state semifinalists Fort Myers Dunbar at 3 p.m., followed by Lafayette versus Jacksonville Providence at 4:30 with Oak Hall taking on Hamilton County at 7:30 p.m. Two-time defending 2A state champion Florida A&M is also in the field.
■ Among hot starts in girls basketball, Hawthorne (Class 1A) is 8-0 and Gainesville (6A) is 7-0.
State championship capsule
CLASS 1A STATE FINAL
NO. 4 TRENTON (11-1) VS. NO. 1 BLOUNTSTOWN (13-0)
AT CITRUS BOWL, ORLANDO (Friday, 7:07 p.m.)
How they got here: Trenton def. No. 2 Dixie County 17-14 in the state semifinals, def. Hamilton County 59-32 in the Region 3 final, def. Lafayette, 50-21, in the regional semifinals; Blountstown def. Cottondale 42-0 in state semifinals, def. Port St. Joe 34-0 in the Region 2 final, def. Liberty County 40-6 in the regional semifinals.
Scouting report: Both teams are nicknamed the Tigers, with Trenton making its second straight trip to the state final while Blountstown is making its first since 2004. Last year, Trenton lost to Bratt Northview 42-21 for the state title. Over the last three years, since the rural division took over Class 1A, Trenton has the best record in football at 35-3. Offensively, QB Stephen Smith triggers the triple option/veer attack for Trenton. The senior, who will sign a baseball scholarship to Virginia Military Institute, is playing his final game in football. In last year's state final, he played injured (deep thigh bruise), which restricted the offensive playbook. This season he has passed for 893 yards and rushed for 622 with a combined 18 TDs. RB Melvin Adams has a team-leading 1,117 yards and 16 TDs rushing, FB Jacquez Powell has scored 14 TDs. Sophomore Hamp Cheevers has scored 17 TDs between receiving and returns, and has 6 Ints. Powell has a team-leading 117 tackles with 15 tackles for loss. Blountstown has posted 8 shutouts in 13 games and is allowing 4.7 points per contest. It has outscored its playoff opponents 116-6. Defensively led by LBs Anthony Wyrick and Hunter Jordan, who also plays part-time at QB. NT Tommy Futch is 6-foot-3, 305 pounds. Offensively, Corin Peterson has scored 17 TDs, eight rushing, 6 receiving and three on returns. Alex Mayorga has team-leading 732 yards rushing with 8 TDs. Jordan and Dylan Lee have combined for 931 yards passing with 12 TDs and 7 Ints. Last year, Blountstown lost at Lafayette 16-7 in regular season. Blountstown won state titles in 1973, 1976, 1977 and lost in 2004.
Broadcast: Online only at www.bhsnlive.com (cost is $6.95)
Its nearing kickoff as Trenton is set to take on Blountstown in the Class 1A state final. ... READ MORE: http://bit.ly/18dL0FP
Twitter: To follow this game, go to twitter.com/sunpreps
LS: TRENTON; JB: TRENTON; LB: TRENTON; PK: TRENTON
Football state final and semifinal matchups
Games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted
FRIDAY'S STATE FINALS
at Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Lakeland Victory Christian (10-3) vs. No. 1 Champagnat (12-0), 1:07 p.m.
No. 4 Trenton (11-1) vs. No. 1 Blountstown (13-0), 7:07 p.m.
SATURDAY'S STATE FINALS
No. 1 Jacksonville Trinity Christian (11-1) vs. No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic (11-2), 1:07 p.m.
Jacksonville Bolles (10-3) vs. No. 1 Miami Washington (13-0), 7:07 p.m.
FRIDAY'S STATE SEMIFINALS
No. 3 Apopka (12-1) at No. 7 Tampa Plant (11-1-1)
Palm Beach Gardens (9-4) at No. 10 Homestead South Dade (12-1)
No. 6. Kissimmee Osceola (11-2) at No. 7 Niceville (12-1)
No. 1 Dwyer (13-0) at No. 2 East Lake (13-0)
St. Johns Bartram Trail (8-5) at No. 2 Seffner Armwood (13-0)
No. 5 Daytona Beach Mainland (12-1) at No. 1 Miami Central (11-1)
St. Petersburg Lakewood (10-3) at Clay (9-4)
No. 3 Plantation American Heritage (13-1) at Lake Wales (9-4)
Team champion: Dixie County
Coach of the year: Brent Wilkerson, Dixie County
Most Valuable Player: Shaquille Mitchem, Dixie County
First team: Eli Long, Dixie County; Kiandre Hope, Dixie County; Kendall Copeland, Dixie County; Buddy Edwards, Union County; Talon Tyler, Union County; Geordyn Green, Union County; Grayson Gerhard, Chiefland; Zac Rice, Newberry; Keith Neal, Williston; Tay Hammonds, Williston; Austin Suggs, Williston; Dakota Garcia, Newberry
Second team: Ronald Hendricks, Dixie County; Zack Music, Dixie County; Caleb Cox, Union County; Phillip Lilly, Union County; Isaiah Johnson, Union County; Alphonso Timmons, Chiefland; Jake Marral, Chiefland; Al Barber, Newberry; Mitchell Marcotte, Newberry; Devon Webb, Williston; Noah Faircloth, Williston; Jorge Deciderio, Williston
First team: Trey Simmons, Dixie County; Brandon Land, Dixie County; James Horsley, Dixie County; Duke Dawson, Dixie County; Austin Dukes, Union County; Princeton Alexander, Union County; Quan Coffey, Chiefland; Payton Parnell, Chiefland; Shaquille Patterson, Chiefland; Monte Seabrook, Newberry; Chantz Thomas, Newberry
Second team: James Bowers, Dixie County; Kyle Lamar, Dixie County; Dylan Reed, Dixie County; Sonny Pierre, Dixie County; Cody Evans, Dixie County; Alden McClellan, Union County; Casey Driggers, Union County; Thurman Bailey, Chiefland; TJ Donald, Chiefland; Brandon Gunter, Newberry; Dywon Dunn, Williston
Athlete of the week nominations are taken on Mondays between noon-4 p.m. each week. Please phone in your nominations to 352-374-5050 during that time or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 4 p.m. deadline.
Also call in your box scores to 352-374-5050 each night by 10:30. Box scores can be emailed to email@example.com, but email Larry Savage for correct format.
Girls and boys soccer, girls and boys basketball and wrestling coaches should email their weekly statistics to Paul Kardasz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALL-AREA BALLOTS: For football, volleyball, cross country, swimming and golf all-area ballots were emailed to area athletic directors to be distributed to coaches. Be on the lookout for these. Deadline for nominations is Monday, Dec. 16. No exceptions. Publication of all-area teams will be as follows: swimming (Dec. 21), golf (Dec. 22), cross country (Dec. 23), volleyball (Dec. 24), football (Dec. 25). Questions? Email or call Larry Savage at the above phone number.