The Florida High School Athletic Association on Sunday released the postseason brackets for all eight classifications, setting the stage for the road to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, where state champions will be crowned from Dec. 6-8.
Below are the seeding and opening-round matchups for regions involving Miami-Dade and Broward County teams.
Region 3-8AThe matchups: No. 1 Deerfield Beach (9-1) vs. No. 8 Miramar (6-4); No. 2 Atlantic (10-0) vs. No. 7 Western (8-2); No. 3 Palm Beach Central (9-1) vs. No. 6 Wellington (6-4); No. 4 Plantation (9-1) vs. No. 5 Piper (6-4)
Quick thoughts: Barring anything crazy happening in the first two rounds, the region will come down to Deerfield Beach and Atlantic playing for a spot in the state semifinal.
Region 4-8AThe matchups: No. 1 Columbus (10-0) vs. No. 8 Coral Gables (6-4); No. 2 Southridge (8-2) vs. No. 7 North Miami (8-2); No. 3 Hialeah (9-1) vs. No. 6 South Dade (8-2); No. 4 Belen Jesuit (8-2) vs. No. 5 Palmetto (9-1)
Quick thoughts: Columbus has been the top team in the region all year, but don’t be surprised if any of the three teams from District 16-8A (Southridge, Palmetto and South Dade) make a splash.
Region 4-7AThe matchups: No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (9-1) vs. No. 8 South Miami (8-2); No. 2 Dwyer (9-1) vs. No. 7 West Broward (7-3); No. 3 McArthur (9-1) vs. No. 6 Palm Beach Lakes (7-3); No. 4 Doral (8-2) vs. No. 5 Fort Lauderdale (8-2)
Quick thoughts: The region is St. Thomas Aquinas’ to lose, with Palm Beach County’s Dwyer being the only real test.
Region 4-6AThe matchups: No. 1 Carol City (8-2) vs. No. 8 Norland (4-6); No. 2 Palm Bay Heritage (8-2) vs. No. 7 Eau Gallie (7-3); No. 3 Daytona Beach Mainland (7-3) vs. No. 6 Northwestern (5-5); No. 4 Dillard (8-2) vs. No. 5 Central (8-2)
Quick thoughts: Circle Nov. 16 on your calendar. The likely matchup between Carol City and Central in the regional semifinal should make up one half of the Class 6A championship game.
Region 4-5AThe matchups: No. 1 Rockledge (9-1) vs. No. 8 Coconut Creek (6-4); No. 2 Cardinal Gibbons (8-2) vs. No. 7 Merritt Island (5-5); No. 3 Orlando Jones (9-1) vs. No. 6 Bishop Moore (6-4); No. 4 Fort Pierce Westwood (7-3) vs. No. 5 Plantation American Heritage (8-1)
Quick thoughts: Three teams from District 16-5A advanced this year, led by district champ Cardinal Gibbons. Is this finally the year the Chiefs break through and make it to state?
Region 4-4AThe matchups: No. 1 University School (9-1; first-round bye); No. 2 Booker T. Washington (5-5; first-round bye); No. 3 Glades Central (7-3) vs. No. 6 Coral Springs Charter (7-1); No. 4 Monsignor Pace (5-5) vs. No. 5 Gulliver Prep (7-3)
Quick thoughts: University School ran the table until being shut out by Chaminade-Madonna in its regular season finale. The Sharks are likely still considered the favorite in the class but need to avoid another letdown. A regional final between University School and Booker T. seems likely.
Region 4-3AThe matchups: No. 1 Chaminade-Madonna (8-2; first-round bye); No. 2 Palm Beach Benjamin (9-1; first-round bye); No. 3 Delray American Heritage (7-3) vs. No. 6 Calvary Christian (5-5); No. 4 Westminster Christian (8-0) vs. No. 5 Palmer Trinity (7-2)
Quick thoughts: Defending state champion Chaminade-Madonna is the top team in its region and arguably the top team in its class. A chance for the Lions to make a third consecutive appearance in the state final is likely if not expected.