NEW SPRING SPORT
- Baseball and softball, like volleyball and basketball, trimmed from nine to seven districts.
- Aside from the number (7A-10), Osceola’s softball district stays exactly the same — the only team and sport in the county that can say that.
- County schools are spread among three baseball, four softball, six track, three boys weightlifting and two flag football districts.
- All five county teams playing boys volleyball make up the entire District, just like baseball’s District 6A-6 and flag football’s District 2A-9, guaranteeing Osceola County at least three spring district champions the next two years.
The final piece of the puzzle that makes up the 2019-20 and 2020-21 high school district landscape — the spring sports assignments — have been released by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
So coaches now know who they’ll be directly competing with in baseball, softball, flag football, tennis, track, boys volleyball and boys weightlifting. Keep in mind that, in team sports, playing all district opponents during the regular season is no longer mandatory.
While tennis, track and weightlifting teams and athletes will still qualify for regional and state meets the same way through district tournaments, baseball and softball teams will be seeded for district tournaments based on their MaxPreps rankings. District champions will be seeded Nos. 1-4 in the regions, and the four highest-ranked non-district champions in the region will get seeds 5-8 and play on the road to open the playoffs.
It’s a mixed bag of interesting assignments — it’d be a big bag anyway considering county teams compete in eight spring sports, the most of any season — but it all looks a lot different than past years.
For example, the baseball and softball districts are different — they’ve been the same as the volleyball and basketball districts for years. But more teams have better chances at district titles because the eight public schools and small handful of charter or private schools are spread across multiple districts: three in baseball, four in softball and five in track.
Then there are baseball, boys volleyball and flag football that are made up exclusively of county teams — so the county is guaranteed to have playoff representatives in those.
St. Cloud had a four-year string of district softball championships snapped in 2019, but got into the regional playoffs as a runner-up. Coach Ray Whobrey said he’d like to win the district to guarantee a postseason spot, but still isn’t sure what it’d take to get one of those four regional wild-card spots.
“Just in case you don’t win district, I’d like to know how the (MaxPreps) scoring is done so you have the ranking to go on just in case,” he said. “That would help us as coaches so we would know how to schedule our games.”
The flag football district (2A-9) is the county minus Gateway, who’s in 1A-6 (the Panthers lost many students, and athletes, when Tohopekaliga opened and is in a lower class than other county teams in most sports). MaxPreps does not rank flag teams, so they’ll have to play a district schedule — a county schedule for coaches like Harmony’s Paul Strauch.
“I was expecting it,” said Strauch, whose Longhorns advanced to the 1A state Final Four this past season, but lost games to St. Cloud and Gateway, which weren’t district games. “Am I happy? I don’t know.”
Among some of the other highlights:
Baseball and softball have been trimmed from nine to seven classes;
Osceola picks up Celebration, Cypress Creek and Lake Nona in 7A-6 baseball;
The Kowboys softball district gets a new number (7A-10) but remains exactly the same;
Harmony joins St. Cloud in 6A-7, and brings Melbourne and Viera over from their old Class 7A district;
Celebration is still the only county school to play lacrosse, and the boys and girls are both in District 2A-7 — but they’re made up of different teams.
Here’s a list of all the district assignments for the next two years:
7A-6: OHS, CHS, Cypress Creek, Lake Nona, Ridge, Haines City
6A-6: SCHS, PHS, HHS, LHS, TOHO
2A-7: COL, Merritt Is. Chr., Covenant Chr, Brevard HEAT
GHS independent in 2020
7A-10: OHS, CHS, Haines City, Ridge
6A-6: LHS, PHS, Bartow, George Jenkins, Winter Haven
6A-7: HHS, SCHS, TOHO, Melbourne, Viera
2A-7: COL, Brevard HEAT, Covenant Chr, Merritt Isl Chr, Holy Trinity
GHS independent in 2020
4A-10: OHS, CHS, TOHO, Lake Nona, Vero, Tres Coast, FPC, Cent.
3A-6: PHS, LHS, Pasco, Lakeland, Kathleen, Lk Gib, Auburndale
3A-7: SCHS, HHS, GHS, Viera, Melb, E. Gallie, Heritage, Bayside
4A-5: CHS, Ridge, Haines C, W Haven, G Jenkins, Brtw, Lklnd, ERidge
4A-9: TOHO, Freedom, CC, Nona, DP, Oly,ORidge, Windermre, Boone
4A-10: OHS, SCHS, Vero, Tres Coast, FPC, Cent, Martin Co, Viera,
3A-5: PHS, LHS, HHS, GHS, East River, W. Springs, Edgewater, Jones, South Lake, Lk Minneola
2A-10: ND, DeSoto, Tenoroc, Avon Park, McKeel, Lake Placid, Frostproof, Mulberry
2A-9: CHS, OHS, TOHO, SCHS, PHS, LHS, HHS
1A-6: GHS, Jones, coastal teams as far away as Martin County
District 9: CHS, HHS, PHS, SCHS, TOHO
2A-9: GHS, HHS, SCHS, TOHO, Lk Nona, Cy Creek, Freedom, ORidge
2A-10: OHS, PHS, LHS, CHS, Aub, W Haven, Haines Cty, Ridge
1A-13: ND, smaller interior Polk Co
District 6: OHS, GHS, Boone, Lake Nona
Boys 2A-7: CHS, Freedom, DP, Windermere, Olympia, East Ridge
Girls 2A-7: CHS, Freedom, Cy Creek, W Haven, Bartow, Lakeland
8A-6: OHS, CHS, Cypress Creek, Freedom, Lake Nona
7A-5: SCHS, HHS, TOHO, Melbourne, Viera
7A-6: LHS, PHS, Bartow, George Jenkins, Winter Haven
6A-9: GHS, Auburndale, PB Bayside, PB Heritage, Lake Gibson
7A-5: TOHO, Cypress Creek, Freedom, Lake Nona, Dr. Phillips, Olympia, Windermere
7A-6: OHS, CHS, Durant, Haines City, Newsome, Ridge
6A-10: SCHS, HHS, PHS, LHS, Bayside, Melbourne, Viera, W. Haven
5A-11: GHS, Palm Bay, Jones, Heritage, Eau Gallie, Bayside, Rockledge, Merritt Island
2A-7: City of Life, Int’l Comm, Geneva, OCP, Faith Chr.
4A-8: OHS, CHS, TOHO, Dwyer, PB Lakes, Centennial, FP Central, PB Gardens, Vero Beach, Treasure Coast
3A-6: GHS, SCHS, HHS, LHS, Bayside, Heritage, Melbourne, East River, Winter Springs, Viera
4A-3: OHS, PHS, CHS, Leto, Armwood, Wiregrass Ranch, E.Lake, Straw.Crest, Plant City, Sickles, Wharton, Alonson, Palm Harbor U., Winter Have, Haines City, Ridge
4A-5: SCHS, TOHO, Melbourne, Viera, Ft Pierce Central, Centennial, Orange Co. schools east of I-4
3A-4: GHS, HHS, LHS, south Brevard, Edgewater, Jones, Winter Springs, South Lake, East River
3A-5: CHS, S. Lake, W. Orange, E. Ridge, O. Ridge, Boone, Olympia, Windermere, Dr. Phillips, Freedom
3A-6: OHS, PHS, LHS, Kathleen, Lakeland, Bartow, G. Jenkins, Winter Haven, Haines City, Ridge
3A-7: SCHS, HHS, TOHO, E. River, Melbourne, Viera, Vero Beach, Lake Nona, Cypress Creek, Timber Creek
2A-8: GHS, Pasco, Zephyrhills, lower Polk Co.
District 9: CHS, Lake Wales + south & central Orange Co.
7A-5: TOHO, Oak Ridge, Boone, Lake Nona, Freedom, Cy Creek
7A-6: OHS, CHS, East Ridge, Haines City, Ridge, Windermere
6A-5: SCHS, HHS, East River, Sebastian River, Melbourne, Viera
6A-6: PHS, LHS, Edgewater, Lake Howell, Winter Haven, Bartow
5A-8: GHS, Rockledge, P. Bay, M.Island, Eau Gallie, Bayside, Heritage
3A-9: ND, 4CC, Santa Fe, Lakeland Chr., Discovery, Frostproof
2A-11: City of Life, Intl Comm, OCP, Victory Chr, Faith Chr,All Saints
6A-6: OHS, CHS, Cy Creek, Freedom, Haines City, Ridge
5A-9: SC, PHS, LHS, TOHO, East River, New Smyrna Bch
5A-12: HHS, S. Fork, Sebastian River, Melbourne, Viera, Martin Co
4A-5: GHS, Deltona, Pine Ridge, Jones, Lake Minneola
2A-6: ND, Wind. Prep, Lklnd Chr, Discovery, Frostproof, Lake Placid
3A-5: OHS, CHS, Bartow, G.Jenkins, Haines City, Plant City, Ridge, Winter Haven
3A-9: SCHS, TOHO, Boone, Cy Creek, DP, Freedom, Lake Nona, Oak Ridge, Olympia.
2A-5: GHS, HHS, PHS, LHS, East River, Edgewater, Jones, South Lake, Winter Springs.
2A-11: All Eight Osecola County public schools
A-12: ND, Atlantic, Deltona, Fr Lopez, Jones, LMP, Orangewood, Seabreeze, Trinity Prep