An undefeated run to the FHSAA Class 8A state championship in Tallahassee helped Sanford Seminole close out the 2020 season as the No. 1 team in the Orlando area’s Sentinel Super 16 rankings.
The ‘Noles defeated No. 5 Kissimmee Osceola 38-10 for the state title Saturday afternoon at Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium. The win helped Seminole become the only football team in area history to win a championship without suffering a loss in the regular season.
“It’s really cool and unique,” Seminole quarterback Timmy McClain said of going unbeaten. “It’s exciting. It’s a blessing. [It’s] just a great feeling to be a state champion.”
Seminole won its first championship since 2008 under first-year head coach Eric Lodge, who joined the program as an assistant in 2015 under then-head coach Don Stark. He credited Stark and former Seminole coach Kerry Wiggins Sr. after the game.
“I’ve learned from a lot of great coaches before me. I’ve had a lot of great examples,” Lodge said.
Jones, which defeated five Super 16 teams this fall, closed out the season at No. 2 after losing in a Class 5A region final at previously unbeaten Tampa Jesuit.
Edgewater, state runners-up for the second consecutive year in 7A, finishes at No. 3 after compiling 498 yards of offense in a 31-21 loss to Fort Lauderdale St Thomas Aquinas.
Class 8A semifinalist Apopka ranks No. 4 while 6A state runner-up Lake Minneola, which was playing in a state final for the first time, ranks No. 6. Lake Minneola lost 46-0 vs. defending champion Miami Central.
The 2020 high school football season, which was impacted by cancellations on a near-weekly basis, featured milestone coaching wins for several area coaches.
Bishop Moore’s Matt Hedrick notched his 150th win with the program on Oct. 2. Winter Park’s Tim Shifflet, Dr. Phillips’ Rodney Wells and Lake Mary’s Scott Perry each won their 100th career games this season.
The Super 16 is made up of teams throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and southwest Volusia counties. Rankings include final win-loss records for each team, which do not reflect forfeited games due to COVID-19 complications.
Final Sentinel Super 16
1. Seminole (12-0): Seminoles scored wins against teams from nine counties, including state runner-up Lake Minneola and semifinalist Apopka, and held eight opponents to 14 points or less en route to Class 8A state championship win over Kissimmee Osceola. Preseason: No. 4.
2. Jones (8-1): Tigers to return leading rushers Daquan Harris and Stephen Sparrow, and wideout A’Ceon Cobb, to a Class 5A region finalist team that recorded wins against Edgewater, Apopka, West Orange, Wekiva, Bishop Moore and Lake Nona. Preseason: No. 3.
3. Edgewater (7-3): Talented group of seniors featuring Tommi Hill, Christian Leary and Deshawn Troutman helped 7A state runner-up Eagles tally wins vs. Osceola, Boone and Winter Park during a season bookended by losses vs. nationally-ranked IMG Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas. Preseason: No. 2.
4. Apopka (8-4): Blue Darters went 3-4 in games decided by one score, including a 28-24 loss vs. state champion Seminole in 8A semifinals. Apopka defeated Lake Mary twice, split with West Orange, and won vs. Winter Park, Lake Brantley and Ocoee while allowing only 10.8 points per game. Preseason: No. 1.
5. Osceola (9-3): Class 8A state runners-up graduate leading tacklers Nolin Eaddy and Alvin Lee but return bulk of starters on both sides of the ball. Kowboys held eight teams to seven points or less this season, including Miami Palmetto during a 9-3 state semifinal win. Preseason: No. 7.
6. Lake Minneola (11-2): Senior QB Robbie Sanders and RB Duke Walker each accounted for more than 1,700 total yards of offense for Class 6A runners-up, who lost in state title game vs. Miami Central. The Hawks averaged 40.3 points per game and held 10 teams to 14 points or less. Preseason: No. 10.
7. Dr. Phillips (5-2): Tough draw in FHSAA 8A play-in round resulted in early postseason exit via 10-0 loss at state semifinalist Miami Palmetto. DP, led by Ronnie Hayes and Kyjuan Phillips along the offensive line, defeated Boone and Wekiva this season and lost 14-7 at Apopka. Preseason: No. 6.
8. Boone (7-3): Braves dropped 35-34 region semifinal game at Vero Beach to end a season that included wins vs. West Orange and Clermont East Ridge. Seniors Shambre Jackson (FSU), Javion Phelps (South Dakota) and Parker St. John (Air Force) were early college signees on Dec. 16. Preseason: No. 15.
9. West Orange (6-4): First-year head coach Mike Granato led Warriors to a pair of victories vs. Ocoee, a split with Apopka, and wins vs. Lake Mary and Timber Creek. Seniors Joanes Polynice Jr., Lexus Jones and Tyson Schwalbach combined for 242 total tackles. Preseason: Not ranked.
10. Wekiva (6-4): Mustangs shook off consecutive losses to Ocoee, Dr. Phillips and Jones to turn in quality wins vs. Apopka and Lakeland. Season ended with a 24-18 setback against previously unbeaten New Port Richey Mitchell in 7A region semifinals. Preseason: No. 9.
11. Lake Mary (8-3): Rams graduate their top three receivers, including University of Florida signee Rocco Underwood, from a team that beat Lake Brantley and Oviedo twice each. Lake Mary fell short for second time vs. Apopka during a 7-6 loss in 8A region finals. Preseason: No. 13.
12. DeLand (4-3): Mississippi State signee Timar Rogers led a defense that spearheaded wins vs. Port Orange Spruce Creek, Daytona Beach Seabreeze and Orange City University. Bulldogs lost 28-13 in region quarterfinals vs. Seminole, the Class 8A state champs. Preseason: No. 5.
13. Bishop Moore (6-3): Class 5A region semifinalists defeated South Sumter and lost close vs. Jones and Fort Myers Bishop Verot. LB Sonny Rao led the Hornets with 62 tackles while Marc Morrison caught 34 passes for 798 yards and 10 TDs. Preseason: No. 12.
14. Winter Park (8-2): College signees Dakota Mitchell (Florida) and Daniel Edwards (Illinois) helped Wildcats notch wins against Timber Creek, Lake Nona, Oviedo and East Ridge while outscoring opposing teams 334 to 115. Preseason: No. 11.
15. Lake Brantley (6-4): UCF signee Anthony Williams rushed for 1,384 yards and 14 touchdowns through nine games while helping the Patriots record wins over West Orange and Ocoee. Lake Brantley lost for the second time to Lake Mary in the 8A playoffs. Preseason: No. 14.
16. Timber Creek (7-2): Wolves allowed just 9.7 points per game while recording wins against Oviedo and Hagerty. Timber Creek suffered losses on the road against West Orange and Winter Park. Preseason: No. 8.
Best of the rest: Ocoee (4-5), Lake Nona (4-4), Oviedo (5-5), Orange City University (4-4).