Home Sports High school football: FHSAA Class 4M state tournament playoff preview

High school football: FHSAA Class 4M state tournament playoff preview

High school football: FHSAA Class 4M state tournament playoff preview

The USA TODAY Florida Network breaks down the Floridspan high school footbspanll plspanyoffs region by region. Here’s a look at what to expect in Class 4M.

Roundup:USA Todspany Network reporters brespank down the FHSAA footbspanll plspanyoffs

Region 1

Sanford-Seminole all-state wide receiver Darren "Goldie" Lawrence

First Round

(1) Seminole vs. (8) Mandarin

(4) Lake Mary vs. (5) Hagerty

(3) Winter Park vs. (6) Lake Brantley 

(2) Apopka vs. (7) Boone

Burning question

Can Seminole make a postseason run without quarterback Luke Rucker?

Rucker has been dealing with a back injury throughout the second half of the season and missed the season-finale loss at Apopka. The FAU commit is experienced and does a great job running the offense. The Seminoles’ offense will look different if Rucker is sidelined during the playoffs. 

Recruit to watch 

Kaven Call (Apopka DL)

UCF fans should be paying close watch to this region with several defensive commits, including Lake Brantley twin linebackers Andrew and Michael Harris, Lake Mary cornerback Braeden Marshall and Call. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Call can line up inside or come off the edge and does a great job of getting into the backfield and making things difficult for opposing offenses. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Seminole vs. Apopka (regional final)

Region 2

Ocoee defensive back Zachary Tobe.

First Round

(1) East Lake vs. (8) Olympia 

(4) Plant vs. (5) Sumner

(3) Ocoee vs. (6) Durant 

(2) West Orange vs. (7) Steinbrenner 

Burning question

Is this region wide open?

It sure looks that way. West Orange came on strong in the second half after a three-game losing streak in September. Ocoee was the top seed before stumbling down the stretch. East Lake and Plant both have impressive records, but both have a weak strength of schedule on the FHSAA power rankings. Dr. Phillips is a low seed, but they’ve shown they can hang with the top seeds in the region.

Recruit to watch 

Jordan Castell (West Orange S)

The Florida commit is ranked No. 48 on the USA Today Florida Network top 100. The rangy 6-foot-2, 195-pounder had 28 tackles, three tackles for loss to go along with a team-best two interceptions and five passes defended. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

West Orange vs. Plant (regional semifinal)

Region 3

Palm Beach Central wide receiver Javorian Wimberly (7) runs the ball down the field by being chased by Pahokee's Torian Henley (20) during the football game between Pahokee and host Palm Beach Central on Friday, September 16, 2022, in Wellington, FL.

First Round

(1) Palm Beach Central vs. (8) Jupiter 

(4) Santaluces vs. (5) Stoneman Douglas

(3) Palm Beach Gardens vs. (6) Wellington

(2) Monarch vs. (7) Boca Raton

Burning question

Is this the year Palm Beach Central breaks through to the Final Four?

The Broncos reached the regional championship game last season and have been focused on getting back — and further — this fall. Central has a senior-heavy team and has been routing teams this season since a September loss against Pahokee. The road to the Final Four will go through Central this season.  

Recruit to watch 

Will Prichard (Santaluces QB)

Santaluces has had a stunning turnaround under coach Hector Clavijo III this season and Prichard is a big reason why. Through the first 10 weeks, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior completed 67% of his passes for 2,108 yards and 26 touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Monarch vs. Palm Beach Gardens (regional semifinal)

Region 4

Columbus running back Sedrick Irvin Jr. warms up before playing Jesuit on Friday.

First Round

(1) Columbus vs. (8) Miami

(4) Miami Palmetto vs. (5) West Broward 

(3) Doral Academy vs. (6) Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines)

(2) Western vs. (7) Cypress Bay

Burning question

Who can slow down Columbus?

The Explorers have been one of the best teams in the state, regardless of classification, this season and ended the regular season as the No. 1 team in Class 4S on the USA Today Florida Network poll. Columbus has an elite front seven on defense, solid skill position players and one of the top coaches in the state. The team’s lone loss was a seven-point defeat at the hands of Miami Central. 

Recruit to watch 

Robby Washington (Miami Palmetto WR/ATH)

Washington and his twin brother, Bobby, both are committed to Miami. Robby Washington is ranked No. 39 on the USA Today top 100. An explosive playmaker, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior could see time at wide receiver, running back or kick returner for the Panthers. Trying to corral Washington in space is a nightmare for a defense. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Columbus vs. Miami Palmetto (regional semifinal)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here