Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FHSAA Changes Football Formats

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FHSAA Changes Football Formats

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread, Times-Union sports writer

The Bolles School and Trinity Christian football teams will finish their respective playoff roads this week in the state finals in Tallahassee at FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium.

Trinity Christian plays in the second state championship appearance in school history at 1 p.m. Thursday against Delray Beach American Heritage. Bolles goes for its fifth state championship in 13 years at 1 p.m. Friday against Hollywood Chaminade.

While enjoying the accomplishment, both schools may want to take a look back at that playoff road. It may never look the same again.

The Florida High School Activities Association will implement two ground-breaking changes to the playoff formats in Class A and Class 2A next season.

For Class A Trinity Christian and coach Verlon Dorminey, the road will get a little harder.

For 2A Bolles and coach Corky Rogers, the playoff road will get a bit easier.

For both, playoff football will be a new experience.

In Class A, Trinity Christian will be placed in a region with other private-school powers that have dominated the playoffs in recent years. The urban region, as it will be known, was created along with a rural region, made up mostly of small North Florida public schools, to eliminate what the FHSAA perceived as a competitive imbalance.

Last spring, 23 small North Florida public schools created a plan to pull out of FHSAA district play and engage in independent play to avoid facing the private-school powers. The FHSAA's response were the rural and urban regions, which the rural schools found acceptable enough to abandon their plans for secession.

The schools in the rural region are set, but how the urban region will look remains less certain.

"I still don't have the first clue what it's going to look like," Dorminey said. "Hopefully, we'll know by the holidays, but it will certainly be a tougher set up [in the playoffs] for us."

The Class A format change is based on a two-year pilot program and will be re-evaluated after the 2004 season.

In Class 2A, the format change is a simple split of the classification into two sub-classes. …

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