Armwood will compete in its sixth state football championship since 2003 this weekend against Miami Central, so the Hawks aren’t strangers in the Citrus Bowl.
But coach Sean Callahan said Armwood’s previous five state finalist rosters haven’t been as young as this one, which includes only two seniors on the offensive line and only three defensive starters in 12th grade.
“There’s a lot of excitement here,” Callahan said. “We’re still amazed that we’re here at this position right now.”
His Hawks (14-0) have the unenviable task of facing one of the country’s top teams. The Rockets are making their fourth consecutive appearance in the state title game and are ranked in the top seven nationally by USA Today, MaxPreps and nationalhsfootball.com.
“That’s a little overwhelming for this group that I’m in charge of right now,” Callahan said.
Miami Central (12-1) feels that its rankings are too low.
The Rockets are still fuming over their only loss that came in September to Miami Washington, when Central’s potential winning drive ended with two penalties and an interception returned for a loss. That kept Washington ranked atop the country but hasn’t changed the Rockets’ mind sets that they should be No. 1.
“We think we’re the best team,” coach Roland Smith said, “and we prepare like we’re the best team, and we play like we’re the best team.”
State football final
Where: Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Admission: $12, parking is $10
Class 6A: Armwood vs. Miami Central, 1 p.m. Saturday