District deconstruction: Class 5A-9

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Fri. July 5, 2013 | Joey Knight | Email

District deconstruction: Class 5A-9

We’re breaking down a football district a day this summer:

Teams
Jesuit
Middleton
Spoto

Must-see game
Middleton at Jesuit, Nov. 1:
Real stretch here — we’re projecting this as the district championship game. If one of these teams stumbles, however, we predict Spoto will slip into the postseason.

Two story lines
Three’s hardly a crowd:
Conceivably, one of these teams could finish 1-9 and make the playoffs. Don’t get Robinson coaches — 5A-8 rivals of these teams for years — started on the absurdity of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s recent biannual district realignment. The Knights, moved to a nine-team 6A district, could have remained here via an FHSAA provision that allows schools whose student population is within 10 percent of the classification dividing line to move down a class. They never got the chance to appeal, new Robinson coach Shawn Taylor says. His predecessor, Mike DePue, was even more succinct: “It’s atrocious.”
Welcome, Matt: After an ultra-successful decade as Armwood’s defensive coordinator, Matt Thompson embarks on his first head-coaching gig at Jesuit, where last we heard, expectations are only a tad below the July humidity level. Don’t worry, Matt, the Tigers boosters are behind you win or tie. Seriously, Thompson will be afforded plenty of time — ’til Nov. 8, when Jesuit plays TC — to resolve his QB derby, solidify his secondary and find some dependable receivers.

Players to watch
Vincent Jackson, LB, Jesuit:
Jackson (6-foot-3, 245 pounds), who has nine offers from SEC schools alone, could stay inside in Thompson’s scheme and steadily stonewall opposing running games.
Patrick Powers, C, Jesuit: The senior, who started every game last season, remains the steadiest force on a team bent on setting up the pass with the run. Jesuit amassed 213 rushing yards in its spring game win against Dixie Hollins.
Arthur Wiggins, LB/WR, Middleton: A rangy 220-pound junior, Wiggins was the best player on the field in the Tigers’ spring jamboree romp of Blake. He already has a Western Kentucky offer.
Traverrian Williams, MLB/FB, Spoto: The Spartans’ defensive anchor registered 76 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two caused fumbles and a blocked punt in 2012. We don’t see him coming off the field very often this fall.

Projected finish
1. Jesuit
2. Middleton
3. Spoto

More in this series:
Class 8A-7
Class 8A-6
Class 7A-9
Class 7A-8
Class 7A-7
Class 6A-8
Class 6A-7
Class 6A-6
Class 5A-8
Class 5A-7
Class 5A-6
Class 3A-5
Class 3A-4
Class 2A-5

Photo: New Jesuit coach Matt Thompson

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