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Pinellas County breakdown of new FHSAA football districts

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Fri. January 25, 2013 | Rodney Page | Email

The Florida High School Athletic Association released the new football districts for 2013-14. That means some shuffling for Pinellas County schools. Here is a breakdown of the new districts:

Class 8A, District 7

Teams: Bradenton Manatee, Palm Harbor University, Sarasota Riverview, St. Petersburg.

Playoffs: This district plays District 8 in the first round (Port St. Lucie Centennial, Fort Pierce Central, Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast, Vero Beach).

What has changed: St. Petersburg has been bumped from 7A to 8A and replaces East Lake, which has moved to 7A.

Quotable: "I have to like the district. There's no other choice. Basically, I'm trading one really good team (East Lake) for another (Manatee). It's not like we have no shot at making the playoffs. We still have that opportunity. That's all you can ask for." -- PHU coach Matt LePain.

Class 7A, District 9

Teams: Clearwater, Countryside, East Lake, Northeast, Pinellas Park, Seminole

Playoffs: This district plays District 10 in the first round (Braden River, North Port, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Sarasota).

What has changed: St. Petersburg has been bumped up, East Lake drops down to this 7A district.

Class 6A, District 7

Teams: Dixie Hollins, Largo, Osceola, Venice

Playoffs: This district plays District 8 in the first round (Armwood, Blake, Chamberlain, Hillsborough, Jefferson, King, Leto, Lennard, Robinson).

What has changed: This is now a much smaller district. Boca Ciega, Lakewood Ranch and Tarpon Springs are out, while Venice moves in.

Class 5A, District 8

Teams: Boca Ciega, Dunedin, Gibbs, Lakewood, Tarpon Springs.

Playoffs: This district plays District 7 in the first round (Anclote, Gulf, Hudson, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Wesley Chapel).

What has changed: This district has gone from eight teams to five. Only Dunedin, Gibbs and Lakewood remain. Boca Ciega and Tarpon Springs move down from 6A. Jesuit, Lennard, Middleton and Robinson are out. The path through the playoffs also got easier. Only one team in District 7 (Anclote) had a winning record last year.

Quotable: "I like the fact that we get to play some different teams in the district. I've always wanted to play teams like Gibbs and Lakewood. And if we're fortunate enough to get to the playoffs, there are natural rivalries we could have in the first round with some of the Pasco County teams being so close to us." -- Tarpon Springs coach Ron Hawn.

Class 3A, District 5

Teams: Admiral Farragut, Calvary Christian, Clearwater Central Catholic, Shorecrest, St. Petersburg Catholic.

Playoffs: This district plays District 6 in the first round (Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, Naples Community School, Sarasota Out-of-Door, Bradenton St. Stephens.

What has changed: Shorecrest is in a district after spending two years as an independent. Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic are out. Admiral Farragut and Calvary Christian move up from 2A.

Class 2A, District 5

Teams: Bradenton Christian, Tampa Cambridge, Canterbury, Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian, Keswick Christian, Northside Christian.

Playoffs: This district plays District 6 in the first round (Fort Myers Evangelical, Naples First Baptist, North Port Imagine School, Marco Island Charter, Moore Haven, Fort Myers SW Florida Christian, Naples St. John Neumann.

What has changed: Northside Christian won its appeal and stayed in this district. It was originally put in Class 3A. Admiral Farragut and Calvary Christian have moved up. The district went from nine teams to seven.

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