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Season finale moved up a day

This week's regular-season football finale featuring Mitchell at Wesley Chapel has been moved up to Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

The teams, who have both clinched berths in the regional playoffs, opted for the move for two reasons. First, it gives both squads an extra day of rest and preparation for next week's playoff opener. Second, it gives both coaching staffs a better opportunity to scout their first-round opponents in person Friday night.

"It's a good idea because we can go see the teams we're playing Friday," said Wildcats coach John Castelamare, who said Mitchell's Scott Schmitz called him last week to ask about the potential change. "(Robinson) will be coming to see us Thursday. It works out pretty good for both teams. Mitchell earned a spot in the playoffs and we're telling our boys we're going up against a playoff team this week."

Castelamare wanted to make the same move last season when his team finished on a Thursday against Land O'Lakes, but Gators coach John Benedetto opted not to shift a home game from a strong Friday night crowd and disrupt the normal game-week schedule.

The Wildcats (9-0) were champions of Class 3A, District 9 and host Robinson (7-2) in the opening round of the playoffs. Mitchell (3-6) was the 4A-7 runner-up and travels to face Lake Gibson (7-2) next week.

_ GREG AUMAN

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