Fans celebrate with Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., center, after his team's 39-28 win against then-No. 11 Michigan State last September.
The Tampa Bay Tech alumnus will try to become the first area player to win the hallowed award.
A couple of plays go against the Panthers in a one-run loss to Boca Raton Spanish River in the Class 7A final.
The Warriors graduate just one player from the squad that beat Somerset Academy Silver Palms Thursday to claim its second straight Class 3A championship.
Hours before their commencement in Tampa, the Tigers played for a state title in Fort Myers.


  1. Fans celebrate with Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., center, after his team's 39-28 win against then-No. 11 Michigan State last September.
  2. Elizabeth Breen hugs fellow senior Gracie Ciccarello moments after Plant's 3-2 loss to Boca Raton Spanish River in the Class 7A state softball final Saturday afternoon in Clermont.
  3. Calvary Christian celebrates after winning its second consecutive Class 3A state softball championship Thursday in Clermont. The Warriors defeated Somerset Academy Silver Palms 3-0 in the final.
  4. Jesuit senior reliever Derek Westfall (center, leaning over rail) cheers on teammates before entering in relief against Plantation American Heritage in the Class 5A final Wednesday in Fort Myers. Westfall and his fellow seniors were attempting to win a state crown, then attend graduation ceremonies, on the same dizzying day.
  5. Plant reliever Mitchel Doane fires a pitch during the Class 7A final Wednesday night in Fort Myers. Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas won 10-0 in five innings to complete its season 29-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation by
  6. Sickles coach Eric Luksis, holding the Class 6A trophy, gets mobbed by his ecstatic team moments after a 4-2 victory over Viera Wednesday at Hammond Stadium gave the Gryphons their first state baseball title in school history.
  7. Jesuit starting pitcher Wes Mendes gets a hug from coach Miguel Menendez moments after the Tigers fell 8-5 to Plantation American Heritage in the Class 5A state final Wednesday afternoon in Fort Myers.
  8. After the final out sealed up a dramatic come-from-behind victory in a Class 7A state semifinal on Tuesday, Plant rushed the field to give Panther closer Mitchel Doane a big hug.
  9. Sickles slugger Caden McDonald gets swarmed by teammates moments after belting his 12th homer of the year in the Class 6A state semifinal Tuesday afternoon. McDonald also earned the complete-game victory on the mound.
  10. Blue Jays right-hander Nate Pearson has had his share of setbacks since leaving Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Pasco County but he has reinvented himself as a reliever and brings a 2.25 ERA to Tropicana Field this week.
  11. Jesuit starting pitcher Aden Knowles threw 4.1 innings, giving up four hits while striking out three during a 3-1 victory over Sebring in the Class 5A state semifinal Monday afternoon.
  12. Former Gulf and Ridgewood head football coach Jay Fulmer has been hired to fill the vacancy at Sunlake, a program that has come under national scrutiny following a violent altercation between two coaches at a recent practice.
  13. Calvary Christian celebrates the third state baseball title in school history after defeating North Broward Prep 9-3 in the Class 3A state championship game on Saturday in Fort Myers.
  14. Despite a surgically mended right knee (and a left knee that will require surgery), Jesuit senior Josh Hines is batting nearly .300 this season.
  15. Hillsborough High head football coach Earl Garcia is wrapping up his 50th spring practice as a bay area prep coach.
  16. Robinson wins its seventh straight flag football title with a 32-13 victory over Choctawhatchee in the Class A state final on Saturday at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville.
  17. Sunlake High will be seeking its third head football coach since the start of the 2022 season. The school has parted ways with B.J. Hall following a physical altercation between two of Hall's assistants at a recent practice.
  18. Tampa Bay Bucs rookie Cody Mauch was one of three NFL draft picks to come from North Dakota State's 2017 recruiting class.
  19. Izaiah Williams, seen here at Wiregrass Ranch High in 2021, orally committed to the Florida Gators.
  20. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a physical altercation between two assistant football coaches Monday at Sunlake High School. [Times files (2014)]
  21. Freedom senior wrestler Bashir Rostami didn't have the outcome he wanted at a recent high-profile meet, but does have encouraging news on the college front.
  22. Steinbrenner baseball coach John Crumbley, who won his  800th career game Wednesday night, started the Warriors program from scratch in 2009.
  23. Freedom High senior Bashir Rostami, forced to flee Afghanistan with his family in 2021, quickly evolved into one of the area's top wresters this past season. Then came a controversial ruling in a late-season match that de-railed his season.
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