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Is the new volleyball playoff format a success? Find out this week

HomeTeam Hot List: We’ll learn if the first round of volleyball regionals is more competitive, and district champs in football will be crowned Friday.
Robinson volleyball coach Kylee Gorngpratum celebrates after winning a point during a 25-16, 21-25, 25-15, 25-17 victory over Land O' Lakes in the Class 5A, District 6 title match Friday night. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Oct. 22

A closer look at some of the high school events worth checking out this week:

Volleyball, Class 5A-7A region quarterfinals

7 p.m. Wednesday (unless noted): There are 11 area matches in this group. Perhaps the most interesting is a district semifinal rematch between No. 7 Wharton and No. 2 Plant in Class 7A. This will be the fourth meeting between the schools. Plant has won the last two, including 3-1 in the district tournament.

Class 5A

No. 5 Land O’Lakes at No. 4 Robinson

No. 8 Clearwater at No. 1 Port Charlotte

No. 6 Fivay at No. 3 Lecanto

No. 7 Springstead at No. 2 Osceola

Class 6A

No. 6 Lakeland George Jenkins at No. 3 Bloomingdale

No. 5 Viera at No. 4 Strawberry Crest

No. 6 Sunlake at No. 3 St. Petersburg

No. 5 Manatee at No. 4 Wiregrass Ranch

No. 7 East Lake at No. 2 Fort Myers

Class 7A

No. 7 Wharton at No. 2 Plant, 6

No. 5 Steinbrenner at No. 4 Kissimmee

Volleyball, Class 2A-4A region quarterfinals

7 p.m. Thursday: There are 10 area matches. Some of the more interesting ones include No. 6 Berkeley Prep at No. 3 Bishop McLaughlin (a Class 3A district final rematch) and No. 7 Weeki Wachee at No. 2 Nature Coast in Class 4A (Weeki Wachee won both regular-season matches).

Class 2A

No. 7 Academy at the Lakes at No. 2 Keswick Christian

No. 5 Naples Seacrest Country Day at No. 4 Tampa Bay HEAT

Class 3A

No. 8 Northside Christian at No. 1 Calvary Christian

No. 6 Berkeley Prep at No. 3 Bishop McLaughlin

No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 4 Community School of Naples

No. 7 Carrollwood Day at No. 2 Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Class 4A

No. 8 Hudson at No. 1 Academy of the Holy Names

No. 5 Tampa Catholic at No. 4 Citrus

No. 6 Tarpon Springs at No. 3 LaBelle

No. 7 Weeki Wachee at No. 2 Nature Coast

Football, Lakewood at Largo

7:30 p.m. Friday: Lakewood is 8-0 and coming off a bye week, which means the Spartans didn’t have to deal with last week’s inclement weather. Largo was set to play Osceola on Monday night, so it will be a quick turnaround. Lakewood won this game by three points last season, and it could be that close again.

Football, Pinellas Park at East Lake

7:30 p.m. Friday: The Patriots can win the Class 7A, District 9 title by beating the Eagles. They were able to play their game against Sickles on Friday night while East Lake had to wait until Monday to face Leto. Both teams can score points, so this one may be a shootout.

Football, Boca Ciega at Dixie Hollins

7:30 p.m. Friday: At 6-2, the Rebels have already secured their first winning season since 2005. That is the last time Dixie Hollins made the playoffs. A win against Class 6A, District 8 rival Boca Ciega would not only clinch the title, but snap the Rebels’ long postseason drought. The Pirates have incentive, too. They are trying to win their first district title since 2007.


  1. Largo's Jayion McCluster, accompanied by coach Marcus Paschal, posing with his Under Armour All-American jersey. BOB PUTNAM  |  Times
    The linebacker fulfills his goal of getting picked for the prep football showcase held in Orlando.
  2. Armwood's Clyde Pinder Jr. will be playing in the All-American Bowl in two months. BOB PUTNAM  |  Times
    The defensive tackle is one of eight Floridians selected for the All-American Bowl.
  3. Will the home crowd push Mitchell past Bradenton Manatee and through to its first-ever region final in football? SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Rodney Page and Bob Putnam offer up their thoughts on tonight’s second-round matchups.
  4. Junior Ezra Brennan has a shot at history if Mitchell beats Bradenton Manatee tonight. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    The first-year starter for the Mustangs gets a little cousinly advice from ex-Mitchell quarterback Jake Mattos.
  5. Clearwater senior quarterback Rent Montie has thrown for 200-plus yards in five games this season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Tony Bartalo vs. Rent Montie pits two 2,000-yard passers against each other. And they’re not the only quarterbacks faring well in the playoffs this season.
  6. Seffner Christian quarterback Isaiah Knowles has thrown for 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns despite missing four games this season. Times
    The senior quarterback, and Navy commit, has helped dictate the Crusaders’ fortunes, especially their playoff ones.
  7. Tre'von Riggins, a University of Miami commit, has been a force for the Lakewood defense since he transferred from IMG Academy. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    The “Duke Energy Boys” have helped drive an unbeaten season, not giving up a touchdown in seven games.
  8. Mitchell quarterback Ezra Brennan has already surpassed 2,000 yards passing this season. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    The learning curve isn’t too steep for the first-year Mustangs starter, whose unflappable nature can be traced to the other sport he excels in — baseball.
  9. Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor of Plant High makes a move around Northwestern defensive lineman Joe Gaziano on Nov. 2  in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana won 34-3. DOUG MCSCHOOLER  |  AP
    Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota have become feel-good stories in college football this season, with coaches and players who have roots locally.
  10. Clearwater Central Catholic's Zac Elam says that one of the offensive line's strengths is that "we’re really close as a group." DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    While often inconspicuous, the Marauders’ offensive line knows its value this season.