Week 5 is in the books, and although there were some pretty big names going against one another it may have been the small schools that took the prize for best in show. Here are a few of my thoughts from this past Friday’s action around Hillsborough County.
***The Armwood at Jefferson game was not exactly what many were expecting, but the Hawks did what they needed to do to make it 9 in a row against the Dragons 20-0. Jefferson certainly had their opportunities and should feel as though they may ave even let one get away to a certain extent. It’s apparent that it’s going to take a few more weeks for Darryl Richardson and Matt Jones to get back into the groove and in to playing shape. Both teams have big games 6A-8 when Armwood travels to Sickles this week, and Hillsborough comes to Jefferson. Here is where the “real” fun begins.***
***One of the best games this season wasn’t even played under the “Friday Night Lights”, but on a beautiful afternoon in Carrollwood. Not exactly beautiful if you’re CDS who saw their 22-0 1st Quarter lead disappear along with some of their playoff aspirations by the time the clock hit zeros against Admiral Farragut though. It’s not over by a long shot in that district and the Patriots now will have to win out in order to secure a spot, but they don’t have time to worry about it and as long Robert Davis lines up for the Pats, they will always be in contention for the postseason***
***It’s hot and heavy in two of our favorite districts starting with 6A-8. Armwood at Sickles and Hillsborough at Jefferson are a couple of really attractive pairings and by the end of the night we should know a lot more about the upstart Gryphons, and whether or not Jefferson can put the last two weeks behind them and circle the wagons in time for the big push towards the playoffs. On the other side of the county, it’s Plant City at Durant and Newsome at Brandon. If you can’t get excited about the potential of these four games, you need your pulse checked. Seriously. Can’t wait for Friday already.***
***Another district that hasn’t disappointed completely is 5A-8. Jesuit, Robinson, and Lakewood are still on a collision course to determine the two playoff spots, but Spoto proved Friday Night they’re not going quietly and Gibbs losing to Dunedin may have gotten the Gladiators attention and refocused. We’ll see. There’s some huge matchups in this district in the coming weeks and I’ve got a funny feeling we’re not done seeing some major upsets in the biggest district in the Bay Area.***
***Making one last stop on the district carousel we come to 7A-7. Huge game being played in North Hillsborough when Steinbrenner travels to Gaither. Coach Graham and his Warriors may be one of the youngest programs in the county, but they are 3-1 and thinking postseason whether admitting publicly or not. They’ve come a long way in a short time, and a win against their rivals would put some serious gusts of wind into their sails with a potential district championship on the line against TBT 2 weeks from now. But first things first. Get ready for one of Hillsborough’s best rivalries for years to come.***
Game of the Week: Hillsborough at Jefferson. Although last week’s Plant/TBT game was not the circus that some may have anticipated, two of the county’s traditional powers will go at it and one of these teams will need help getting into the playoffs which is a break from the norm in past years. Tensions will be high and that should make for some good drama.