The 5 Things You Need To Know For April 8, 2019

  1. The Road to Daytona AND Tallahassee: The FHSAA announced that the state finals for football would be held for the small classes (1A-3A) at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee, and that Class 4A-8A would be held at Municipal Stadium in Daytona for the next three seasons. With that announcement, folks lost their minds. With that in mind (pun intended), let’s breakdown some things.
  2. Location IS NOT an Insult: The fact that these games will no longer play in cavernous Camping World Stadium is disappointing to many, but as evidenced in many facets of life, folks cannot seem to grasp the idea that economics are in fact, a thing. So are optics, and so is the lack of attendance. You can say “they’re all about the money” all you would like to, but throwing stones at the FHSAA publicly on social media just shows how little you may be aware of the process. Not to be a buzzkill, but the lack of stipends and support in all phases for the athletics in this state is a Tallahassee problem. Has been, and always will be. The FHSAA has to do what it has to do in order to maintain their own order of business. It may be controlled at the local level by county administrations, but where do you think those financial directives come from? Go yell at them. We wholeheartedly support people holding ELECTED officials accountable at their jobs.
  3. THIS IS JUST THREE YEARS: Some of y’all act like this was announcement that HSFB was being disbanded and in the process absolutely told on yourselves when it comes to regional bias. Right, the FHSAA held a clandestine meeting, decided to make this decision based on a handshake, and bada-bing-bada-boom, STATE FINALS! Right. In case you were wondering, the FHSAA falls under the Sunshine Laws in this state, MULTIPLE meetings were held after being advertised to the public via social media and their website calendar, which is, like, accessible to the public and stuff. They approached darn-near a dozen spots with a stadium and some hotel space, and yet they turned away for some reason. Some coaches implied their own area representatives and admins were in the dark. HOW SWAY?!? That’s just, well, that’s just not truthful at all. If anything, use that energy to become an overnight entrepreneur and get ready for the next round of negotiations and maybe you can become a local hero, okay? Just tell Becks to get to kickin’ dirt with his Lockhart rehab project and you can have the finals in all their glory in your own backyard. Which, for the record, would be AWESOME.
  4. In Case You Didn’t Notice: They moved 7 of the 8 games to primetime and by themselves. The only game that gets played during the day is at 1:00pm on a Saturday in a very easily accessible Daytona Beach. That’s one of the best improvements that could possible be made in this process. Even on the doubleheader day, those two teams fighting for a title will have the stage ALL TO THEMSELVES. For the small classes, it may not be ideal playing in a facility that quite frankly IS NOT fit for state title games other than the playing surface. But the reality is that there have been an average of nearly 3 teams per year in those three classes for well over a decade making it to the finals. The 1A game is almost exclusively played by teams within a 2hr drive of Tallahassee. Thirty-four teams from the Panhandle or Big Bend region have played for a title since 2005, with 22 of those being relevant to the new changes in the small classes.
  5. Solutions Oriented: The best solution in all of this seems to setup a rotating schedule that accommodates all parties involved. Divide the state into four regions, then then rotate every 2-3 years. Start the process of negotiating with the prospective cities the minute the ink is dry on the paper from the previous deal. Get out in front of the problem and FORCE these venues to bring in one of the best products this state produces. We hate to bring this news to your doorstep on a Monday, but there is in fact a state that exists outside of the 7-8 counties that contain metro areas filled with people who don’t realize this. Also, we are not California, or Texas, or Georgia. Stop moving the goalposts. We have an actual crisis on our hands from coaches salaries to refs shortages, but please, go on about the location of the state finals for the next 3 years. A location that only will be relevant to 16 teams out of 500+ at the end of the day.