Cocoa Tigers No. 1 In Latest Spectrum Sports Top 20 Rankings, Cocoa vs Bolles Set For Dec. 8 In Orlando
By Space Coast Daily / Spectrum Sports // November 30, 2016
Kickoff set for 7 p.m.
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Brevard County football teams began the weekend with three teams remaining in the FHSAA playoffs and are now down to one.
Both The Viera Hawks and Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers were each toppled last weekend.
Viera fell to the No.1 team in the Spectrum / Bright House Sports Tampa area poll, the Plant Panthers, defeated Viera 35-7.
The senior class for Viera finishes with a record of 30-8 and 6-3 in the playoffs. Arguably, their biggest contributions came as juniors when they helped their then senior class advance to the Class 7A state championship game.
While many predicted the Hawks to return to the playoffs, no one predicted what The Hustlers of Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers accomplished in 2016.
Led by new head coach Stacy Sizemore and junior quarterback Joaquin Collazo, the Hustlers finished 11-1 and provided a memory for Brevard County football fans that will never be forgotten.
In the Class 3A region semifinals the Hustlers defeated Cardinal Mooney 69-62. While coming back from a 21-0 first half deficit was a remarkable feat, what happened after four quarters broke a state record.
The Hustlers and Marauders needed nine overtimes to decide the contest, as MCC won the game on a goal line stand on fourth down. The national record is 12 extra sessions but nine set the Florida state record. The experience gained for Sizemore’s team moving forward is as important as their undefeated regular season.
The Hustlers future is as bright as any team in Brevard County next season. Aside from Collazo, who returns for his senior season in 2017, MCC has several team leaders joining him. Defensive leader and leading team tackler Cam Rivamonte returns, along with RB LaVonte Valentine, defensive back Zamari Walton and all around athlete Lorenzo Hardy.
From the preseason rankings until their quest to win the Class 4A state title next Thursday night, the Cocoa Tigers remain on top of the Spectrum Sports Top 20 poll.
In all, seven Brevard County teams appeared in the poll this year. The Heritage Panthers and Merritt Island Mustangs, appeared and fell out of the poll while Cocoa (1), Palm Bay (8), Viera (9) and MCC (12) all remain with two more polls to be released.
Space Coast Daily will continue coverage of the Cocoa Tiger’s march for a fourth state title.
Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily TV for shows such as Space Coast Daily Sports Shorts and The Friday Night Locker Room Championship Game Preview Show Monday night from Beef O’ Brady’s on state road 524 in Cocoa.
ABOVE VIDEO: Tigers head coach John Wilkinson speaks with Steve Wilson of the Friday Night Locker Room and Space Coast Daily following his team’s victory over Booker T Friday night.
The top high school football teams in Central Florida, as selected by the Bright House Sports Network staff:
1. Cocoa (10-1) – Tigers are headed to the 4A state championship game after ending a streak of five consecutive state semifinal losses to Miami Booker T. Washington.
2. Seminole (12-0) – ‘Noles made big plays down the stretch, scoring the final 17 points against Winter Park for a 48-31 victory in the 8A, Region 1 final.
3. Dr. Phillips (11-2) – Panthers knocked off previously unbeaten Vero Beach 34-24 and will face Seminole in the state semifinals Friday night on Spectrum Sports.
4. Apopka (9-1) – Blue Darters were ranked No. 1 in Class 8A before a stunning 40-39 home loss to Timber Creek.
5. Mainland (11-1) – A nightmare start doomed the Bucs chances in a 33-7 loss to Miami Carol City in the 6A, Region 4 final.
6. Orange City University (8-2) – Titans are 24-6 on the field the last three years but haven’t made the playoffs in any of those seasons.
7. Bishop Moore (11-2) – Hornets couldn’t generate enough offense to hang with top-ranked Plantation American Heritage in a 20-7 region final loss.
8. Palm Bay (10-1) – Pirates went undefeated in the regular season but couldn’t overcome a 21-0 first quarter deficit in a second round playoff loss to Bishop Moore.
9. Viera (9-3) – Hawks won 19 games the last two seasons, which included an appearance in a state championship game and the region finals.
10. Jones (9-2) – Both losses for the Tigers came at the hands of Cocoa.
11. Osceola (10-1) – Kowboys streak of four straight seasons getting to at least the state semifinals was snapped Friday night as Treasure Coast upset the Kowboys 28-27.
12. Winter Park (9-4) – Wildcats came together late in the season for an impressive postseason run that included wins against Wekiva and Timber Creek before losing to Seminole.
13. Wekiva (7-4) – Mustangs missed a chance for their first ever postseason victory by committing four turnovers in a 30-21 loss to Winter Park.
14. Melbourne Central Catholic (11-1) – Hustlers advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in program history before losing to Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 42-17.
ABOVE VIDEO: MCC head coach Stacy Sizemore following his teams loss to Chaminade-Madonna.
15. Lake Brantley (7-5) – Patriots had the lead in the final minute of second round playoff game against Seminole but couldn’t hold on for a victory.
16. Spruce Creek (7-4) – Hawks got to the postseason for the first time since 2008 but fell short in a first round playoff loss to Lake Brantley.
17. South Sumter (10-2) – Raiders couldn’t complete an incredible comeback against Jacksonville Bolles in a 31-26 loss to the Bulldogs.
18. Hagerty (9-2) – Historic season for the Huskies included setting a school record for victories with nine.
19. Timber Creek (8-4) – Wolves advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012 but lost to Winter Park in the region semifinals.
20. Ocoee (7-4) – Knights won their first ever district championship but got blasted by Bartram Trail 52-13 in the first round of the playoffs.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY SPORTS