Cocoa, Rockledge Highlight SCD–FNLR 2022 Brevard High School Football Preseason Top 7 Power Rankings
By Juan Rodriguez, Space Coast Daily Sports Editor // August 1, 2022
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Prep Football Practice Starts Today; the First Day of the 2022 Regular Season Will Kickoff Aug. 26.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Daily–Friday Night Locker Room 2022 Brevard County High School Football Preseason Top 7 Power Rankings are out and the Cocoa Tigers and Rockledge Raiders are once again projected to be the dominant programs on the Space Coast.
The Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room principals and broadcast team have more than 100 years of experience covering youth and high school sports in Brevard County and this season’s coverage on Space Coast Daily TV will once again feature a dynamic broadcaster lineup.
Space Coast Sports Hall of Famers Steve Wilson and Orville Susong of the Friday Night Locker Room will once again bring you all the live action from the broadcast booth.
In addition, Tom Palermo, Jim Palermo, Giles Malone, Zach Clark, Juan Rodriguez, Jordan Rocco, Ron Lighthall, Daryl Durand, Matt O’Hern, Michael Malone, Gavin Keith, and Brian Dillon will anchor or produce play-by-play broadcasts this season.
Don’t miss these live sports broadcasts featuring cutting-edge coverage on the streaming Space Coast Daily TV, along with player interviews, replays, highlights, pre-game and post-game analysis, and much more!
2022 Brevard County High School Football Top 7 Power Ranking:
■ 1. Cocoa Tigers: The Tigers 2021 season was one for the books, to say the least. Cocoa finished with a 13-3 overall record, a perfect 8-0 home record and punched a to the state championship where they only lost by a small margin.
Of course like every other team, several seniors moved on to the next level, but that shouldn’t be a problem with this talented roster.
The offense will be looking to re-create an offensive identity this season with players like OJ Ross, Davin Wydner, and Robinson all moving on.
Some new talent transferred in this off-season to speed that process up with new players like 4-star receiver Day-Day Farmer, quarterback Blake Boda, and adding former Holy Trinity Tigers head coach Nate Hooks to the coaching staff.
With a defense led by Ohio State Commit Cedrick Hawkins, D’Andrevius Dorsey, and Samadrae Hawkins to name a few, the Tigers could be looking at another special season in 2022
■ 2. Rockledge Raiders: Rockledge had an exceptional 2021 season, finishing 9-3 overall and making it to the second round of the playoffs. Last season the Raiders had a lot of young talent who were showing flashes and establishing an identity as a team. Now with that experience and chemistry, you can expect a significant leap from the previous year.
The Raiders offense will lose a leader in wideout Rian Black who went onto Coastal Carolina, but Rockledge immediately filled that void with former Satellite Scorpions star receiver transferring in the offseason.
Adding that to a roster with players like Florida Gators commit Bryce Lovett, 4-star Jaylen Heyward, Traven Green, and arguably the top defense in the county. This team could be the most talented overall when it’s all said and done.
The culture Coach Wayne Younger has established at Rockledge will continue to keep his team in the mix for the top spot.
■ 3. Melbourne Bulldogs: The Melbourne Bulldogs took the county by storm with the season they had in 2021. Rightfully earning them the number three spot in the power ranking.
Led by Head Coach David Kintigh the Bulldogs finished the season 11-3 overall and made it to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in years.
Quarterback Hunter Turner took his game to another level in 2021 finishing with nearly 3,000 yards, 25 touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 108. Entering his senior year with a season like that under his belt, the sky is the limit for this offense.
They should be able to pick up right where they left off with some key contributors such as Kody Black and James Hinds returning along with the young upcoming talent.
■ 4. Eau Gallie Commodores: The Commodores are coming off an underwhelming season in 2021 finishing with a 3-7 record. The season prior, Eau Gallies lost nearly most of their team due to graduating seniors resulting in one of the youngest rosters in the county which could be the reasoning behind their down season.
Commodores Coach Sands has established a foundation at Eau Gallie High School which tends to get the most out of their players.
Towards the end of the season, you could really see how much the talent has developed. The combination of rising talent, Miami Hurricanes commit Robert Stafford, 4-star linebacker Timajay Hayes, and two talented quarterbacks.
The Commodores are bound to turn heads in 2022.
■ 5. Satellite Scorpions: One word can describe the Scorpion’s offseason: change. That’s something the program dealt with as they prepared for this upcoming season. Coming off arguably the best football season in school history, former Head Coach Ted Kimmey stepped down which led to two more leadership changes.
The 2022 Scorpions will be led by first-year head coach Brian Helton who most recently served as Merritt Island Mustangs’ defensive coordinator.
Although, the team lost some depth with seniors graduating and star receiver Eddie Combs heading to Rockledge. The Scorpions still have a strong competitive roster.
Satellite finished as a top 5 defense in the county in 2021 with players such as Mason Bryant and Ben Morrow excelling. Those two defensive leaders return and will continue to lead, develop and create havoc against teams under defensive-minded Coach Brian Helton.
Former Eau Gallie Commodores quarterback Mark Hinkell transferred to Satellite for his senior season after a strong 2021 campaign.
Despite the change, Satellite High School’s program should remain in the mix and continue to be a team to keep an eye on in the power rankings.
■ 6. Merritt Island Mustangs: Merritt Island enters the 2022 season coming off a remarkable Cinderella season. It’ll be very difficult to match finishing state runner-up or 11-2 again.
But, I don’t expect the fall off for Merritt Island to be as drastic as some may think. Yes, the Mustangs lost most of their seniors, including Space Coast Daily–Friday Night Locker Room Player of the Year Brady Denaburg and Coach Hurlie Brown.
The Mustang’s foundation and formula to success have been installed, and former offensive coordinator and new head Coach Tyler Murray will look to continue what they started.
Across the board, Merritt Island is still loaded with talent and still has returning players from the state championship runner-up team like Dallas Donahue, Sean Mayo and Elijah Edwards to name a few.
Time will tell, and this new look Merritt Island team will need to prove they’re still a top team and not just a one-hit-wonder.
■ 7. Palm Bay Pirates: The Pirates are coming off their first season following a regime change. Palm Bay enters the new season under second-year head coach Jake Owen.
In 2021 the team finished 4-6, which isn’t the worst considering this team was in the process of establishing an identity and creating a foundation.
As the Pirates move forward, you can keep an eye on players like quarterback Zach Emory-Foster, Octavian Osby, and 3-star defensive end Daniel Harris to take the next step and start making noise in the county once again.
JUST MISSED THE CUT:
■ Bayside Bears
■ Viera Hawks
■ Heritage Panthers
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The Space Coast Daily team brings you the very best Brevard County news and sports coverage. This is the fourth decade of high school sports coverage for the principals of Space Coast Daily and the Friday Night Locker Room.
In 1997, Dr. Jim Palermo, now Editor-in-Chief of Space Coast Daily, and Tom Palermo, now Space Coast Daily president and publisher, called the first-ever Brevard County high school football game on the radio.
From 1997 through 2000, the Palermo brothers called high school football action on WMEL and below is a clipping promoting the broadcasts out of the August 26, 1999 edition of Space Coast Press newspaper, which was owned and published by Tom Palermo. Gannett purchased the Press from Palermo in July 2000.
“One of the most memorable moments during those years was when we broadcast the Palm Bay – Dillard 2000 state championship game back to Brevard from the Swamp in Gainesville,” said Jim Palermo.
Dan Burke’s Palm Bay Pirates defeated Dillard 10-6 to win the 6A title that year.
The Palermo’s turned over the reins of the broadcasts to the Friday Night Locker Room team beginning in 2001. Since then, the Friday Night Locker Room hasn’t missed a beat as Steve Wilson and Orville Susong begin their 20th full season broadcasting prep sports on the Space Coast.
In 2012, Space Coast Daily and the Friday Night Locker Room forged a partnership to bring Brevard County one-of-a-kind comprehensive, cutting-edge multimedia youth and high school sports coverage, including football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, wrestling, bowling and more.
Ever the innovators, the Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room team provided Space Coast sports fans the first web live streams and Facebook Live play-by-play action and are dedicated to being the preeminent purveyor of multimedia sports coverage on the Space Coast for many years to come.
Space Coast Daily excels across all mediums, including social media, the web, print and grassroots events, such as the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, which Space Coast Daily founded in 2011.