Recreation / Sports
Lakeland High School’s football team proved the naysayers wrong Friday night when they ended a 15-0 season by rolling over nationally seventh-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas 33-20 for their seventh state championship, all under the tutelage of 43-year coach Bill Castle.
ALSO: Photo gallery | Orlando Sentinel | USA Today | Max Preps | Sun-Sentinel | Miami Herald
In advance of tonight’s 8 p.m. Dreadnaughts-Raiders 7A state championship game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, longtime preps writer Roy Fuoco examines the long rivalry between Lakeland and St. Thomas Aquinas.
In Friday’s 7A football state championship, the Dreadnaughts’ reliance on running back Demarkus Bowman plays into St. Thomas Aquinas’ hands, “as the Raiders are awfully good at shutting down one-dimensional teams who lean on one player,” Miami sportswriter Bill Daley says. He predicts the Fort Lauderdale will take their 11th state title with a 35-17 victory.
A housing developer wants to bring a Crystal Lagoon — a large, clear, manmade water structure — to a subdivision planned for 487 acres southwest of Lakeland Linder Airport. Metro Development Group in Tampa has placed one of the lagoons in Wesley Chapel and plans four more in Florida, Tampa Bay Business Journal reports. Lakeland city commissioners are being asked to allow smaller lot sizes in the planned Hawthorne Mills community south of West Pipkin Road to accommodate the lagoon.
LINKS: Crystal Lagoon website | City Commission resolution
Orlando’s Edgewater High football team has gone 12-1 this year after rebuilding from a winless season two years ago. They face the Lakeland Dreadnaughts Friday night at Bryant Stadium in the state semifinals. The winner plays either St. Thomas Aquinas or Venice the following Friday for the state 7A championship.
Football coaches for Tampa’s Plant Panthers start drilling the team early in the season for plays targeted at the Lakeland Dreadnaughts in the expected playoff matchup. That game takes place at 7:30 tonight at Bryant Stadium.
The Lakeland High School Dreadnaughts advance to a playoff next Friday with Plant High for the fourth year in a row after defeating the Kathleen Red Devils 29-7 in regional semi-finals Friday night at Bryant Stadium. Lakeland defeated their long-time, cross-town rival Kathleen 50-0 when they met during the regular season. Their match-up with Plant takes place next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Bryant Stadium. Meanwhile, Victory Christian shut out Trinity Christian of Deltona 35-0 in the Class 2A regional semifinals and play at home next week against Foundation Academy of Winter Garden.
ALSO: Ledger coverage of LHS-Kathleen and Victory Christian