BOYS' TEAM OF THE YEAR
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Coach George Smith's Raiders are typically one of the best teams in Florida, but
this year Aquinas took on the nation. The Raiders conquered Elder (Cincinnati),
Deerfield Beach, Miramar and other talented teams before knocking off perennial
power Lakeland — which had beat them in four previous state final meetings
— in the Class 5A state championship. Boasting 11 Division I-bound seniors,
including QB Ryan Becker, WR Duron Carter and LB Conor O'Neill, Aquinas
went 15-0 on the season and finished first in the ESPN RISE FAB 50.
Led by senior midfielder C.J. Phelps, who has played with the Youth National
Team, the Bobcats defeated two-time defending champ Varela in the semis
before falling to Melbourne in the Class 6A state championship.
Senior Joseph Dorfman placed third (15:36), freshman Elliot Clemente was
fifth (15:45), and all seven Belen runners finished in under 17 minutes as the
team convincingly won the Class 2A state meet.
The Cowboys advanced to the Class 4A state finals with a win over rival
Cypress Bay at regionals. Sophomore Carl Eguez (No. 1) and senior Philippe
Pierre-Antoine (No. 2) led the way for Cooper City.
GIRLS' TEAM OF THE YEAR
PLANTATION AMERICAN HERITAGE
The Patriots won their second consecutive Class 1A title this fall, buoyed by the
third-best two-day score in state history (135) from senior state champion Lindy
Duncan. American Heritage's team score of 581 was just one stroke off the state
record set by Bradenton Academy in 1998. Sophomore Kyle Roig shot an evenpar
72 in the second round for a 146 total, finishing tied for sixth a year after winning
medalist honors. Junior Shelby Coyle and senior Andrea Rosado were each
1-over par on the second day and finished 10th and 22nd, respectively.
Sophomores Kathryn and Erika Fluehr, who finished third and fourth, and
seniors Taylor and Chandler Burfield, who were eighth and ninth, led Community
School to its second consecutive Class 1A state title.
Seniors Tamika Guz and Leeza Burdgess and junior Cleandra Roberts paced a
Norland team that went 32-0 and captured its first state title with a win over
Lake Mary in the Class 6A finals.
Keyed by wins in the 200 yard medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, Boca won
its second consecutive Class 2A state title. Junior Danielle Smith and seniors
Jacqueline Ring and Charlotte Williams led the way for the Bobcats.