Schools around Lake Okeechobee set for football playoffs


The Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) has revealed how the football playoffs will look next month, and teams around Lake Okeechobee now know who they’ll be facing.

Instead of being seeded based on a points system or win-and-loss record, the playoffs this year were decided by random draw. Because of the chaos COVID-19 has already wreaked this season, causing some teams to play limited schedules due to missed games, the FHSAA allowed all teams into the playoffs. Some regions will have play-in games ahead of their quarterfinals due to their size.

Home teams for each game will be determined by a coin flip by the FHSAA.

The Okeechobee Brahmans will travel to face the Sebastian River Sharks in a play-in game for the playoffs on Nov. 6. The Brahmans are off to a 3-1 start this season and last week dominated that same Sebastian River team 21-6. The winner of the play-in game on Nov. 6 moves on to play Southeast Seminoles out of Bradenton on Nov. 13.

The Clewiston Tigers will travel to Fort Lauderdale take on the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs on Nov. 13 in the regional quarterfinal. It’s a tough draw for the Tigers, as the Chiefs are only two years removed for winning the state championship. The Tigers are 2-1 and opened the season with two blowout victories over LaBelle and DeSoto County.

The Glades Day Gators will host a play-in game against the Champagnat Catholic Lions on Nov. 6. The Lions have dominated the 2A playoffs in recent years, memorably knocking out the unbeaten Moore Haven Terriers in 2017. So it will be a tough test for a young Gators squad that is off to a 2-1 start this year.

The Moore Haven Terriers won’t have to participate in a play-in game. Instead they’ll move on to the regional quarterfinal, where they’ll travel to face the Neumann Celtics on Nov. 13. The two programs last met in 2018 when the Celtics took a 21-20 victory over Moore Haven.

Moore Haven has had their season turned upside down due to COVID-19. The Terriers were able to play only one opponent this year before a small outbreak in the school caused the team to postpone and cancel multiple games.