FHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced
June 5th, 2017

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Florida High School Athletic Association is proud to announce the eight-member FHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

The 27th class to be inducted, the FHSAA Hall of Fame celebrates more than 90 years of interscholastic competition featuring some of the most accomplished student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials from the state of Florida.

“We are thrilled to honor the careers of these eight exceptional people who have spent their lives dedicated to enriching education-based athletics in the state of Florida,” FHSAA incoming Executive Director George Tomyn said. “They are an outstanding illustration of greatness and we are proud to call them FHSAA Hall of Famers.”

A special induction ceremony will take place in Gainesville on Sunday, September 17. 

Bill Kramer , a football coach who led Naples High to a pair of state championships, including the first by any school in Southwest Florida. Kramer has also coached several state champions in track & field.

• Vassar Carlton, a student-athlete considered one of the most dynamic athletes in Brevard County history. The former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court lettered in football, basketball, and baseball from 1926-31 at Cocoa High School.

• Ernie Chatman, a legendary coach who found success in five sports over five decades in Hernando County. The 1997 FHSAA State Championship winner was named the St. Petersburg Times Coach of the Year 19 times.

• David Jarrett, an official from the East Coach Officials Association in Palm Beach County who has earned a whopping 24 state final assignments in the past 25 years. The former NFHS Florida High School Football Official of the Year has worked 12 state championship games since moving to Florida in 1985.

• Michael Parks, an official from Crestview who has umpired in the FHSAA State Series for baseball from 1996-present. The leader of the Miracle Strip Officials Association has also been selected to work four football state championship games.

• Mike Pittman, the first coach in Florida history to lead a school to four consecutive football state championships. Pittman led Suwanee High to an overall record of 92-37 from 1985-96 after the Bulldogs had finished the previous 14 seasons under .500.

• Mark Schusterman, a softball coach who has won six state championships, made 11 Final Four appearances, brought home 13 regional titles and captured 29 district crowns. Schusterman was instrumental in helping the state of Florida transition from slowpitch to fastpitch softball.

• Brian Wheatley, a four-time state championship coach in volleyball who has led Venice High to 16-consecutive 20-win seasons. Wheatley has had 17 former student-athletes become coaches following their playing days.

Golden Eagles triump over the Green Devils 28-13 in St. Petersburg

 ​The Golden Eagles fans have always traveled well; which was not any more evident than this past Friday night. On a drizzly night in St Petersburg, It was quite evident that more of the Naples fans made the 3 hour trip than the locals, many of them disguised as empty seats.Perhaps buoyed by the intense fan support, your Golden Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and added two tallies in the second half for the final 28-13 score.  As promised, the offense was very generic with lots of running plays off tackle and 5 token passes tosssed in for good measure. Elan Sommala paced the ground assault with 106 yards & Chez Melussi added 98 more .  The Golden Eagles defense harrassed the Green Devils all night long recording 5 sacks and a pass interception by Donaldson Ulissse inside the 10 yard line.  At the end of the day, St Pete could only muster 133 total yards, with almost half, 61, on their final drive.

Up next is summer conditioning, and  less than 90 days until the Kickoff Classic against North Fort Myers.

 Go Eagles!


New playoff system will make
every regular season game count

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has gone through numerous changes to the playoff system since its' beginning in 1963.  In the early years, only the district champion advanced to the playoffs, but as more schools were added, and in 1993, the district runner-up also made the playoffs.  In 1999 and for the next 5 years, wild cards, based on overall won/loss records joined the mix.  2017 will introduce the most radical changes since the inception of the playoff system.  In the larger districts, 5A through 8A, each district champion will continue to qualify for the playoffs, but the remainder of the brackets will be filled in by schools that secured the most "points". In each of the 4 regions of 6A (Naples plays in Region 3), there would be 4 district champions, for a total of 16 playoff teams.  Each region would also have 4 qualifiers based on the points system, more on that later.  The total of 32 teams beginning the playoffs in November is the same as last year.

Winning the district is always a huge advantage as the district champion is guaranteed of at least one home playoff game.  This year the FHSAA has upped the ante.  If you are not only the district champion, but the highest seed in your region, you could be playing at home for the first 3 rounds of the playoffs. The state semifinal game alternates as a home game each year with the other region, so yes, it is possible to play 4 consecutive playoff games at home before reaching the state championship game in Orlando.

The points system is pretty straight forward, and you can read all the details HERE .  The breakdown on earning points is as follows; 


Facing opponents with a winning percentage of 80% or better and winning that contest earns the most points, 50. A loss to the same school is good for 30 points.  Beating a school with a winning record of less than 40% would still earn 35 points but a loss would get only 15.  The emphasis remains on winning as you are awarded more points for beating a less successful school (35) than losing to a powerhouse (30).  However, if you want to be a top seed in the district, you will need to schedule those powerhouse schools and win some if not all of them.  The margin of victory is not a factor - blowing a team out by 50 points or winning a nail biter by 1 point does not affect the amount of playoff points earned for that game.

Another twist to the new format is the ability to earn "bonus points".  Scheduling a team that appeared in the playoffs in either 2015 or 2016 season is worth 3 bonus points, win or lose. For Naples, 8 of their 10 opponents this year meet the criteria. Only Golden Gate and Lely are void of playoff appearances in the past two years. 

Unlike in years past, the seeding will not be decided until the last weekend of games are played in your region. Winning the district will guarantee a home playoff game, but the identity of your first round opponent is likely to remain a mystery until all the games are played.  As of now, it looks like the final seedings will be announced on Sunday, November 5th.  The top seed in the region would play the lowest qualifier on points, the number 8 seed. Round two would feature the highest seed remaining hosting the lowest remaining seed.

So there it is.  Put on your helmet, fasten your chin strap and prepare for a wild ride!

  1. Down & Dirty Camp
    June 20-22
  2. Fall equipment issued
    July 24
  3. Kickoff Classic at Staver Field
    North Ft. Myers
    Aug 18

7:30 Kickoff Classic

There are only two types of people in the world -
Golden Eagles
and those that want to be Golden Eagles