An age old adage in high school football is that if you’re practicing during Thanksgiving week, then you did something right that season.
A fortunate group of #20Strong prospects got to do just that this week after propelling their respective schools even further into the Florida/Georgia state playoffs last Friday.
Pahokee LB Frankie Burgess
Pahokee has been on fire for the past month and the Blue Devils continued their hot streak by knocking off Chiefland 32-27 in the Region 4 final last Friday. Burgess has been a major force on a defense that has forced 10 turnovers in two games.
In the days leading up to the game, he was recognized locally by being named the CBS 12 Athlete of the Week.
CBS12 Athlete of the Week- Pahokee High School's Frankie Burgess
Congratulations to Frankie Burgess from Pahokee High School! He's this week's CBS 12 News Athlete of the Week!Posted by John Evenson on Thursday, November 21, 2019
He also got to visit Washington State this past weekend, making the Cougs another team USF has to fend of before the early signing period.
Burgess and the Blue Devils will travel to two-time defending state champion Madison County this Friday where the winner will meet either Baker or Blountstown at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee for the 1A state championship next Saturday. This is the third time in four years Pahokee and Madison County have faced each other in the postseason.
Plantation American Heritage OG Khristopher Love
Love and his Patriots came out on the losing end of a highly anticipated Class 5A heavyweight fight, falling short to Miami Northwestern in a 23-20 thriller.
Tampa Gaither LB Chance Coleman
The hometown product ran in a score on offense as part of Gaither’s 41-7 domination of Lake Minneola to take the Region 2-6A title.
Coleman and the Cowboys will make the long, seven-hour trek up to Pensacola this Friday to take on undefeated Escambia, who blitzed Jacksonville Lee 39-13 in the Region 1 final. The winner will move on to the 6A title game at Daytona Stadium on Dec. 12 to play either Palmetto or Miami Central.
Deerfield Beach CB Christopher Townsel
Deerfield claimed its second straight regional championship last Friday, racing past Vero Beach 35-7 in the Region 3 final.
Townsel and the Bucks will head to Miami Columbus for the state semis this Friday, The winner will play either Apopka or Steinbrenner in the 8A state championship game on Friday, Dec. 13 in Daytona Beach.
Valdosta QB Tate Rodemaker
Once again rounding out the playoff roundup is Tate Rodemaker, who came up huge in crunch time to help lead his Wildcats to a 28-24 road victory over Johns Creek.
Down 24-21 with 46 seconds left in the game, the QB fired a slant to wide receiver Javonte Sherman, who housed it for a 46-yard touchdown to put VHS back on top. JC attempted to pull off their own late game heroics by marching it downfield into the redzone. But an interception by Jadarian Rhym sealed the victory for Valdosta.
Great seeing @vhswildcats get a comeback 28-24 win at Johns Creek HS tonight! QB @TateRodemaker played awesome in crunch time! So proud of him & the Wildcat team! #GoCats @680TheFan pic.twitter.com/a3YzxARsDw— buck belue (@buckbelue8) November 23, 2019
On the year, Rodemaker has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 41 touchdowns with a 72 percent completion percentage. Valdosta will head to the Savannah area for the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals on Friday to battle Richmond Hill. The winner will face either Alatoona or Coffee next Friday in the state semis.