TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The 2019 high school football season is all set to kick off Friday night and News Channel 8 is proud to present another full season of the ‘Friday Night Blitz’.
The usual list of bay area state championship contenders will be strong once again. However, this year things will look a bit different.
Last December, the Florida High School Athletic Association announced new classifications for state schools, based on school population as well as location.
Several bay area schools will line up this season against new competition and that list includes the powerhouse programs.
The Armwood Hawks, a perennial contender in Class 6A will now play in Class 7A, creating possible postseason matchups with defending state champion Lakeland as well as Tampa Bay Tech and Bloomingdale.
7A will pit a number of traditional schools against one another and one of the best examples takes place in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The Manatee Hurricanes move down from class 8A to class 7A, creating a district matchup with 7A powerhouse Venice.
Meanwhile, the Plant Panthers, who lost to Lakeland in last year’s regional final, move from 7A to 8A.
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