In Orlando, the real story happens Friday at 1:07 p.m. at Citrus Bowl, when Orlando’s own Bishop Moore Hornets meet the Crawfordville Wakulla War Eagles in the State Championship for 5A High School football.
This is Bishop Moore’s first title match since they won in 1970. They beat Tampa Jesuit last weekend 28-14 to advance to the finals while Wakulla defeated Green Cove Springs Clay 34-24 to earn a trip to Orlando.
Wakulla comes in with 6-5, 220-pound, 4-star recruit and senior sensation, Feleipe Franks, who de-committed from LSU recently to go to UF, along with fellow 4-star recruit, 6-3, 211-pound wide receiver, Keith Gavin.
Bishop Moore’s offense starts in the trenches with Parker Boudreaux, a 4-star recruit offensive lineman whose 6-4, 295-pound frame is committed to Notre Dame next year to play for the Irish (check out this Bleacher Report video of his commitment to the Irish).
Side note, @ParkerBoudreaux, known on Twitter as “P-Money,” has 51,000 followers, more than the entire POLITICO Florida team – looking at you @MarcACaputo – heck, you could even throw in the whole Extensive Enterprises team and he’d still have more.
Bishop Moore’s athletic director, Mike Maletesta, was QB for that 1970 State Championship team. The Hornets are led by 5A Coach of the Year Matt Hedrick.
With Gators Quarterback Will Grier out for part of next year’s season, many UF faithful think Franks has a chance to play very quickly. First, he will have to face the Hornets’ stifling defense, led by big defensive lineman Josh Keeler, 6-2, 286 pounds, who’s committed to play at Yale, and Rayshad Lewis, son of NFL great Ray Lewis, who plays both ways as a defensive back and wide receiver.
Look to see Zander Zimmer’s number called a lot as well, as the 6-3, 220-pound Wake Forest commit is a quick and powerful defensive end.
Stacked with talent this year, the Hornets are playing with a determination to finish what they call “Unfinished Business.” Last year, they lost in the state semifinals to South Florida’s American Heritage by one play late in the game, inspiring their mantra of “One Moore.”
Leading Bishop Moore’s offense is Mars Hill basketball commit, Quarterback Collin Hartmann, who can run and throw the ball. His offense has one of the most explosive backfields in high school football, a lineup that includes Trillion Coles, an elusive scat back. His name will sound familiar to the Seminole faithful because his dad, Laveranues Coles, played for FSU and then the New York Jets. Also taking handoffs are C.J McNeal, who runs a 4.34 40-yard dash; Trey Page, a punishing, hard-running fullback, and grandson of longtime Orlando City Councilman Ernest Page; and sure-handed Joe Wallace. Rounding out their scoring attack is the ever-accurate kicker, Jake McIntyre, who is committed to Harvard.
At Orlando Rising, we are committed to providing you with the inside scoop on all that is great about “The City Beautiful,” so you should know we would add some nuggets you won’t find anywhere else.
Brady Keys, local businessman and former Pro-Bowl defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1961-67), has his grandson and namesake, Brady Keys, playing as a backup offensive lineman as well. We also hear that state Rep. Mike Miller’s son, Jack, plays on the Bishop Moore JV team so we expect to be hearing more about him next year.
One of our “100 most influential people in Florida politics,” Tre’ Evers, whose son, Garrett Evers, comes in at 5-8, 200 pounds is the backup center. Don’t be fooled by his height, though, when he opens his mouth and belts out the national anthem at home games. People say he sounds like Orlando Edgewater and FSU graduate Davis Gaines – of “Phantom” and “Les Miserables” (Javert) fame – coincidentally, Garrett played Javert in an Edgewater-Bishop Moore production last year.
All in all, this game and the other football state championship games are a win-win for Orlando, with one hometown team playing and all the games taking place in the newly renovated Citrus Bowl.