Two Palm Beach County teams have qualified for Saturday’s Florida High School Flag Football State Championships at Boca Raton High School.
One is a five-time state champion. The other is a newcomer to the state tournament.
While Seminole Ridge hopes to add a sixth state title to those it won in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, Glades Central is seeking its first.
The Raiders, who improved to 15-1 by defeating Daytona Beach-Seabreeze in the regional finals Monday night, take on Miami-Edison at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in a Class 1A state semifinal.
A win for the Raiders would move them into the championship game, which is scheduled for 5 p.m.
“This is a huge achievement for our team,” Glades Central coach Sam Curry said. “Our girls have been working hard all year long for this opportunity. We knew we had a great team coming back, but we had to figure out how to get over that hump of being district runner-up. The girls were very excited about making it to Boca Raton and being the first (Glades Central) team to do it.”
But the Raiders — ranked fourth in the state in Class 1A — will be challenged by unbeaten and No. 3 Edison, which is coming off a 13-0 win over Miami-Monsignor Pace and will be making its second straight state tournament appearance.
The teams have not met this season.
“I know they’re fast, fast and fast,” Curry said of Edison. “They play very aggressive and have a great team, only losing two games in the past two years. The key for us will be slowing them down and making them throw the ball. We have to simply pull flags, because they like to run the ball and use their speed to get to the outside.”
Glades Central has plenty of speed of its own, particularly at the skill positions.
Senior quarterback Wiskierra Lemene, who also plays linebacker and cornerback, has accounted for over 40 touchdowns and 3,000 yards this season, while senior wide receiver/outside linebacker Dakedra Pompey and senior wide receiver/cornerback Olmanika Milfort have combined for more than 1,500 receiving yards.
There is plenty of talent as well at Seminole Ridge (13-1), which enters the Class 2A state semifinal against Cooper City (15-1) as the state’s No. 2-ranked team in that class. The Cowboys are No. 3. Game time is 1:30 p.m.
Hawks coach Scott O’Hara expects a battle against Cooper City, which is coming off a 31-24 victory against Miami High in Monday’s regional final.
The Hawks and Cowboys met last year in the state semifinals, with Seminole Ridge winning 25-12 to advance to the state championship game. Tampa-Plant went on to win the title.
“Cooper City is very well coached and has skilled players at every position, both offensively and defensively,” O’Hara said. “They also have a lot of team speed. They are also playing their best football of the season right now. Playing them will be a tough task for sure.”
O’Hara said the key for Seminole Ridge will be to make plays on offense and special teams.
“At this time of the season, our playmakers have to step up,” he said.