JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The final high school football district assignments are set as the new Metro and Suburban divisions prepare for takeoff.
The Florida High School Athletic Association released finalized football districts Thursday morning, with two minor changes and two larger ones for area programs.
Baldwin, which is on the outskirts of Duval County and was originally assigned to the Metro division, was placed in the Suburban class. The Indians join Baker County, Fernandina Beach, West Nassau and Yulee in District 5-2S. The district assignments are for football only and are in place for the next two seasons.
That’s a significant move for the Indians.
Under the new Metro-Suburban format, schools in the largest eight counties in Florida play in the Metro division. A fringe school like Baldwin made sense to petition for a change into the Suburban classification.
To rectify the two-team district that Baldwin’s move created, Riverside was moved from District 1-2M and placed into 3-2M alongside Westside and White.
Matanzas moved down a classification and into District 4-3S with Clay, Gainesville, Menendez and St. Augustine. And Interlachen moved out of district play and became an independent.
The playoff qualifying format remains largely intact, although district play returning to small classifications is a change. Previously, teams in Class 4A and under played in regions and didn’t have opponents locked in.
In Classes 2M-4M and 2S-4S, district champions qualify for the playoffs, with the next four playoff teams determined by FHSAA Power Rankings. That’s a deviation from the RPI metric that had been used to determine playoff seeds. In Classes 1M-1S, district champs earn the automatic playoff berth, with the next two teams with the highest Power Ranking number qualifying. In 1M-1S, only four teams per region qualify. In the Rural division, the top six teams per region qualify.
Note: The Metro division includes schools from the eight most populated counties in Florida (Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Seminole).
North Florida Educational Institute
Flagler Palm Coast
Cedar Creek Christian