7A-13 Playoff Preview: Everyone Chasing Douglas
As is the case with every team in Florida, the teams in 7A-13 are going to be trying to upset Douglas in the playoffs. The Eagles are chasing a perfect season and a third straight state title, while everyone else is chasing the Eagles.
It is likely, due to the state rankings system, that any of the other five teams in the district, will have to win the district title to advance to the regionals. That will be a tall task.
Let’s take a look at each team’s prospects.
7A-13 District Playoff Schedule
Location: Olympic Heights
Quarterfinals – Monday (5/1)
No. 3 Coral Springs vs. No. 6 Olympic Heights @ 4:00 p.m.
No. 4 Monarch vs. No. 5 Spanish River @ 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals – Tuesday (5/2)
No. 1 Stoneman Douglas vs. Winner (Monarch-Spanish River) @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 2 Boca Raton vs. Winner (Coral Springs-Olympic Heights) @ 4:00 p.m.
Finals – Wednesday (5/3)
Winner (Semifinal 1) vs. Winner (Semifinal 2) @ 7:00 p.m.
Boca – Team Page
The Bobcats have been getting hot at the right time. After losing six of their first 10 games, Boca has come on strong, going 6-0-2 over their past eight.
If the Bobcats want to advance, they will have to get big playoff performances by Casey Cleghorn, Jeff Bielec, and Kaden Bartlett. The trio has combined for 115 strikeouts in 95.2 innings.
Coral Springs – Team Page
Colts Manager John Brown is in his second season, and the squad has taken a major step forward. After going 8-14 in year one, the Colts are above .500, and another year of building could have Springs contending for a playoff spot.
In order to make a run this season, the Colts will have to tighten up a defense that has been their Achilles heel all year. They have shown flashes of putting it all together in wins over Western, Nova, University School, and Cooper City.
Stringing together wins is the key to playoff success, and the Colts have only one winning streak of more than four wins this year. Good times are coming for Springs, but it may be a year too soon to expect a deep playoff run.
Douglas – Team Page
The Eagles are light years ahead of any other team in the district in 2023. With one week left in the regular season at the time of writing, Douglas has beaten their opponents by a combined score of 158-23. They have eight shutouts, and have given up two or less runs in 18 of their 20 games. Dominant.
The pressure that will be on Douglas isn’t winning their third straight state title. That is just the start. The real pressure comes in with this upcoming playoff run setting the stage for the Eagles making a run at being not only the best team the county has ever seen, but possibly the best team ever in the state.
While it would be too much for other teams to handle, the Eagles have shown this season that they thrive in pressure. So just sit back, and enjoy the ride, as they make their march towards history.
Monarch – Team Page
The Knights could be the wild card in the 7A=13 playoffs. They have as much talent, top to bottom as any team in the district, outside of Douglas. Despite that, Monarch has had some head-scratching losses.
One thing you know with the Knights is that they come with energy every game. If they can eliminate some of the inconsistency we have seen throughout the year, they have as legit a shot as anyone to get a shot at the Eagles in the district title game.
They have am on-base percentage over .400, so a few timely hits could make the difference in advancing or not in the playoffs.
Olympic Heights – Team Page
The Lions played perhaps their best game of the season last week in a 2-0 loss to Monsignor Pace. Manager Willie Vizoso is another coach in the process of rebuilding a program, but things haven’t gone as planned in 2023.
Expecting the Lions to make a run in this district is a tall task, but we have seen crazier things happen in the district playoffs.
Spanish River – Team Page
The Sharks are another in the list of just above .500 teams in the district. Like most of the teams in the district, Spanish River has been inconsistent.
Manager Patrick Abbondandolo is in his first year, and has the Lions poised for their first above .500 season in four years. Abbondandolo expressed at Media Day that he had visions of turning around the Sharks program, and he has made great strides in year one.
To get out of the district come playoff time is something else. Whether it happens this year or not for Spanish River, the future appears bright under their first-year manager.