The Florida High School Athletic Association released the 2013 and 2014 seasons' finalized football districts. The biggest change affecting locals schools is the FHSAA granting Navarre's petition to remain in District 2-6A with Choctawhatchee and Fort Walton Beach instead of the newly formed District 1-7A that originally had the Raiders joining Crestview, Niceville and Tate.
The Florida High School Athletic Association released the 2013 and 2014 seasons' finalized football districts.
The biggest change affecting locals schools is the FHSAA granting Navarre's petition to remain in District 2-6A with Choctawhatchee and Fort Walton Beach instead of the newly formed District 1-7A that originally had the Raiders joining Crestview, Niceville and Tate.
Now, District 1-7A will be a three-team district that is home to the Bulldogs, Eagles and Aggies.
Ironically, Mosley petitioned out of District 2-6A, leaving Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee to fight it out for the two playoff spots there.
Mosley will play in District 1-5A next season with Arnold, Bay, Gulf Beeze, Catholic, Rutherford and West Florida. Catholic, with 596 students, also petitioned to play in the district.
I'm sure the big reason behind Catholic's decision to play up with schools almost three times its size has to do with geography. The Crusaders were originally slated for District 1-3A, a district where every other team is from the Jacksonville/St. Augustine.
The FHSAA granted 59 petitions, allowing schools to play in a district other than the one they were originally assigned. I don't know how many schools petitioned for a move up or down, but I'm guessing most schools wanted to move down in classifications. Nor do I know how many schools petitioned to move at all.
The number of schools that had their petition granted surprised me. If my count is correct, there are 561 football-playing schools in the state, so one out of 10 were allowed to move to the district of their choice.
With the new districts in place, coaches can start the upcoming season's scheduling process.
That's where things get tricky.
For the last two seasons, the old District 2-6A comprised six teams, solving half the scheduling problems for any team. With the three-team districts now in place, teams will scramble to pick up the eight games needed to round out the schedule.
The solution should be easy. Crestview and Niceville can continue to play Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Choctaw, but that leaves five games to fill that are non-district games. It seems that games with teams from Pensacola, Panama City or Tallahassee will be at a premium, or maybe some games with teams from South Alabama will be in order.
It will be interesting to see what local coaches can do with the schedule to ensure fans get a full slate of games and the school benefits from the 10-game season's financial aspects.
I can tell you with some certainty that Crestview's two district games will be at home against Tate and on the road at Niceville. Niceville also will travel to Tate and the Aggies will be at home against the Eagles and will play the Bulldogs at Jack Foster Stadium.
All that aside, I don't like three-team districts.
In my perfect world, all districts would have between six and eight teams. A six-team district is big enough to have the excitement of a playoff race where late-season games mean something special. It also allows a team time to recover from a slow start in district play and still makes the playoffs.
An eight-team district offers the same advantages, and there is still room to schedule a few rivalry games with schools that aren't in your district. Games like Crestview and Choctaw are good for both schools, whether or not they are in the same district.
My biggest gripe with the three-team districts is I don't believe any team should be able to make the playoffs with just one district win or one win period. And you can bet the ranch that a team with one district win will be in the playoffs in every three-team district. It's mathematically impossible for it not to happen.
I don't have as much of a problem if a team with one district win makes the playoffs if they have had a good season outside district play. I've always believed that playoffs were a reward for a good season and should never be a pat on the back for being average.
There is still plenty of time to see how things will fall into place with the new districts.
It's safe to say that the district races in 1-7A and 2-6A this year will be sprints and not marathons.
It should be an interesting fall.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletinís sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524