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Football: Miami Northwestern at Jesuit preview

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6A state semifinals

Miami Northwestern (10-3) at Jesuit (13-0), 7:30

The Tigers are in the state semifinals for the fourth straight season and the sixth time in the past seven seasons. The biggest difference is Jesuit hosts, something it has not done in its past four appearances. All four of those trips were against powerhouse programs in Fort Lauderdale or Miami (American Heritage in 2016 and ‘20, Cardinal Gibbons in 2018 and Northwestern in 2019), all of which went on to win state titles. Getting a home game was due to having the highest RPI ranking in the region (the Florida High School Athletic Association decided to reseed teams in the state semifinals based off their rankings). That happened largely because of the Tigers win over Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas the second week of the season. Jesuit rocketed up the national rankings (now 12th according to MaxPreps). Better still, the Tigers have confidence that they cannot just compete with teams in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but also beat them. The toughest task for Jesuit’s offense will be handling the constant pressure from the Bulls. Luke Knight, a sophomore who is a first-year starter, has been efficient, throwing for 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. Joquez Smith is the workhorse in the run game, gaining 1,649 yards and 24 touchdowns. On defense, the Tigers’ top priority will be keeping Northwestern’s potent passing game in check. Bulls quarterback Taron Dickens has thrown for more than 300 yards and at least four touchdowns in the last three games. Jesuit has posted seven shutouts and has allowed 85 points this season. 

Stat leaders

CategoryNorthwesternJesuit
Passing yardsTaron Dickens, 3,462 (41 TDs, 7 INTs)Luke Knight, 2,049 (25 TDs, 5 INTs)
Rushing yardsJamari Ford, 536 (8 TDs)Joquez Smith, 1,649 (24 TDs)
Receiving yardsDaverrick Jenkins, 777 yards (8 TDs)Junior Vandeross, 740 (8 TDs)
TacklesN/AAJ Cotterill, 123
SacksN/AWayne Quin, 6
InterceptionsN/ACaleb Williams, 5

Boys Soccer

Boys soccer player of the week poll – Jan. 10-15

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Here are the nominees for the boys soccer player of the week. Voting lasts until 9 a.m. Saturday.

D Sergio Gonzalez, Sr., Clearwater: Scored the lone goal of the match in wins over Hollins and Northeast. 

GK JB Montague, So., Tampa Prep: Made seven saves and recorded a shutout in a win over Mitchell. 

F/D Jake Pyle, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Recorded a combined three goals and two assists in wins over River Ridge, Calvary Christian and Brooks DeBartolo. 

F/MF Ryan Stanley, Sr., Indian Rocks Christian: Finished with a goal and an assist in a win over Seminole. 

MF Ondre Valle, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Recorded a combined two goals and two assists in wins over Bishop McLaughlin and Sunlake.

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Boys Basketball

Boys basketball player of the week poll – Jan. 10-15

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Here are the nominees for the boys basketball player of the week poll. Voting lasts until 9 a.m. Saturday. 

G/F Fero Christian, So., Winthrop College Prep: Recorded 21 points and five rebounds in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

G Derek Delgardo Jr.,, So., Leto: Finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a win over Alonso. 

F Gavin Korth-Loder, Sr., Springstead: Averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game in wins over Nature Coast and Weeki Wachee. 

G Joshua Lewis, Fr., Blake: Finished with 23 rebounds, 19 points, four blocks, four steals and three assists in a win over Freedom. 

G Trevor Parks, Sr., Calvary Christian: Scored 33 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Warriors in a win over Tampa Catholic. 

G Jason Skinner, Jr., Countryside: Averaged 14 points per game in wins over Largo, St. Petersburg Catholic and Mitchell last week. 

G John Ziegler, Jr., King: Averaged 27 points per game in three wins and surpassed the 1,000-point career plateau. 

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General

Girls soccer player of the week poll – Jan. 7-15

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Here are the nominees for the girls soccer player of the week. Voting lasts until 9 a.m. Friday. 

F/MF Kaci Anderson, Sr., Indian Rocks Christian: Finished with four goals and three assists in a win over St. Petersburg Catholic. 

D Karlie Collins, Fr., Durant: Recorded five assists in a win over Lennard. 

F/MF Mia Fairchild, Jr., Academy of the Holy Names: Scored both of the Jaguars goals in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

F/MF Kassie Fragale, So., Palm Harbor University: Led the Hurricanes to a win over Calvary Christian by scoring the lone goal of the match. 

MF Jordin Gundin, Fr., Bloomingdale: Had a goal and an assist in a win over Plant. 

F/MF Katie Koncal, Jr, East Lake: Ended up with three assists and a goal in a tie against Sickles and a win over Osceola. 

F Inna Neves, So., Sunlake: Recorded a goal and an assist in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

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