In the past six years the middle school state championship series has grown in legitimacy and partipation. Three years ago we went from being an open state championship meet to having regional qualifiers around the state. We had two main reasons for doing this: 1) to create the atmosphere of priveledge and recognition of hard work for those athletes qualifying to compete at the state meet 2) to increase visibilty, interest, and participation at the local level. The regional qualifiers have gotten more kids involved and given them more opportunities to compete--and enabled them to qualify in their own backyard, rather than half way across the state.
In continuing that vision, we have decided this year to further localize the regional qualifiers by inceasing the number of qualifying meets from 5 to 8. As a result, we did have to redraw the map a bit, but the changes should have minimal effect on the partipcation numbers of existing regions (based on geography and past participation). The result should actually be the opposite--increased numbers for everyone.
Note: We are missing hosts for two regions. If none are found, the Southwest will compete in the South,and the West will compete in the Central.
April 19, 2008 @ Maclay School, Tallahassee
Region includes the entire panhandle and part of the big bend area including Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach, Panama City, and Tallahassee.
April 19, 2008 @ Episcopal School, Jacksonville
Region includes the areas of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Gainesville, and Lake City.
Nature Coast Region
April 19 @ Lecanto High School, Lecanto
Region includes the areas of Brooksville, Lecanto, Inverness, Cedar Key, and Ocala.
April 12 @ Jefferson High School, Tampa
Region includes metro Tampa Bay area including Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, Sarasota, New Port Richey, Bradenton, Wauchula, and Dade City.
April 26, 2008 @ National Training Center, Clermont
Region includes metro Orlando area including Orlando, Clermont, Sanford, Kissimmee, and Lakeland.
TBA @ Holy Trinity School, Melbourne
Region includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Melbourne, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Okeechobee, Stuart, and Jupiter.
TBA - Need host for this region.
Region includes Ft. Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Arcadia, Sebring, Clewiston, Immokalee, and Punta Gorda.
April 19, 2008 @ Belen Jesuit School, Miami
Region includes Miami-Dade metro area, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and the Florida Keys.