By: J. Daniel Pearson
For Positively Osceola
The road to the state tournament starts this week for the eight county schools as district championships will be determined in baseball, softball and boys’ volleyball.
In baseball, Osceola will be the top seed in the FHSAA Class 7A, District 9 tournament. The Kowboys (13-9) slipped past Harmony in the rankings – despite losing three times to the Longhorns this year — by virtue of two big wins over ranked Lake Nona and Lake Minneola in the final week of the regular season.
Osceola receives a first round bye in the tournament and will face the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal game between #6 seed Poinciana (2-13) at #5 seed Celebration (13-6-1) in a Tuesday semifinal game at Osceola beginning at 6 p.m.
Harmony, 13-11, dropped two of its final regular season games and will be the second seed in the tournament, while Tohopekaliga (12-6) earned the third seed. Those two teams also received quarterfinal byes and will play in the semifinals at Harmony at 4 p.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Osceola-Poinciana/Celebration contest at 6 p.m. Thursday for the district crown.
Based on current rankings, if Osceola were to finish as runner-up there is still a chance either could advance to regionals as runner-up.
Gateway and Liberty will be competing in the Class 5A, District 7 tournament. The Chargers (10-10) will host the Panthers (2-13) in a four seed vs. five seed quarterfinal on Monday at 6 p.m. The winner travels to top-seeded Lake Wales (19-6) for a 7 p.m. semifinal game on Tuesday.
St. Cloud (7-11) host Heritage (5-13) in a matchup of four and five seeds in the Class 7A, District 8 Tournament. The winner plays at top seeded Viera (18-5) on Tuesday.
In softball, Harmony (8-7) will be the top seed in the 7A, District 10 Tournament that gets underway today. #4 Poinciana (13-8) hosts #5 Celebration (1-12) in a first round game at 6 p.m.; with the winner playing at top seeded Harmony in a 6 p.m. semifinal game. Second seeded Osceola (11-9) and third seeded Tohopekaliga (10-8) meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the other semifinal game.
The winners meet at neutral site host Osceola at 6 p.m. Thursday in the District 10 Championship Game with the winner advancing to regionals.
St. Cloud is the number two seed in the Class 7A, District 9 Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs will receive a first round bye and will host third-seeded Lake Nona (13-10) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a semifinal game. The winner plays the winner of the top-seeded Boone (15-4) vs. Cypress Creek/Freedom winner on Wednesday’s other semifinal. Boone hosts the championship game on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Orange Belt Conference champion Celebration (16-9), the 23rd ranked team in the state, will be the number one seed in the Class 1A, District 10 championship. Rival Tohopekaliga, Liberty, St. Cloud, Harmony and Poinciana are all in the same district.
Monday’s quarterfinal games will feature Harmony (7-14) at Poinciana (9-8) and Liberty (1-10) at St. Cloud (8-15). The Storm will host the Poinciana/Harmony winner in one semifinal; while Tohopekaliga will host the Liberty/St. Cloud winner. The Storm were a perfect 5-0 this season against county opposition, Tohopekaliga was 11-1 this year against county opposition, including a 3-0 mark against St. Cloud. The highest remaining seed will host Thursday’s 6 p.m. Championship Game.
An independent, Gateway is not eligible for district play.
This Week’s Calendar
Monday, May 1
- Liberty at St. Cloud (Boys Volleyball), 1A-D10 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Harmony at Poinciana (BVB), 1A-D10 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Celebration at Poinciana (Softball), 7A-D10 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Poinciana at Celebration (Baseball), 7A-D9 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Heritage at St. Cloud (Baseball), 7A-D8 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Gateway at Liberty (Baseball), 5A-D9 Quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
- Poinciana/Harmony Winner at Celebration (BVB), 1A-D10 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- Liberty/St. Cloud Winner at Tohopekaliga (BVB), 1A-D10 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- Celebration/Poinciana Winner at Osceola (Softball), 7A-D10 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- Tohopekaliga at Harmony (Softball), 7A-D10 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- Poinciana/Celebration Winner at Osceola (Baseball), 7A-D9 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- Tohopekaliga at Harmony (Baseball), 7A-D9 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
- St. Cloud/Heritage Winner at Viera, 7A-D8 Semifinal, 7 p.m.
- Gateway/Liberty Winner at Lake Wales, 5A-D9 Semifinal, 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 4
- Boys’ Volleyball 1A-District 10 Championship Game, Teams TBA, 6 p.m.
- Softball 7A-District 10 Championship, Teams TBA, at Osceola 6 p.m.
- Baseball 7A-District 9 Championship, Teams TBA, at Osceola 6 p.m.
- Baseball 7A-District 8 Championship, Teams TBA, at Viera, 7 p.m.
- Baseball 5A-District 9 Championship, Teams TBA, at Lake Wales 7 p.m.