A national championship can’t be won during the opening week of the season, but several of the top teams in the country will be making their case in the Broward National High School Football Showcase.
The lineup features defending state champions Chaminade-Madonna (Class 1M) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Class 3M) as well as Plantation-American Heritage, the 2022 Class 2M state runner-up.
St. John Bosco (California, No. 3 in the MaxPreps national ranking), St. Frances (Maryland, No. 12) and St. John’s (Washington D.C., No. 26) are among the notable teams coming to Broward this weekend.
Here’s a look at the matchups. Broward teams went 6-1 in last year’s showcase.
Thursday: Milton (Ga.) at Western; Cedar Grove (Ga.) vs. Monarch
Milton was a Class 7A state semifinalist in Georgia last season and is currently ranked No. 43 nationally. The Eagles have not played a Florida opponent since beating Cardinal Gibbons 42-17 in 2018. Western beat Stoneman Douglas 47-2 in the Kickoff Classic.
Cedar Creek was the Class 3A state runner-up in Georgia last season, losing on a controversial call that quickly went viral. Monarch lost to Coconut Creek 34-6 in the Kickoff Classic.
Friday: Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) at Cardinal Gibbons; Highland Springs (Virginia) at Miramar
Gibbons vs. Gibbons just feels like a fun game (for obvious reasons). The N.C. version beat Jordan (N.C.) 35-31 last week behind quarterback Whitt Newbauer’s 347 yards and four touchdown passes. The Fort Lauderdale Gibbons squad tied Plantation 45-45 in the Kickoff Classic.
Highland Springs went 15-0, won the Class 5 championship in Virginia and currently is ranked No. 70 in the nation. Miramar shut out Miami Edison 21-0 in the Kickoff Classic.
Saturday: St. Frances vs. Chaminade-Madonna; St. John Bosco at St. Thomas Aquinas; St. John’s at American Heritage
St. Frances lost to Buford (Georgia) 18-0 last week. The Panthers are 2-2 against Florida teams the past two seasons, including a loss at St. Thomas Aquinas in the season opener in 2021. Chaminade beat Miami Northwestern 35-6 in the Kickoff Classic.
St. John Bosco was the MaxPreps national champion in 2022. The Braves beat Liberty (Nevada) 42-22 last week with quarterback Caleb Sanchez completing 22 of 26 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Aquinas has a four-game win streak against out-of-state opponents, dating back to 2018.
St. Johns started the season with a 35-28 loss against Chaminade-Madonna in Fort Lauderdale but went on to win the WCAC Capital Division championship. Heritage had its Kickoff Classic against Booker T. Washington called after Patriots player Timothy Burroughs-Love collapsed on the field and received CPR before being taken to a local hospital.
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Other top games to watch in Week 1
Columbus (No. 1 Class 4M) at Clearwater Academy International
Last week: Columbus did not play a Kickoff Classic; CAI lost to Homestead 23-21
Miami Norland (No. 2 Class 2M) at Lakeland (No. 2 Class 4S)
Last week: Norland beat Ely 35-7; Lakeland beat Armwood 28-13
Cocoa (No. 1 Class 2S) at Jones (No. 3 Class 3M)
Last week: Cocoa beat Satellite 51-0; Jones beat Jesuit 38-18
St. Augustine (No. 2 Class 3M) at Bolles (No. 5 Class 2M)
Last week: St. Augustine beat Spruce Creek 47-0; Bolles beat Orange Park 35-0
Mainland (No 1 Class 3S) at DeLand (No. 9 Class 4S)
Last week: Mainland beat Matanzas 42-0; DeLand beat West Orange 42-21
Armwood (No. 9 Class 3M) at Venice (No. 1 Class 4S)
Last week: Armwood lost to Lakeland 28-13; Venice beat Tampa Bay Tech 48-7
Osceola (No. 5 Class 4S) at Treasure Coast (No. 8 Class 4S)
Last week: Apopka beat Osceola 16-15; Treasure Coast beat Lake Wales 17-0
Plant (No. 7 in Class 4S) at Tampa Bay Tech (No. 5 Class 3S)
Last week: Plant beat Wharton 28-27 (OT); Tampa Bay Tech lost to Venice 48-6
Lake Wales (No. 5 Class 3S) at Zephyrhills (No. 7 Class 3S)
Last week: Lake Wales lost to Treasure Coast 17-0; Zephyrhills lost to East Lake 21-20
Erie (Colorado) at Vanguard (No. 8 Class 4S)
Erie is ranked No. 9 in Colorado by MaxPreps; Vanguard lost to Miami Central 13-6
GAME POSTPONED: Florida High (No. 2 Class 2S) at Trinity Catholic (No. 1 Class 1S)
Last week: Florida High beat Chiles 40-7; Trinity beat Key West 59-13. The teams were scheduled to play Friday night, but Trinity Catholic announced Thursday that the game would be postponed to Sept. 29 due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Top individual recruiting matchups
Milton (Georgia) 2025 DB Shamar Arnoux vs. Western 2025 WR Koby Howard
Arnoux is committed to Georgia; Howard’s offers include Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU
Cocoa 2025 EDGE Javion Hilson vs. Jones 2024 QB Trever Jackson
Hilson’s offers include Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State; Jackson’s offers include Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA
Armwood 2024 WR Kason Stokes vs. Venice 2024 CB Charles Lester III
Stokes is committed to UCF; Lester is committed to Florida State
St. Frances 2024 QB Michael Van Buren vs. Chaminade 2024 S Zaquan Patterson
Van Buren is committed to Oregon; Patterson’s offers include Florida State, Miami, Michigan and Ohio State
St. John Bosco 204 DB Peyton Woodyard vs. Aquinas 2024 WR Chance Robinson
Woodyard is committed to Alabama; Robinson is committed to Miami
IMG 2025 WR Donovan Olugbode vs. St. Joseph’s Prep 2025 S Anthony Sacca
Olugbode’s offers include Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Wisconsin; Sacca’s offers include Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State
St. John’s 2025 CB Tariq Hayer vs. American Heritage 2026 WR Malachi Toney
Hayer’s offers include Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee; Toney is committed to Miami
Erie (Colorado) 2024 QB Blake Barnett vs. Vanguard 2024 ATH Fred Gaskin
Barnett is committed to Kansas State; Gaskin is committed to USF
Columbus 2024 EDGE Daylen Russell vs. Clearwater Academy International 2024 OT Mauricio Hinds
Russell is committed to Miami; Hinds is committed to Minnesota
Florida High 2024 EDGE Micahi Danzy vs. Trinity Catholic 2026 EDGE Jermaine Kinsler (game postponed to Sept. 29)
Danzy is committed to Florida State; Kinsler’s offers include Florida, Miami and USF
Fletcher 2024 QB Marcelis Tate vs. Mandarin 2024 CB Jon Mitchell
Tate is committed to USF; Mitchell is committed to Penn State
Norland 2024 LB Jeremiah Marcelin vs. Lakeland 2024 RB D’Marius Rucker
Marcelin is committed to Pitt; Rucker’s offers include Iowa State, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCF
Dr. Phillips 2024 DB Jashad Presley vs. Lake Mary 2026 QB Noah Grubbs
Presley is committed to UCF; Grubbs’ offers include Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State
St. Augustine 2025 QB Locklan Hewlett vs. Bolles 2024 DL Garrison Butler
Hewlett is committed to Wake Forest; Butler is committed to Cincinnati
Pensacola Catholic 2025 RB CJ Nettles vs. Navarre 2024 LB Zavier Hamilton
Netlles’ offers include Louisville, Florida, Miami and Mississippi State; Hamilton is committed to UCF