February 29, 2024

South Sumter Football Moves Up To Class 3A for 2024 Season

3.1 min read| Published On: February 29th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

South Sumter Football Moves Up To Class 3A for 2024 Season

3.1 min read| Published On: February 29th, 2024|

South Sumter Football is making a bold move, transitioning to Class 3A for the upcoming 2024 football season after a successful stint in Class 2A. The Raiders, fresh off another district championship in 2023, are poised to face new challenges and renew their rivalry with Dunnellon, a fellow Class 2A contender making the leap alongside them.

Joining the district this year are Eastside from Gainesville and North Marion from Citra. Eastside, the reigning Class 2A District 7 champions, brings a winning history to the mix, while North Marion seeks redemption after a challenging previous season with only one victory. It wis worth noting that South Sumter won an appeal not to be put into a district with Cocoa or Astronaut. Both programs are nearly two hours away and the school had a strong desire not to have this scenario play out. They won the appeal. Meanwhile Umatilla High was also in a similar position but elected to transition to the Sunshine State Athletic Conference for 2024.

(South Sumter has dominated with their offensive line in recent years. They will be especially challenged in 2024 when they face some of the best teams in the state of Florida.)

North Marion moves into Class 3A Region 2 District 5. North Marion once a formidable force, aims to recapture past glory, with memories of their impressive 12-3 finish five years ago, narrowly missing the Class 5A State championship in 2018. The 2024 season poses a question: can North Marion rebound and find success once again? They are coming off a season where they only won 1 game all season so hopefully 2024 turns the ship back in the right direction.

South Sumter Head Coach Ty Lawrence expresses enthusiasm for the upcoming season, acknowledging the tougher schedule ahead. “After some successful years in 2A, the Raiders elected to move up to Class 3A. Our schedule is one of the toughest in school history. Seven teams are in the top 70 in the state of Florida, so we have a lot of work to do this year,” says Coach Lawrence.

(Since taking over the South Sumter football program, Head Coach Ty Lawrence has continued the tradition of winning football teams. The motto at South Sumter is Tradition Never Graduates. South Sumter looks for even bigger things in 2024.)

Under Coach Ty Lawrence’s leadership, the South Sumter program has flourished, with several players scouted by NCAA programs, including standout Mali Boone returning for his senior year in 2024. Nearly making the FHSAA State Semifinals last year, South Sumter is eager to continue their winning momentum. Huge shoutout to the South Sumter staff as many of these coaches are teachers and educators during the day and coaches during the evenings. They certainly put in the work and it rubs off on the student-athletes.

With anticipation building, South Sumter is positioned as a front-runner for the Class 3A Region 2 District 5 Championship. The team’s spring football game against Springstead on May 23rd will provide a glimpse of their capabilities before the regular season kicks off with a home game against Wildwood on August 16th.

(South Sumter showed they are ready for the jump in 2023. The new turf field, the belief of the players and the continued success of the program has made 2024 the right time to jump into Class 3A.)

Exciting matchups dot the schedule, including home games against Wiregrass Ranch and Hawthorne and an eagerly awaited away game against Lake Minneola on October 4th. Fans in Lake & Sumter County are thrilled to witness this matchup, a long-awaited clash of local teams that people have wanted to see for years now.

(This is an exciting schedule in 2024. Home games against Wildwood, Forest, Wiregrass Ranch and Hawthorne. Also a big matchup between Lake Minneola, Vanguard and Dunnellon this season which are away games. This will be one of the most difficult schedules for South Sumter in recent memory.)

The challenging schedule includes a late-season faceoff against Vanguard on October 18th, testing South Sumter against formidable competition. After an impressive 10-0 regular season in 2022 and another stellar performance in 2023, the move to face bigger competition signifies the Raiders’ readiness for the next level. We know what this coaching staff is capable of. South Sumter has never been more ready for this transition. The players are excited and many of those players are currently on the weightlifting team and are hoping for a state championship run in 2024.

I hope you are excited as I am to see South Sumter hit the field in 2024. The Spring football game on May 23rd against Springstead marks the beginning of the season. The only question I have is can it come sooner?

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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