Lakeland Too Much for St. Thomas Aquinas

The Lakeland Dreadnaughts came into the Florida Class 7A championship game against St. Thomas Aquinas feeling the expectation that the ever-dominant Raiders from St. Thomas Aquinas would win yet another big game, win yet another state championship. The Raiders always seem to find a way to step up when it’s needed the most. But the Dreadnaughts from Lakeland shocked Florida and the high school football world with a 33-20 victory to take home the Class 7A state championship. The Raiders will feel the sting of missed opportunities, missed field goals, and crucial turnovers, as they think about what might have been. But the win for Lakeland marks a huge moment for the program. After a string of state championships in the mid-2000s, the Dreadnaughts have had trouble reaching the mountaintop ever since. Not that they weren’t talented or close. Heartbreaking playoff losses have defined the last few seasons for Lakeland. But on Friday night, whatever bugaboo plagued them was vanquished in an unforgettable game.