The prep football season came to a close this past week in the Keys, and although none of Monroe County's three 11-man teams will be competing in the state playoffs, two were able to end their seasons on a high note.
Key West celebrated its homecoming on Thursday night with a 34-8 win over visiting Champagnat, and Coral Shores, which was playing an independent schedule and therefore had no chance of a playoff game, wrapped up its 2011 campaign with a 50-6 home win over Sheridan Hills that gave the Hurricanes (5-5) their first non-losing record in nearly a decade. Marathon (2-8) ended its season with six straight losses, the final one a 26-3 setback at Doral on Thursday.
The Conchs (5-4) dominated in just about every facet of their finale to give the home fans plenty to cheer for in addition to the homecoming festivities.
The Key West defense forced three-and-outs on each of Champagnat's first four possessions and held the visitors to a three-and-out or four-and-out on six of their 10 possessions, with another two ending on a fumble and the end of the first half. The Lions didn't pick up their first non-penalty first down until midway through the second quarter. Anthony Rice and Andre Guieb each recorded a sack in the win, while linebacker St. Pierre Anilus had two. Guieb also recovered a fumble and Devin Barber intercepted a pass for the team's two takeaways.
On offense, the Conchs got three touchdown runs from NaQuan McNeill, a touchdown rush from Anilus on his first carry of the season and 92 receiving yards and a 38-yard touchdown rush from Clive Georges. All three are seniors who were making their final appearance in a Key West uniform.
"It was a good win and a great way to end the season," Key West coach Jerry Hughes said. "This senior class hasn't had a losing season, so that was good for them."
• • •
While the football season was wrapping up, the Keys' basketball teams are ready to get rolling this week.
The Marathon girls will officially open the 2011-12 season when they take the court this evening at Florida Christian. The Key West girls will begin their season on Saturday at home against West Boca. The first boys team to get going will be Coral Shores when it opens on Nov. 21 at Westwood Christian. The Marathon boys will start up the next day at home against Westminster Christian, and the Key West boys will begin their season on Nov. 30 at home against Barrington Christian.
• • •
After picking of its first win of the season last week, the Marathon High girls soccer team split a pair of games on Thursday and Friday to even its season record at 2-2.
The Lady Dolpins fell to Doral Academy, 8-0, on Thursday but rebounded with a 3-2 victory over Pine Crest on Friday -- the same team Key West defeated, 1-0, on Saturday.
"We pretty much had a rough night," Marathon coach Lynn Landry said about Thursday's loss. "They are a good team, but are they that good of a team? No. They just got up on us early and we got down."
In Friday's win, Marathon fell behind 2-0 early but had tied the match at 2-2 behind goals from Savannah Rodamer and Taylor Konrath by the half. The Dolphins surged to the lead on a penalty kick in the second half converted by Katie Landry.
"We played a little more defensively on Friday," said Landry. "Between Thursday and Friday, it was a tale of two teams."