Now that the season has reached its midpoint, it's time to take a quick look at some of the stars and highlights. Will these players and teams be in the conversation five weeks from now? Time will tell. For now, a quick cheer for the best of the best at the halfway point.
Jefferson quarterback Deiondre Porter: No one — not even Armwood's outstanding defense — has really stopped Porter, who has thrown for 758 yards and rushed for another 610. It should also be noted that the Dragons have played only four games, which means Porter is averaging 342 all-purpose yards a game. Oh yeah, he's also thrown seven touchdown passes and run for five.
Sickles running back Ray Ray McCloud: Only a junior, McCloud is averaging 200 yards rushing a game and more than 8 yards a carry with seven touchdowns. Enough said.
Cambridge quarterback Garrett Young: They call the offensive system at Cambridge “Air Dare” in honor of Lancers coach Bob Dare. Young is flying the plane with outstanding results: 54 completions in 103 attempts for 1,007 yards and 13 touchdowns against two interceptions.
Hillsborough quarterback Dwayne Lawson: The junior has been downright spectacular at times, even playing against two of the county's toughest teams to start the season, Armwood and Jefferson. Through four games, Lawson has thrown for 696 yards and rushed for 338.
Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart: Before the first snap of a game, Cowart (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) intimidates with his mere presence. So far, Cowart has accrued six sacks and 25 tackles. Of course, it helps to have Hawks defensive linemen Hyriam Frederick and Jeremy Ware nearby. In the first five games, Cowart, Frederick and Ware have all earned Hawks player of the week honors.
Jefferson linebacker Juwuan Brown: Whenever a big defensive play occurs for the Dragons, Brown almost always rises from the pile. Brown has averaged eight tackles a game and has applied consistent pressure on quarterbacks.
Tampa Bay Tech safety Tajee Fullwood: He had one of the biggest nights a defensive back could have in the Titans' 14-7 upset of perennial power Plant. Fullwood finished that game with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Sickles linebacker Josh Black: Black has been a terror, collecting nine sacks in four games. He's also averaging almost nine tackles a game. With Black leading the charge, Sickles' defense has given up an average of less than 10 points a game.
Sickles quarterback Issac Holder: A lot of folks are quick to celebrate Gryphons running back Ray Ray McCloud as the main reason Sickles is 4-0. But Holder, who has completed 43 of 82 passes for 674 yards and eight touchdowns with only one interception, must be mentioned in the conversation.
Plant City quarterback Landon Galloway: He might play linebacker in college, but right now he looks like a top-notch quarterback, leading the Raiders to a 4-0 record with a strong arm and stronger legs.
Jefferson athlete Chavez Pownell: He leads the Dragons with 15 catches for 341 yards and ranks second with an average of eight tackles a game.
Tampa Catholic quarterback Kyle Ploucher: He has led the Crusaders to quality victories against Clearwater Central Catholic and Fort Meade. For the season, Ploucher has completed 68 of 102 passes for 833 yards and nine touchdowns.
King: After going 2-8 in 2012, few could have predicted the Lions would be 4-1 midway through 2013. The Lions have done it with a stingy defense and four running backs who combine to average more than 200 yards a game.
Bloomingdale: The Bulls (2-2) put a scare into Plant before losing 50-40. Besides one slip-up against Plant City, Bloomingdale has been in every game.
Chamberlain: The Chiefs (3-2) came into the season with a first-year coach, Cam Jones, and a bunch of questions. Five weeks into the season, Chamberlain looks like it might finish 2013 with a good deal of satisfaction.
Seffner Christian: The Crusaders (4-0) have not only been good, they have been dominant, scoring an average of 53 points a game while giving up an average of 9.4. Seffner Christian has also averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game.