This may start to get very ‘Who’s on First’, so try to follow along if you can.
Entering the Florida state playoffs, the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Super 25 national standings was Calvary Christian, a Sunshine State private school powerhouse based in Clearwater, Fla. Win the state title and the Warriors would be all but certain to finish the season at No. 1.
In the end, Calvary Christian did win the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 4A state crown, just not that Calvary Christian. Instead it was Calvary Christian Academy, a program based out of Fort Lauderdale, that earned the 4A title with a 5-1 victory against the former No. 1 Calvary Christian.
Indeed, the “Academy” makes all the difference. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, in the title game it was Calvary Christian Academy pitcher Skylar Gonzalez who was the game changer, as he went the full seven innings and allowed just one run.
The loss ended a national-best 60-game winning streak for the Warriors, while the Eagles (that’s Academy) finished at a pedestrian 17-15, though 11 of those losses came via forfeit. Had the Calvary Christian Warriors emerged victorious, they would have finished a second-straight undefeated campaign.
Still, the most striking thing about the setback in the finale was that it pitted two programs with virtually identical names. Calvary Christian in Clearwater was opened in 2000 by the Calvary Baptist Church. It’s a private school with just over 500 total students. Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale was also opened in 2000 at the other end of the state. It has almost three times the total enrollment of Calvary Christian in Clearwater, but serves students from Pre-K all the way through the end of high school.
If one was placing a bet on a school to face off against an identically named foe in the state playoffs, the safe bet would be on George Washington High knocking off George Washington or Abraham Lincoln defeating Abraham Lincoln. Or Central Catholic vs. Central Catholic.
Yes, there are multiple ‘Calvary Christian’ high schools or schools or academies across America, but we came across just one state that hosts two: Florida. Naturally, those two would happen to compete in the same classification of sports and both host excellent baseball teams. Heck, they both even use virtually identical color schemes and have home uniforms that are white with navy pinstripes. You can understand how it’s relatively easy to get them confused.
Now, in 2018, Calvary Christian cost Calvary Christian a state title, national title and the nation’s longest winning streak. At least they could take some consolation from knowing that the team that replaced them as the state champ was Calvary Christian.