Here are the top five highlights from 2017.
In the first year under head coach Travis Roland, who took the job at Flagler Palm Coast following a stint as Mainland's defensive coordinator, the Bulldogs reclaimed their dominance over Matanzas, routing the Pirates 35-18 in the first game of the season on Aug. 25. It was the Bulldogs' first win over the Pirates since the 2014 season.
In the previous two seasons, FPC had won a total of seven games. Under Roland, the Bulldogs went 9-0 during the regular season, needing a double overtime win over Mandarin in the last regular season game of the season to ensure the school's first undefeated regular season in program history.
And despite FPC's loss to Orlando Boone in the first round of the FHSAA Playoffs, it's safe to say: The Bulldogs are back.
FPC's Micayla Cronk captures state title
FPC swimmer Micayla Cronk entered the school and state record books when the freshman won the 100-yard freestyle in the Class 4A state swim meet on Nov. 10 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.
Cronk, who was also the District 1-4A champion, finished with a time of 49.58 seconds to edge out Cooper City's Kathle Golding by .21 seconds.
Cronk is the first Bulldog to win a state title since 2000.
Matanzas girls cross country places 11th in state meet
For the first time in school history, the Matanzas girls cross country team achieved a ‘triple crown’ of sorts.
Matanzas coach Danny Weed said the goal entering the season was to win the conference championship, district championship and regional championship, something the team has never accomplished — until this year.
On Oct. 14, the Pirates won the SJRAC Championship — their first conference championship in program history. On Oct. 18, the girls dominated in the 3A District 6 meet for the second year in a row with five runners finishing in the top 10. And on Nov. 3, the Pirates held on over Ocala Vanguard to capture the 3A Region 2 meet.
The Pirates advanced to compete in the state championship, where they placed 11th. Morgan Sharman was the top runner, finishing 45th with a time of 20:22.50.
Pirates football graduates winningest senior class in school history
Matanzas gritted out an ugly 24-7 win against Pine Ridge on Oct. 20 on the Pirates’ senior night. The victory ensured the Pirates’ graduating class would go down as its winningest class in school history.
The Pirates’ seniors— which featured four-year starter and Navy signee Devin Mathews — capped off their careers with a 23-16 record over the past four seasons, a 14-1 record at home, consecutive wins over crosstown rival FPC and consecutive playoff appearances.
Matanzas hires new football coach after Ripley resigns
Former coach Robert Ripley’s time as the head coach of the Matanzas football team came to an end this season, shortly after the Pirates’ loss to the No. 2-ranked team in all of Class 6A ball, Miami Northwestern, in the first round of the FHSAA Playoffs in early November.
And even though Matanzas considered over 85 candidates for the position, the school settled for one of its own.
Don Mathews, who spent the past five seasons as the Pirates’ defensive coordinator, accepted the head coaching job on Dec. 8.
This year, Mathews helped lead Matanzas to a 6-4 record and a second-straight playoff berth while fielding one of the best defenses in the area.