Following the school’s first boys basketball state title in program history, Bradford (Starke) boys basketball coach Sampson Jackson was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 1A Coach of the Year on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Bradford defeated Paxton, 64-44, in the Class 1A state championship game.
Two days prior, the Tornadoes defeated top-ranked Hawthorne, 55-35, in the state semifinals to advance. It was the first time that Bradford had played in the final four since 1974.
Bradford senior Shayne Davis, who scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the opening quarter, was the only player in double figures for either team in the semifinals while adding seven rebounds.
Sophomore Chalil Cummings and senior Amari Jones added eight points apiece, while sophomore Dae’jon Shanks scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench.
In the championship game, Davis led Bradford with 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, followed by Iowa State football signee Jontez Williams with 13 points.
Cummings added 10 points and five rebounds, while Jones, who was the Tornadoes’ quarterback this past fall, finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Jackson received 97 points to finish ahead of Jeff Bradley of Paxton (83 points) and Steven Welch of Malone (30 points).
“It’s a unique honor that I’m very humbled to receive,” said Jackson, who is also in his first year as the school’s athletics director. “This award is certainly a collective award and speaks volumes of the entire staff and the work we’ve put in this season.”
Bradford finished ranked No. 11 in the all-classification regional rankings—The Prep Zone Power Poll—which ranks the top 20 teams across 26 counties.
All seven individual class finalists for the 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Basketball and Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year were announced following balloting by a statewide panel of high school boys’ basketball coaches and prep media members.
Every finalist was the leading vote-getter in their classification, making each one the Player of the Year or Coach of the Year in his class. The two winners will be announced on Monday, April 4, following a final round of balloting by coaches and media.
The seven finalists for the 2022 Mr. Basketball Award:
Ernest Udeh Jr., Senior, Center, Dr. Phillips, Class 7A Player of the Year
Led his team to a 26-6 record and a spot in the Class 7A state championship game by averaging 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. Named a McDonald’s All-America. Signed to play at the University of Kansas.
Jaylen Smith, Junior, Guard, Edgewater, Class 6A Player of the Year*
Averaged 25.1 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
*NOTE: Following today’s release, David Stirt, the director of the Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards Program, was notified that an inaccurate scoring average was submitted during the nominating process for Mr. Basketball class voting.
Edgewater coach Jason Atherton informed him that Jaylen Smith averaged 19.1 points, not 25.1 points, per game this season. Coach Atherton submitted his nomination form on Feb. 24, prior to the completion of the state playoffs, and he listed Smith’s scoring average as of that date.
“Due to such a large discrepancy in the numbers attributed to Smith on the other nomination form compared to the numbers Coach Atherton informed me of today, I have decided to send an updated ballot for Class 6A with the hope that you will be willing to review all the nominees again and re-submit a revised ballot,” Stirt said.
A revised Class 6A ballot with a return deadline of Monday March 28 was sent out on Thursday afternoon.
Tony Livingston, Senior, Guard/Forward, Tampa King, Class 5A Player of the Year
Led his team to a 19-7 record and a spot in the Class 5A regional finals by averaging 24.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Signed to play football at the University of Florida but is also expected to play basketball for the Gators.
Brice Sensabaugh, Senior, Guard, Lake Highland Prep, Class 4A Player of the Year
Led his squad to a 25-4 record and a spot in the Class 4A Final Four by averaging 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Signed to play at Ohio State University.
Tre Donaldson, Senior, Guard, Florida High, Class 3A Player-of-the-Year
Led his team to a 24-7 record and the Class 3A state title game by averaging 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Signed to play at Auburn University.
Ven Allen Lubin, Senior, Guard/Forward, Orlando Christian Prep, Class 2A Player of the Year
Led his team to a 26-4 record and the Class 2A state championship by averaging 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Signed to play at the University of Notre Dame.
Kaleb Wilson, Senior, Guard, Malone, Class 1A Player of the Year
Led his team to a 24-6 record and a spot in the Class 1A Final Four by averaging 23.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.
The seven finalists for the 2022 Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year:
Andrew Moran, Miami Columbus, Class 7A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 29-2 record and the Class 7A state title. In three years at Columbus, he has posted a 60-22 record.
John Leon, Martin County, Class 6A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 27-4 record and the Class 6A state title. In 12 years at Martin County, he has a 266-62 record and in 15 years overall (three at Paxon), he has compiled a 296-113 mark.
Edward Schuler, Stranahan, Class 5A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 27-3 record and the Class 5A state title. In two years at Stranahan, he has compiled a 32-8 record.
Cilk McSweeney, Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian, Class 4A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 24-2 record and the Class 4A state title. In nine years, he has posted a 149-86 record, including a pair of Class 3A state titles in 2017 and 2021.
Charlie Ward, Florida High, Class 3A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 24-7 record, the school’s first Final Four appearance since 1999, and the Class 3A state title. In four years, he has posted an 81-28 record.
Treig Burke, Orlando Christian Prep, Class 2A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 26-4 record and a second straight Class 2A state title. It was the fifth state title in Burke’s six years at OCP, where he has compiled a 153-25 record, while also adding a state runner-up finish in 2019.
Sampson Jackson, Bradford, Class 1A Coach of the Year
Led his squad to a 16-10 record and the Class 1A state title. In two years at Bradford, he has posted a 31-21 record.