State Champions. Again. Again. And Again.

It’s been a great year for Venice High School sports. Again.

state champion sign
Venice can again lay claim to the state champions in two sports. (credit Scott Lockwood- Venice Gondolier)

  • The Football and Girls Volleyball teams again finished their respective seasons with victories after having defeated some of the best teams in the state.
  • This is not the first state championship for either team.
  • Just another feather in the already full cap of Venice when it comes to being the best.
  • Volleyball Coach inducted into FSHAA Hall of Fame.
  • Both teams have a healthy record of sending student athletes to the next level...and beyond.

(photo credit - Venice Gondolier)

The Girls volleyball team (class 8A) and the Football team (class 7A) both brought home Florida state championships recently.

In case you missed the significance of the classes... these (7A and 8A)* are the second highest classes in the state.

Both teams played some of the best (and biggest, and most successful) teams in Florida during their seasons, and came out on top!

Both coaches ‘schedule up’. No padding the schedule here. And that experience obviously pays off!

For the football team, it is their second state championship. For the volleyball team, their fifth! Additionally, the girls’ softball team and boy’s baseball teams are multiple state champions as well.

People like to remark that Venice is a great retirement community, and it is, as numerous awards from notable institutions like Forbes, US News and World Report routinely point out. However, part of what makes it a great place to retire is the local sports scene. Furthermore, a school district does not live in the second from the largest state classification without sufficient population of families with school age children. Venice is most definitely more than just a retirement destination.

Sarasota county schools consistently rank among the top in the state and in addition to a good education, the exposure that many athletes get paves the way for valuable scholarship offers.

Let’s take a look at our most recent two championship teams.

Girls Volleyball Team Website

One for the Thumb
This is not the first State Championship for either team (credit VHS Volleyball twitter)

  • 2017 National Rank ( 17
  • 2017 State Rank 1
  • 2017 FHSAA Class 8 (of 9) State Champions
  • Coach – 2017 FHSAA inductee Brian Wheatley
  • State Runner-up – 2
  • State Final four – 9
  • FHSAA Academic State Champions 2008 and 2009
  • Athletes receiving scholarships – 50
  • Former players coaching volleyball – 17
  • Sarasota Herald Tribune Coach of the Year - 10

Read more about Coach Wheatley from his bio at the FHSAA Hall of Fame announcement here

(credit VHS Volleyball twitter)

The 2017 Class 8A Florida State Champions are not only ranked #17 IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY (by but they were also honored by the Sarasota County School Board for their Team GPA of 3.71

As a quick aside, Sam had a family move in across the street from him a few years back. They moved from Washington state, and they sold their family restaurant and moved all of the way across the country to Venice for one reason. Venice volleyball. They researched high schools with successful volleyball programs all over the country for their daughter to participate in and gain Division 1 exposure. Venice was the winner! As a member of the varsity team, not even a starter mind you, she received a scholarship!

Credit Venice Volleyball Facebook Page
Need to retake this for one more? Yep!! (credit VHS Volleyball Facebook)

(photo credit -

Venice Indian Football Team Website

  • 2017 National Rank 27
  • State Rank 3
  • 2017 FHSAA Class 7 (of 8) State Champions
  • Coach – John Peacock (1999 to present, since 2007 Head Coach)
  • Assistant coach on the 2000 State Championship team.
  • NFL players in past 10 years – 5
  • Coaches on staff with NFL playing experience – 2 (Larry Shannon and Clay Burton)
  • Full Atheletic scholarships to Division 1 schools – 24 (and counting)
  • Players that continued to play at the college level – 57 (and counting)

From the football team’s website :

Coach Peacock has received high accolades from his fellow coaches, the press, and community members by being named the:

(photo credit -

  • 2007 SNN/PAL Coach of the Year
  • 2007 District Coach of the year
  • 2007 HT Coach of the Year.
  • He is the only person to receive both coach and player of the year awards by the Herald.
  • In 2010, National Strength Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly.
  • 2016 HT Coach of the Year
  • 2016 Florida HS football 7A Coach of the Year
  • Member of FHSAA Competition Committee
  • 2017 Florida Football Coach of the Year

Don’t miss the parade on Feb 3. The whole town will be out to congratulate the teams

*FHSAA reorganizes each sport’s classification every two years. Venice generally will compete in the second highest class in the state. In 2017 the Girls Volleyball won class 8 (of 9) and the Football team won class 7 (of 8).

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