Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Cypress Bay and the Guandolo Effect

(photo: Courtesy Cypress Bay Booster Club)

Make no mistake, Cypress Bay Head Coach Mark Guandolo is a great coach. With multiple state finals appearances and titles, this guy is a winner.  His trip to Orlando last year with Cypress Bay made him the first coach in Florida history to take three different schools to the state title game. Guandolo led Miami Southridge to the state title game while his teams at Chaminade-Madonna won a pair of titles midway past the last decade.  His success is part of the reason why many in Weston, FL. went through much despair when the coach had considered leaving the Lightning and taking the same position at Orlando Edgewater this past January.

As we enter a new season, Guandolo decided to stay with Cypress Bay.  At the same time, the Lightning said goodbye to Matt Dayes, Alex Montgomery, Jaranta Lewis, Nico Marley, Boaz Joseph and many others. Marquese Dudley Gordon and Deion Hallmon will bring their senior experience to a young team. Many of which however did feel the drama of the Florida Citrus Bowl last year.

Cypress Bay again plays a challenging schedule with a preseason opener with American Heritage Plantation and later with matchups against Boyd Anderson, St. Thomas Aquinas, University School and of course, district 12-8A rival Miramar.


Depending on who you ask, this team has many question marks. A state poll ranked the school 11th.  Others predicted the team to not only win it’s district but contend for the region.  With all of the holes to fill, I question what impact a great coach with Guandolo’s reputation has on the pundits in predicting success? In the end, Cypress Bay will be competitive but are they going to match anything they did in the playoffs last year or are we just feeling the “Guandolo Effect?”





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