Bill Castle has been the head coach for Lakeland High School’s football team, the Dreadnaughts, since 1976. Castle won his first title in 1986, and  his 2005 and 2006 championship teams were named national champions by USA Today. In 2007, Castle was selected coach of the century at FHSAA’s 100th anniversary.

This past Friday night marked the end of Bill Castle’s 43rd season as head of Lakeland High School’s football program, with a total of 431 wins after defeating St. Thomas Aquinas 33-20 in the 7A Championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

The major plays went something like this:

Lakeland High School’s star running back Demarcus Bowman’s 80-yard touchdown run gave the Dreadnaughts a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

Lakeland’s Fenley Graham tied a state-championship-game record in the third quarter when he took a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, placing the Dreadnaughts ahead 17-7. 

Two touchdown runs from bruising fullback/linebacker Jaharie Martin in the second half gave Lakeland an unconquerable lead.

Aquinas was led by a Harvard-committed senior quarterback, Curt Casteel, who finished with 220 passing yards, 54 rushing yards, and two total touchdowns. Running Back Daniel Carter rushed for 118 yards and a score.

With Lakeland High School Dreadnaughts’ seventh state title, Bill Castle has won his seventh state championship, making him one of the top coaches in FHSAA history.