To quote the most overused line in all of sports:
Who's going to be the "big time player in a big time game" this weekend in Dade?
I'll throw a few contenders, but feel free to throw in some names.
Brandon Harris, BTW
Sancho McDonald, BTW
Antwain Easterling, NW
Jacory Harris, NW
Doug Wiggins, NMB
Aaron Winchester, NMB
Aldarius Johnson, NW
Thearon Collier, BTW
Jacob Jean-Charles, NMB
alright, those are the ones I think will make impacts. WHo else?
Discuss Dade County.
A good turkey day to all!
The four matchups this week involving Dade teams all have good storylines.
I'll start with the BIG rematch at FIU.
The West seems to be getting a little worried about complacency. Who could blame them with the ease at which they've stormed through Dade this season?
Plus, this is the one team that could put a scare into the Bulls since these kids all know each other from growing up playing football together.
I may sound insane since NW won Round 1, 41-0.
I say it won't be 41-0 this time.....but the Bulls still win 42-20.
Another rematch is in the Region 4-4A final - Booker T. vs. Jackson
After Ridge Jones ran an interception back all the way in the first game, this wasn't much of a contest.
BTW has learned to overcome mistakes and they made plenty in the first half vs. Dwyer. They might early again and prevail anyway 27-7 over the Generals.
North Miami Beach-South Plantation is probably the most even of the four games. NMB coach Jeff Bertani said South Plant. is a disciplined team quite similar to Columbus. The Chargers beat Columbus in a very good game 32-17.
I predict a closer outcome, but still in favor of NMB 20-14.
And last but not least, Dade Christian vs. Belle Glade Glades Day.
The Crusaders keep defying the odds. I'm starting to believe in this magical season to be if they do go 14-0.
I'll go with Dade 21-19.
(drum roll)......THE PICKS!!
Northwestern (11-0) over Homestead (7-4)...no way I can pick against the Bulls after what they've done this season
Southridge (10-1) over Central (10-1) -- best game of the night...but I think the Ridge's defense makes the difference here.
Boyd (9-2) over NMB (8-2) (although I may regret this one by 10:30 tonight)..Boyd is the only impressive Broward team to me in 6A, NMB needs to play near perfect.
Carol City (4-7) over S. Plantation (8-2)...like I said, Boyd Anderson is the only 6A team that impresses me in Broward. South Plant. is good and has a rowdy atmosphere on game night, but Carol City is proving they can still show up on the road and look for another big game from Keino Burton
Booker T. (10-1) over Dwyer (10-1)....this one will be a test for BTW, but I'm starting to think this team can make it to a 4th showdown with Armwood
Jackson (8-3) over West Boca...Generals will have another big offensive display
Delray American Heritage over Dade Christian (11-0)...wouldn't mind seeing the Crusaders move on, but I think playoff experience takes over here.
After going 14-1 this week, I'll reveal my playoff week 2 picks by middle of the week.
But I'm gonna throw it out there for discussion, since I see Rudy's comments kicked up a storm:
Will the Bulls march easily past Homestead?
Who's gonna win the big Central-Southridge showdown?
Is Carol City circling the wagons or was last week a fluke?
Does NMB have another big win left in the tank for BA?
I have a feeling we're in for Jackson-Booker T. Round 2, who's with me?
And finally does the Crusade for Dade Christian stop here or at Dolphin Stadium?
Pace will sign at least three of its girls' basketball players Monday, most noteably 5-11 senior Tabitha Drake. Coach Clyde Glover told me Drake will sign with FIU.
A week removed from her record-breaking performance at state, Gulliver swimmer Julianne Lago will officially sign with Florida. Lago broke her sister Jennifer's state record in the 100 fly with a time of 54.51 last Saturday in Fort Lauderdale. Now she joins big sis in Gainesville.
And last but not least, Westminster Christian volleyballer Kathleen Yony will soon sign with Nova Southeastern. Yony was a big contributor for the Warriors this year and is expected to play libero for Nova next fall.
Roman O. Garcia reports that Pace coach Joe Zaccheo has stepped down as coach.
He announced the news to his players following the 18-14 loss to Cardinal Gibbons.
Look for Roman's story in the Saturday paper and a follow-up story soon.
NOTE: Some papers may have a misprint with my name on the story, but Roman was at the game. I watched NMB beat Cypress Bay 8-3.
With only Curley left to play King's Academy, I picked 13 of the 14 playoff games accurately.
And it's all thanks to the 305 beating up on the 954 and a few others across south and west Florida.
No before everyone out there thinks I'm tooting my own horn, I'm really only dedicating this post to one Joseph Goodman, who is not a popular guy in the North Miami Beach, Pace or Carol City areas.
Carol City -- huge win over Everglades behind Keino Burton's 278 yards. Don't doubt Walt Frazier's teams when they play in Broward County.
NMB -- Doug Wiggins knocked down a pass, intercepted another, ran for 106 yards, threw for 104 yards, punted 3 times for 100 yards (including a late one inside the 5). All that equaled the Chargers first playoff win ever, beating Cypress Bay. Wiggins said after the game he had visited the University of Georgia recently, but was putting his visits on hold to focus on the playoffs.
Jackson -- WOW! Tyrell Shavers and 40 points destroyed Lehigh 40-0.
and Coral Gables made its game against Central the nail-biter I thought it would be.
Homestead beat Varela
Booker T. walloped Cypress Lake 55-0
And Dade Christian escaped with a 28-21 OT win over Benjamin. The Crusaders stay unbeaten (11-0)
It's Jakhari, let's get used to seeing that name the next 3 years.
Columbus freshman Jakhari Gore definitely got the family genes that produce great running backs.
Granted a lot of his yardage came in the fourth quarter. But this is a Northwestern defense that has kept talented backs like Gordon Warner to eight yards and Jackson as a team to (-18) the past two weeks.
In the first half, against the starters you saw some of the skills when he was cutting and slipping tacklers in open space. Next year, Columbus is gonna be even more dangerous with this weapon in their backfield.
Booker T. assistant coach Earl Tillman said something to me after the Tornadoes win against Jackson. He said the team was peaking.
Definitely the right time and hard to argue with the victories BTW has had in recent weeks.
I know I wrote a column today picking Nease to win the 4A title, but that's the pick I felt the least confident in, and I'm not embarrassed to admit that. Should BTW get back to the state semifinal and I predict they will, it's gonna be tough to beat Armwood on the road. But maybe, just maybe while everyone is watching to see if Northwestern wins in 6A, this is the unlikely storybook team this season.
Hey three years ago Pace won it all with one of Joe Zaccheo's more unlikely contenders. When you least expect it sometimes you get the long-awaited result.
Just to recap my early predictions for this year's playoffs:
Class 6A - NW over Apopka
Class 5A - Lakeland over St. Thomas
Class 4A - Nease over Winter Haven
Note-if Armwood beats Winter Haven, like I said before, I think it will be a state title rematch between Armwood and Nease. But if Winter Haven beats Armwood and BTW proves me wrong and beats Haven a week later, BTW at Dolphin Stadium will beat Nease.
Class 3A - St. Augustine over Naples
Class 2A - Chaminade over Bolles
Class 2B - Pahokee over Trinity Catholic
Class 1A- Glades Day over Liberty County
Note-IF Dade Christian makes me look bad and beats Glades Day or Fort Meade in the state semi, I think homefield again gives them an edge in the final.
Class 1B-Victory Christian over Deltona Trinity Christian
Let the madness begin!!
Congratulations to the Belen swimming team, the 2006 Class 2A state champions!
Miami-Dade County's first state title in 34 years in swimming. And for swim fans in Dade it probably felt like 324 years. Props to coach Kirk Peppas and his squad. Those guys came close last year with a few stud swimmers and fell short, but perseverance paid off.
The Wolverines were seeded first in two of the three relays. They exceeded expectations by sweeping all three relays and winning the meet by almost 70 points. Impressive. Let's see if Dade's Class 3A and 1A individuals follow it up over the next couple of days.