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20 posts from July 2008

July 31, 2008

Jupiter Christian is 4-0 after first day

Junior quarterback Marshyl Rothman fired 14 touchdowns and defending 1B state champion Jupiter Christian kept the national title hopes alive after the first day of the adidas 7-on-7 national championships in Atlanta.

Replacing Booker T. Washington and defending national champion Pahokee, the Eagles went 4-0 against some top passing offenses. Play resumes for coach Bill Powers and his team on Thursday.

Crenshaw 34, Richland 32 OT
Crenshaw WR Noel Grisby 3 TDs, QB Marquise Thompson 5 TDs

Sacred Heart Griffin 13, Concord 6
Sacred Heart Griffin QB Tim Dondanville 2 TDs, WR John Lantz 2 TDs

Sacred Heart Griffin 21, Richland 20
Sacred Heart Griffin QB Tim Dondanville 3 TDs, WR John Lantz 3 TDs
Mesquite 26, Farragut 13 Mesquite QB Luke Halpin 4 TDs, WR Marcus Trice 2 TDs

Jupiter Christian 22, Crenshaw 21
Jupiter Christian QB Marshyl Rothman 3 TDs, WR Danny Meyer TD.

Mesquite 34, Concord 12
Mesquite QB Luke Halpin 5 TDs, WR Davian Harper 2 TDs

Concord 27, Farragut 20
Concord QB David Yoder 4 TDs

Jupiter Christian 28, Sacred Heart Griffin 27
Jupiter Christian QB Marshyl Rothman 4 TDs, WR Cobie Graham 2 TDs

Richland 28, Farragut 24
Richland QB Tyler Cotton 4 TDs, WR Justin Erickson TD

Crenshaw 33, Mesquite 26
Crenshaw WR Noel Grisby TD, Game Winning INT
Mesquite QB Luke Halpin 4 TDs, WR Marcus Trice TD

Jupiter Christian 21, Farragut 13
Jupiter Christian QB Marshyl Rothman 3 TDs, WR Marc Ballatori 2 TDs

Sacred Heart Griffin 19, Crenshaw 18
Sacred Heart Griffin QB Tim Dondanville 3 TDs, WR John Lantz 3 TDs

Concord 18, Richland 14
Concord QB David Yoder 3 TDs, WR JaVontae Hence 2 TDs
Richland QB Tyler Cotton 2 TDs, WR Phillip Gonzales 2 TDs

Jupiter Christian 26, Mesquite 13
Jupiter Christian QB Marshyl Rothman 4 TDs, WR Cobie Graham TD


July 29, 2008

North Miami Beach football headed to the Big Easy

Hey everyone,

Jordan Wilcox and I visited NMB Tuesday and caught up with coach Jeff Bertani to talk about the upcoming season, which is looking promising for the Chargers.

In addition to its state championship contender status, Bertani informed me that NMB will have another new experience this season as it joins the recent wave of South Florida teams playing games outside of Florida.

The Chargers will head to New Orleans on October 4th to take on Louisiana powerhouse John Curtis in a Saturday afternoon contest at noon. The game will pit NMB against a team that has won 22 state titles in its history and figures to be nationally ranked going into the season. John Curtis has produced some talented players over the years, most recently, USC running back Joe McKnight.

NMB, which is chasing its first state title, is the fourth team that is set to travel this season from South Florida.

Booker T. will be going outside of Florida for the 2nd straight year as it takes on Northside Warner Robbins of Georgia on Sept. 6. Last season, the Tornadoes kicked off their state title run with a 36-3 rout of Summerville in South Carolina before a national audience on ESPN.

St. Thomas Aquinas will play Elder High of Cincinnati in the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge in Ohio Aug. 30th. And Cypress Bay will face Katy of Texas on that same Oct. 4 weekend.

Softball stars honored by Louisville Slugger and NFCA

   Five South Florida high school softball players were named to the Louisville
Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Region team this week. Gulliver
pitcher Sara Buchholz, catcher Jaimee Vega and infielder Olivia Alvarez, who will play
at UCF this fall, were the Miami-Dade County players selected. Pembroke Pines Charter
utility players Audrey Broyles and Lauren Sewell were chosen from Broward.

July 25, 2008

Jupiter Christian will play for national title

While Booker T. Washington and Pahokee officially came in first and second at the regional adidas 7on7 tournament at the University of Central Florida last month, the two teams who were booted from the Nike event in Miami for fighting, will not be rewarded by playing for a national championship in Atlanta on July 30-31.

Instead of Pahokee defending its national title, the Blue Devils, along with the Tornadoes, we'll watch a team that finished in the final four in the Orlando event, Jupiter Christian, head off as the lone Florida representative.

Coach Bill Powers and his defending 1B state champion Eagles will join six other teams at Silverback Stadium in Atlanta to compete for the adidas 7on7 national championship.  More than 200 teams across the country have competed in five regional tournaments this summer for the opportunity to play in the adidas 7on7 finals.

Jupiter Christian lost just once in that two-day event in Orlando, and that came in the semifinals against Booker T. Washington by a TD.
The first day at the adidas 7on7 finals consists of round-robin pool play, with the single elimination championship tournament on Thursday July 31st.  Finalists qualified at regional tournaments hosted by Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.), Texas A&M (College Station, Texas), and University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.).  Finalists include:

* Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles)
* Concord High School (Elkhart, Ind.)
* Farragut High School (Knoxville, Tenn.)
* Jupiter Christian High School
* Mesquite High School (Mesquite, Texas)
* Richland High School (Ft. Worth, Texas)
* Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield, Ill.)

Now in its fourth year, the adidas 7on7 Football Tournament has become a proving ground for young football players and a hot bed for top college recruits.  The tournament allows skill position players to refine their timing and teamwork before their high school season begins and helps players stay in shape year round through competitive playing and conditioning.


July 23, 2008

Florida Football Magazine released Aug. 4

For those rabid high school football fans who simply cannot wait until The Miami Herald publishes its football previews on Aug. 28, there is good news.

The annual Florida Football Magazine will be released on Aug. 4 (on most news stands across the state). The magazine is compiled by a friend of the Herald, Corey Long, and covers football across the entire state. It is a good way for fans to familiarize themselves with the upcoming high school football season.

Flfb08_cover_s_florida1 Think of it this way: You can read the magazine for general knowledge, then check back with The Herald later in the month of August for some in-depth coverage of Broward and Miami-Dade teams.

St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Duron Carter and Miramar quarterback Eugene Smith grace the cover (on left) for south Florida.

Football media days

Over the past few years, The Miami Herald started a tradition of hosting Football Media Days. Basically, each school is invited to bring out anywhere from 3-4 football players (selected schools are asked for more). the athletes are photographed, one athlete per school is interviewed and that interview will appear in audio form (along with a story) when our football preview is released.

More than 20 schools attended Broward's opening day on Tuesday.

I know the sessions are invaluable. I get to meet and chat with so many of these players, and friendships get their beginning. Last year, Cypress Bay's Mike DeCaro made an impression during the event, and he and I enjoyed quite a few conversations during the season. I came away impressed by several athletes on the first day and found a few potential interview regulars.

There were some truly engaging personalities on display. Days like these are why I cherish my job. Thanks to all who attended on Tuesday and those who will attend on Thursday.

And, just so our Dade fans are not ignored, Andre is hosting those sessions on Wednesday and Friday.

July 22, 2008

Smith turning heads at EA Sports Elite 11 Passing event

After the first day of the EA Sports Elite 11 Quarterback competition at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, Calif., many of the top quarterbacks from across the country threw the ball around to get loose and show their mechanics. Nobody really tipped their hand.

During Monday's initial practice session, Miramar's Eugene Smith was singled out for his quick release and the way he distributed the ball around on short and intermediate passes.

On Tuesday, the quarterbacks began the competitive portion of the four-day event, and the 6-3, 180-pounder started to show just why he was invited to this gathering that includes 12 top high school passers and current college quarterbacks such as Matthew Stafford, Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez.

"Eugene did very well," said his uncle Antwan Sellers. "There are some very good quarterbacks in the competition, but I have to feel that he has more than proven that he is one of the best in the country.

In Tuesday's accuracy portion of the event, Smith finished in second place, and with two more days left, put himself in a great position to make a statement as one of the best in the nation!


July 21, 2008

Eugene Smith is off to California

All summer long, Eugene Smith had talked about the opportunity he was given to represent South Florida in the Elite-11 Passing event in California. Today, the Miramar senior will become the first ever Broward County quarterback ever to appear in this prestigious gathering of elite passers from all over the country.

"I have worked hard, stayed in shape and put my arm through plenty of tests this summer," said Smith, who expects to show the country plenty over the next three days. "I have looked forward to going to California and proving that I am as good as any of the quarterbacks in the country."

In addition to Smith, others expected to make an impression include Tajh Boyd (Phoebus High School -- Hampton, Va.), Richard Brehaut (Los Osos High School -- Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Allan Bridgford (Mission High School -- Viejo, Calif.), Raymond Cotton (Meade High School -- Fort Meade, Md.), Garrett Gilbert (Lake Travis High School -- Austin, Texas), Andrew Maxwell (Midland High School -- Midland, Mich.), A.J. McCarron (St. Paul's High School -- Mobile, Ala.), Zach Mettenberger (Oconee County High School -- Watkinsville, Ga.), Bryn Renner (West Springfield High School -- Lorton, Va.), Tom Savage (Cardinal O'Hara High School -- Springfield, Pa.) and Tampa Plant quarterback Aaron Murray, who is headed to the University of Georgia.

In 2007, Smith passed for 2,222 yards and 25 TDs with just three interceptions while rushing for seven more scores in just seven full games.

Notable Elite 11 alumni include current NFLers Vince Young (Tennessee Titans), Matt Leinart (Arizona Cardinals), Kellen Clemens (New York Jets) , Brodie Croyle (Kansas City Chiefs), Derek Anderson (Cleveland Browns), Kyle Orton (Chicago Bears), Troy Smith (Baltimore Ravens), Trent Edwards (Buffalo Bills), JaMarcus Russell (Oakland Raiders), John David Booty (Minnesota Vikings), Andre Woodson (New York Giants) and many more.

The Miami Herald will continue to provide exclusive reports from the competition over the next three days, tracing the progress of Smith, who has Boston College, South Florida, Florida State, LSU and Louisville on his list of over 30 offers.


July 19, 2008

Doral Academy pulls the ultimate surprise!

On the way to West Palm Beach Saturday morning, Miami’s Doral Academy football team had its bus break down, forcing the Firebirds to seek alternate transportation. Showing up over an hour late for the Rising Stars Athletics Palm Beach 7-on-7 Shootout, they had to play catch up!

Playing in three straight games without a rest, coach Evan Cooper’s team defied all odds as they beat defending champion Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, 27-22, and surprised the 14-team field at Palm Springs City Park.

Behind the passing of the event’s Offensive MVP Jermaine Kelson, a talented junior, this team rolled with wins against Inlet Grove, Summitt Christian and Lake Worth, advancing to the next round. Doral Academy then beat Royal Palm Beach, North Broward Prep and Dywer.

“I told people before, this is going to be a team that will pull some major surprises,” said Cooper, the former Killian standout, who also starred at Michigan. “This team didn’t come an hour-and-a-half to roll over. We respected the field in this tournament and welcomed the challenge.”

While Kelson dazzled defenses all afternoon, senior Carlton Callendar, a 6-2, 195-pounder safety/receiver established himself as one of the most promising athlete. While his career began at Southridge as a ninth grader, it seems that this gifted athlete made quite an impression.

“Best senior player at this event,” said Charles Fishbein of Elitescoutingservices.com. “I have watched every great safety in this state in this class, and he is top 5. He’s that good.”

We’ll have more on Doral Academy in this Friday’s column. You’ll be impressed at the quality players this team has.

Dwyer junior Matt Elam, who is rated No. 1 in the class by Florida Football Magazine, was voted as the Defensive MVP.

The event also helped to find some players who hadn’t been on anyone’s radar screen, especially Fort Pierce Westwood receiver Leon Shorter (6-3, 175), who may be one of the best we’ve watched over the past few weeks. His teammate Jamison Wright (safety, 6-2, 165) and Lake Worth receiver Solomon Alberry (6-2, 175) are all elite players.

Other juniors on hand was Florida Football Magazine’s Top 25 Class of 2010 prospect Darius Millines (quarterback/safety, 6-1, 180), impressive linebacker Jeff Luc (6-0, 235) from Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast.

There are also some Class of 2011 players who made an impact on Saturday such as Fort Pierce Westwood’s Everette Jackson (safety, 5-7, 155), Coral Glades’ quarterback Christopher Haire (6-1, 175) and cornerback Kevin Greisel (5-10, 155).

Some of the senior players who many knew about and made an impact includes Fort Pierce Westwood’s 6-4, 230-pound quarterback Isaac Virgin, University of Minnesota commit Victor Keise (receiver 6-1, 175) and Jordan Batts (receiver, 5-11, 165) from North Broward Prep, and Joe Morris (6-3, 175) of American Heritage-Delray. We also knew about Class of 2010 junior quarterback Brandon Doughty (6-3, 180) from North Broward Prep.

By the way, 2012 quarterback Evan Moore (6-0, 165) could be the first freshman ever to start for coach Erick Lowe’s Lake Worth Trojans.

Other teams that took place included Santaluces, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Riviera Beach Suncoast and Dwyer’s B team, which made it to the final four as well.


July 18, 2008

Rising Stars 7-on-7 Passing event to be held Saturday in South Palm Beach

Last year Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer flexed some muscle, bringing in a strong team to the Rising Stars Athletics Palm Beach Shootout and winning the impressive tournament. On Saturday, the Panthers will return to defend their championship in a field that is quite impressive.

The event, which is held at Palm Springs City Park (South Palm Beach) - between Congress and Davis Road, is bringing in teams from as far north as Fort Pierce Westwood, with talented 6-4, 235-pounder quarterback Isaac Virgin, to North Broward Prep, which features Class of 2010 quarterback prospects Brandon Doughty.

Starting at 9 a.m., teams such as Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach Suncoast, Lake Worth, Inlet Grove, Boynton Beach, Royal Palm Beach and defending 1A state champions American Heritage-Delray will square off in what appears to be a very competitive tournament.

In addition to coach Jeff Dellenbach's North Broward squad, Coral Glades will make the trip to see how they fair against some athletic teams. Also, Miami Doral Academy is scheduled to take the ride north.

Dywer features some quality talent, which is led by senior Bradley Wallace, juniors Matt Elam and Gerald Christian and several other quality playmakers.