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BTW Tornadoes have a long way to go!

Before Booker T. Washington fans hit the panic button and start talking about the what ifs for the 2008 season, I suggest that you sit back and watch this program do what they have been doing since the school re-opened. Work hard, add some of the top athletes in the nation and rebuild.

Friday night’s loss to Chandler Hamilton (Az.) was one of those things where the “young” Tornadoes were exposed for not being able to replace the 17 starters so quickly. They were matched against a very impressive football team that won state titles back in Arizona and were well coached and had great football talent.

The blame game? Nobody. This is a BTW team that lacks experience, and while there were many, many positives on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium, mistakes and things associated with young and inexperienced players, went on from start to finish. That has to be corrected, or teams such as Hallandale, Dwyer, Tampa Plant and Armwood will pass this impressive program by!

There are many things to be impressed by on a team that rolled through the 2007 season, winning a 4A state title. But believe that this is a program, under first year coach Earl Tillman, that will be back. But you need to be patient. If you have to be reminded how much talent this team lost, all you had to do was watch the University of Miami opener on Thursday, and tune in to FIU’s game at Kansas on Saturday!

Players that made an impact on Friday night in the senior class included: Torrance Moise (QB), Andre Edwards (WR), Emmanuel Noel (WR), Jamal Forest (DB), Natturner Harris (DB), Keenan Frazier (LB), Monsignor Pace transfer David Van Dyke (DB), O’Bryan Ferguson (LB) and Jarius Levy (LB).

Juniors to watch includes top-flight running back Eduardo Clements, who was the target of Hamilton’s defense all night. They bottled up the standout back most of the night and were not intimidated by the “Florida” speed.

OTHER TOP JUNIORS: Quinton Dunbar (WR), Willie Williams (RB), Oscar Diaz (PK), Lynden Trail (DE), Jelanie Rouland (WR) and Jose Jose (OL).

TOP SOPHOMORES: Jeremiah Hay (QB), Derek Moise (WR), Kedarius Evans (DB).

FRESHMAN: Kevon Caffey (LB).

Here is hoping that Pahokee and Northwestrn have more success with their impressive opponents on Saturday, but if it doesn’t happen, you just learn from this terrific experience and move on.

The games are a great and needs to happen yearly as we will soon have those marquee teams back for the nation to see…..
LARRY BLUSTEIN
Lblustein@miamiherald.com

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