The devastation from Hurricane Ike's landfall throughout Houston and much of Southeast Texas avoided for the most part the suburb of Katy (1-2), where Cypress Bay (3-0) is headed next week.
There are six high schools located in Katy and Cypress Bay's game on Saturday, Oct. 4 is with one of the nation's most storied football programs, Katy High School.
"We needed to get back to as normal a schedule as we could," said coach Gary Joseph. "The kids got a win last week, which meant so much to them and to this community after the hurricane."
Katy High School and the other five high schools in Katy were close since the hurricane came ashore near Galveston, Katy's game with Flower Mound Marcus this weekend will still be played at a neutral site in Waco as originally planned. Katy High School received minimal damage, and the host of the Battle At Rhodes, Rhodes Stadium, had no structural damage.
Earlier this week, ESPNU moved the kickoff of the Battle At Rhodes from 6 PM to 2:30 PM (3:30 in South Florida) on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The Herald will be there bringing back all the action with blogs and stories.
Our dean of recruiting, Larry "Scoop" Blustein, reports today that South Broward's committed to Steven JacquesAuburn this weekend.
Jacques is a mammoth offensive lineman and continues a trend of talented Broward players to attend Auburn. St. Thomas Aquinas' Wes Byrum and Phillip Pierre-Louis, among others, signed with the SEC school in recent years.
I'm sure Larry will update us with more info on this soon.
For those of you heading down to Traz tonight, I wanted to fill you on some promotions Nike has planned to give out.
Nike fan packs will be handed out at Friday's game to the first 100 fans, and attendees will also have the opportunity to receive coupons, gift cards and noisemakers to show their spirit.
Niketown of Miami has been doing a great job hyping up the game all week. Tonight, it may pay to get there early.
Friday's big showdown with Booker T. Washington and Northwestern will be shown on CBS College Sports TV.
It's also this week's game for the Nike "5 Days 2 Friday National Road Tour." Brady Wilkes and Nick Reasons, who work for Max Preps will be covering the build up to the game on maxpreps.com. They travel all around the country to the biggest game each weekend.
And check out our weekly predictions package on Wednesday (which we're making sure is right this time).
Every year, I get asked why such and such school gets more attention and more coverage.
Every year, I try to explain it is all about how schools work with the media.
Tonight, I experienced my greatest example to date.
I arrived early at Boyd Anderson. I typically like to arrive 45 minutes before kickoff, which is enough time to say hello to both coaches, get rosters and situate myself in the press box. Well, I didn't get to see the BA coach (he was busy), but got the rosters and headed to the press box (along with the competitor) at 6:25.
When I got there, I was basically told to stay out. Yes, that's right. The press box was off limits to the PRESS because there were too many people up there. What a joke. I asked for the athletic director, but he didn't show until 7:30.
My lead story for Broward was forced to be rushed at the conclusion of the game. Because of the quick turnaround, I did not even get a quote from Boyd Anderson - which makes my story (and me by association) look bad.
So, when I get a question from Boyd Anderson later in the year about why Deerfield Beach or Cypress Bay or St. Thomas Aquinas gets more coverage, i'll gladly remind them about tonight. Sorry Cobra fans, but you were slighted with what you will read tomorrow, and there's no one to blame except the school.
High school football hit the airwaves last week with radio stations throughout South Florida bringing everyone the action from Miami-Dade and Broward.
This Friday night at 7, the action continues this week with WWNN (1470 AM) will broadcast the McArthur (1-0) vs. Hallandale (0-1) game at McArthur High Stadium. Adam Barron and Erik Lengyel will have the call of this backyard contest. You can catch the game streaming live online at http://www.wwnnradio.com/
The rebroadcast of that game if you missed it will be on Monday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.
Also on Friday night, 670 AM will broadcast the Booker T. Washington (0-1) vs. Central Rockets game. The pre-game with Alex Kushel and Ed Perry will begin at 7 and the game begins at 7:30.
You can catch more on the game and replay of the South Florida High School Football Show at www.southfloridahighschoolshow.com
The seniors in this current class will graduate in 2009. The juniors that represent the Class of 2010 are expected to be some of the best South Florida has produced. Even 2011 and 2012 (9th graders) players are starting to make a name. But what about the eighth graders that make up the Class of 2013? Isn’t it a bit early to talk about a class that hasn’t even made it to high school yet?
Not if you happen to be at Glades Day, your name is Kelvin Taylor and can run the ball as well as anyone in the state. When starting running back Brandon Dean, a senior for the Gators, went down with an injury, Taylor (5-10, 190) entered the opening game against Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna and ran for over 100 yards.
The resident of Wellington played youth football last season, so in his very first appearance at the varsity level, Taylor was impressive. This baby-face athlete does have an advantage. His father was a star at Glades Central High School. He also made an impact at the University of Florida and happens to be the starting back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. You guessed it. The son of Fred Taylor is for real!
Had the chance to watch Jamaal Berry and Palmetto last Friday night against Columbus. Berry is more than the real deal. Palmetto just didn't use him enough. But the story on this night had to be the Explorers, who won 49-0, and looked very impressive.
After finishing 11-1 last season, losing to eventual state and national champion Northwestern, coach Chris Merritt has certainly assembled quite a football team.
While defensive tackle Antwan Lowery (6-3, 315) is the centerpiece of this defense, senior defensive end Caesar Rodriguez (6-2, 215) and sophomore defensive end Anthony Rabasa, a 6-3, 210-pounder are as productive as anyone I have watched in the spring and into the summer. They make plays – over and over again!
The thing that you have to love about the Explorer’s defense is that youngsters such as junior linebacker Tommy Heffernan (6-2, 200), senior Michael Abadin (6-1, 225) and sophomore Brandon Bradley (5-11, 170). Heffernan is a big time player with size, speed and plenty of athletic ability. I was fortunate to have watched Heffernan's dad, Dave, play for the University of Miami, and his son is going to be a real star.
The secondary is also quite impressive with senior safety Jamal Wildgoose (6-2, 170), Edgar Guerra (5-9, 160) and junior Bryan Santos, who at 5-9, 160, is a player who is not afraid to stick his head in on every play.
One of the brightest stars for the future is junior running back Jakhari Gore. This 5-9, 170-pounder is cousin of former Coral Gables, UM and 49ers star, Frank Gore, who is considered the best running back ever in Miami-Dade County.
Gore, who finished with a game-high 167 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, helped balance an offense that was directed by quarterbacks Chris Ackemjack, a 5-9, 180-pound senior, and junior Garret Colao (5-11, 175), who completed nine passes combined for 100 yards.
Senior receivers Gary Bush (6-0, 175, Purdue), Kenny Whittaker (5-11, 175), who transferred in from Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna and senior Erik Lora (6-0, 175) are also impressive, and the offensive line that features seniors Andrew Guin (6-0, 245), Stephen Ortiz (6-1, 246), Thomas Maguire (6-0, 225), Stephen Nunez (6-2, 250) and Mark Westman (5-11, 250), and juniors Mark Cal (5-10, 260), Jacobo Gonzalez (6-2, 260), Alex Wethy (6-3, 245) and sophomore Brian Visney (6-1, 230). Westman's father, Mark, played at South Miami for veteran coach Charlie Yanda before heading to Oklahoma and competing for legendary head coach Barry Switzer.
I just scratched the surface with this team. Keep an eye out for Columbus. This could be the year that this program plays for a state title, and you would have to go back to the early 80s when Alonzo Highsmith, Mike Shula, Dwayne Ganzy and some others played for a state title against Pensacola Woodham, which I had the pleasure of broadcasting back to South Florida with the late, great Sonny Hirsch on a frigid night in the Panhandle!
Want to know what Andre Fernandez and Bob Emanuel thought about last week's preseason games and what their take is heading into week one? Find out when host Manny Navarro releases the latest edition of The Countdown Tuesday at 2 p.m.
It's a half hour of high school football talk between the three guys who have covered more high school football in South Florida over the last decade than anyone else. Well, except for Larry Blustein.