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Jean Baptiste leads nationally rated team

One of the top teams in community college football this season has been Harper College of Palatine, Ill. The Hawks (8-1) defeated Rock Valley on Saturday, 31-7, and with losses by two teams ahead of them in the National Junior College Football Poll, is expected to move to within the top seven in the nation.

Despite the loss to Iowa Central College a few weeks back, this is a team, under head coach Dragan Teonic, that has been impressive. One of the players who has helped this team on offense is former Cooper City and Boyd Anderson running back Rithner Jean-Baptiste (5-9, 214).

Through the first nine games, Jean-Baptiste has over 300 yards rushing, scored 3 touchdowns and caught 19 passes (14.6 yard per catch average) for a program that won the national title back in 2003 and 2004.

Jean-Baptiste burst on the scene as a promising sophomore at Cooper City, was injured his junior year before finishing at Boyd Anderson for his final season.

"Rithner is doing such a tremendous job for us," said Teonic. "He is what we strive for on this team – a balance between athletics and academics."

OVERSTREET IN OVERDRIVE
Former Ely and St. Thomas defensive lineman Chris Overstreet is getting serious about playing the sport. Not only has the 6-foot-2 prospect lost 50 pounds (down to 336), but he has 39 tackles, 8 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in nine games for North Carolina Tech prep school in Charlotte.

Schools such as LSU have shown interest with a 5.23 (40), a 455 bench and 605 squat. he also power cleaned 295 pounds.

LARRY BLUSTEIN
lblustein@miamiherald.com

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