When Mike Virden came to Douglas High School last year from Idaho, he brought with him a recipe for success. A year after leading the Eagles two rounds deep in the playoffs, Virden left to accept a head coaching job at Ellsworth College Iowa Falls, Ia. and is doing the job most expected this rising coaching star to do.
Through the first seven games, Ellsworth is 5-2, losing to Air Force Academy JC and Harper last week, 47-43, with 40 seconds left. ECC hasn’t qualified for a bowl game in 5 years, but find themselves ranked 20th nationally and second in offense.
At the center of the turnaround are 13 South Florida freshmen, which include Coconut Creek products Quintin Robinson, who has broken the single season and single game receiving records for ECC and rank near the top in NJCAA, and quarterback Tirrell Rennie, who has been very explosive, leading the conference and has been named Player of the Week.
Here are the South Floridians helping Ellsworth turn the corner:
Jonathan Aiken, WR, 6-4, 190, Piper
Tyrell Austin, RB, 5-10, 160, South Plantation
Travis Cox, DB, 6-0, 170, South Plantation
Matt Harvey, DB, 5-11, 165, Douglas
Johnnie Lloyd, WR, 6-0, 170, Piper
Kordale Norris, OL, 6-4, 275, Fort Lauderdale
Campbell O'Brian, DB, 6-0, 185, South Broward
Jacob Peterson, LB, 6-2, 235, Delray Atlantic
Tirrell Rennie, QB, 5-10, 175, Coconut Creek
Quintin Robinson, WR, 6-3, 180, Coconut Creek
Markinley St. Fort, DB, 5-11, 170, Piper
Aaron Strumski, DL, 6-3, 280, South Broward
Thaad Thompson, DB, 6-2, 190, Coral Springs Charter
KEEPING UP WITH JONES
Before there was Jacory Harris at Northwestern, the Bulls rode the arm and legs of talented Eldrin Jones. Now a sophomore, Jones has emerged as one of the top junior college quarterbacks on the west coast, leading the way for Pasadena City College.
Jones has completed 63 percent of his passes for 800 yards and 9 touchdowns. He sat out parts of two games with an injury.
Jones is joined on the team by other Floridians such as receivers Owen Dixon and Matt Stokeling (Killian), and defensive back Derek Mack (Northwestern).
Once again, if you have athletes from the region you want us to know about, just let me know and we will make sure to spread the great word!