While this was to be a rebuilding season for coach Joe Montoya and his Coral Gables football teams, the Cavaliers will head into next Thursday night's first round playoff game against district champion Central with an impressive 9-1 record.
On Thursday night, the Cavaliers, ran their all-time record against Southwest Miami to an amazing 52-1-2, which I have followed for many of those games throughout the years. This used to be the Thanksgiving morning game at the fabled Central Stadium when legendary Nick Kotys and Coral Gables would trot out some 110 players – in uniform against the Eagles, who were always intimidated by the sheer number of players this school had on the varsity roster.
While many of the starters for Southwest were rested against the Cavaliers, you have to give credit to this Coral Gables team that was to use this season as a rebuilding campaign, but instead finds itself heading into the Central game on a roll – with some very young and impressive athletes.
Sophomore linebacker Denzel Perryman (5-11, 200) is everything many have said he was. Keep in mind, this quality football talent is young and he has a long way to go, but you have love the direction in which he is moving. He is impressive – to say the least – and it makes you believe that former Cavalier Jon Vilma was right when saying he will be the next great player in a long line of football talent at this school.
Perryman is not alone. The future is bright with ninth grade linebacker Tyler Tarlin (5-9, 165), and sophomore running back Shaquille Cooper (5-6, 150) and offensive lineman Gabriel Pou (6-1, 220), the brother of University of Miami lineman Alex Pou.
The junior class is where Montoya believes this team will continue to get better over the next year. Running back Jarvis Bridge is lightning quick and very elusive. Although small at 5-8, 155, he is that perfect Mid American Conference player. Also, quarterback Patrick McCain (6-3, 195) has grasped the system and is looking very good.
Other players who have stepped up for Coral Gables include running back Edward Smith (5-8, 155), talented receiver Andre Gutierez (6-0, 200), who was impressive against the Eagles, defensive lineman Sean Prieto (6-2, 230) and offensive lineman Lawrence De'ronzy, a 6-1, 326-pounder.
The Cavaliers have other players who have continued to improve and will be special for the future.