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16 posts from November 2008

November 12, 2008

Chris Shula is still working hard!

When he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Chris Shula was the perfect athlete. A standout football player, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, uncle and brother. He was also a tremendous wrestler who took the sport seriously and advanced to the state tournament, where his family supported him thoughout his career.

Over the past four years, Shula, a 5-11, 228-pound linebacker, has been at Miami of Ohio, and has been a role player for the rebuilding Redhawks, who are 2-8 with games against Toledo and Ohio University remaining.

On Tuesday night, the senior finally received some national exposure in a loss to nationally-rated Ball St. In the loss, Shula blocked a punt, forced a fumble and came up with some key tackles, proving that he is still a tremendous and hard-working football talent.

Shula is not the only Floridian playing in Oxford. Carol City senior defensive back Jason Gibson has been impressive. So have defensive back Wendell Brunson (Fort Pierce John Carroll), receiver Joe Clarke (Tampa Alonso), tight end Jake O'Connell (Naples Gulf Coast) and Jamal Rodgers (Harmony Prep, Fort Myers).


November 10, 2008

Smith, Bailey choose West Virginia

While there is a long way to go before his final decision is made, Eugene Smith of Miramar at least let everyone know where his mind is today.

One of the top quarterback prospects ever in Broward County announced Monday that he made a soft verbal commitment to attend West Virginia University along with teammate, receiver Steadman Bailey, who has been as impressive as any over the past two years.

Originally leaning toward West Virginia after his sophomore year, Smith had the opportunity to visit Morgantown over the weekend, and despite upcoming trips to USF and LSU, he is comfortable with the choice.

“I had the chance to go up and take in everything for myself,” said Smith. “It’s a huge decision to make, and while I will never cement anything, this certainly feels right.”

Rumors that Smith was on his way to the University of Michigan to remedy the Wolverines’ elite quarterback woes were never true. Boston College and FSU had also been in the mix, but with everything falling into place the next few years, it was West Virginia that grabbed his attention.

Smith had been looked at by schools from Alabama to Oregon, Louisville and Clemson as well.

He joins 12 South Floridians in Morgantown including Quinton Andrews, DB, 5-11, 206, Jr., Monsignor Pace; Alric Arnett, WR, 6-2, 180, Jr., Glades Central; Jarrett Brown, QB, 6-4, 220, Jr., Palm Beach Lakes; Uriah Grant, DL, 6-2, 265, Fr., Everglades; Scott Kozlowski, P, 6-0, 190, Sr., Royal Palm Beach; Ja'tavious Miller, LB, 6-1, 210, Fr., Pahokee; Mike Poitier, RB, 5-8, 165, Jr., St. Thomas; Robert Sands, S, 6-6, 205, Fr., Carol City; Eain Smith, DB, 6-0, 190, Fr., Chaminade-Madonna; Joshua Taylor, DL, 6-2, 258, Fr., Miramar; J.T. Thomas, LB, 6-1, 220, So., Ely and Jorge Wright, DL, 6-3, 26o, Fr., Dr. Krop.

Lblustein@Miami Herald.com

Jason Douglas picks Pittsburgh

Dave Wannestedt learned many things while living in South Florida. One of the most important lesson was the talent in South Florida can change the direction of a college program - in a hurry!

Keeping to that theme, Wannstedt and the University of Pittsburgh football program continued the pipeline to this area when they received a verbal commitment from Cypress Bay running back Jason Douglas.

The speedy Douglas, who has lifted the Lightning to a district title, will bring plenty with him in that tightly-wound 5-7, 175-pound frame. His blazing (4.4) speed and ability to find holes quickly has made him one of Florida’s top backs over the past two years.

“This is a player who elevates his play in the big games,” said coach Mark Guandolo. “Give me a kid like that any day. Someone who you can trust in the heat of battle on the football field.”

The versatile back is also one of the fastest athletes in the state, competing for the Lightning track program.

Douglas will be right at home with the Panthers who have 12 players from South Florida, including Conredge Collins, FB, 6-0, 230, Sr., Monsignor Pace; Steve Dell, 6-1, 235, LB, Jr., Lantana Santaluces; Tommy Duhart, DL, 6-4, 290, Jr., Glades Central; Rashaad Duncan, DL, 6-2, 295, Sr., Glades Central; Ricky Gary, DB, 5-9, 175, So., Pahokee; Buddy Jackson, DB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Cypress Bay; Jared Martin, OL, 6-2, 285, So., Western; Cedric McGee, WR, 6-1, 205, Jr., Plantation; Gus Mustakas, DL, 6-3, 280, Jr., Chaminade-Madonna; Tamarcus Porter, WR, 6-0, 195, Jr., Pahokee; Jabaal Sheard, DL, 6-4, 250, So., Hollywood Hills and Joe Trebitz, LB, 6-3, 200, Fr., West Boca Raton.


November 09, 2008

Great year for Matt DuBuc and Cardinal Gibbons

This has been quite a year for Cardinal Gibbons offensive coordinator Matt DuBuc.

First, his offense continues to click as the Chiefs narrowly finished second to Glades Central in the district and will play at Monsignor Pace in the first round of the 3A playoffs.

Secondly, DuBuc, who was a one time standout running back and return specialist at Texas Tech, has watched his Red Raiders move up to No. 2 in the nation with a real shot at playing in Dolphins Stadium for the national championship.

DuBuc, a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons, has helped coach Mike Morrill’s offense click with players such as senior quarterback Chris Schirippa, junior running backs Dareyon Chance and Eric McLamore, and perhaps the most overlooked group of receivers in senior Kyle Robiskie (the brother of Ohio St. receiver Brian), impressive junior Sean Corker and senior tight end Joseph Fitzpatrick.

The Chiefs also have very talented junior kicker Drew Zloch, whose father and uncle played at Notre Dame during the glory days of the Fighting Irish.

DuBuc was also a standout baseball player for the Red Raiders. He chose football out of college and played in the CFL for a few years.


November 07, 2008

Abuhoff Named Ivy Football Rookie of the Week

Freshman cornerback Shawn Abuhoff, from Dade Christian, was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his contributions to the Dartmouth effort in the 35-7 home loss against 23rd-ranked Harvard this past Saturday. He is the second Big Green football player to earn one of the conference weekly awards this year, joining freshman place kicker Foley Schmidt (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) who took home the Rookie of the Week award back on Sept. 22.

Abuhoff helped the Big Green defense hold the vaunted Harvard passing attack to less than 100 yards through the air. He broke up one pass, plus had five tackles, three solo. Lined up most of the day against Matt Luft, the Crimson’s leading receiver with nearly 700 yards, the product of Dade Christian held him in check with just two catches for 27 yards.

Defense wasn’t Abuhoff’s lone responsibility, however, serving as Dartmouth’s return man on punts and kickoffs. On three punt returns, he gained 28 yards (9.3 average) with a long of 17, plus brought back two kickoffs for 44 total yards.

November 03, 2008

Dougherty puts Brown into first place!

Former St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Michael Dougherty put the Brown Bears into first place in the Ivy League last Saturday with a 34-27 win at Penn.

The senior directed the Bears' offense by completing 16 of 32 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns.

The wide-open game came down to big plays and Brown made most of them. The biggest play of all came late in the fourth quarter and Brown holding a 28-20 lead. With 4:30 remaining on the clock, Penn gambled on fourth down and two at its own 28-yard line. Brown senior Nkosi Still came up with the big play, stopping the Quakers two yards short of a first down, and putting the Bears' offense on the field once again.

Brown put the game away two plays later when Dougherty faked a handoff to runningback Dereck Knight and lofted his fourth touchdown pass of the day, a 29-yard touchdown strike to uncovered tight end Colin Cloherty in the end zone, to give the Bears an insurmountable 34-20 lead with 4:05 left in the game.

Other South Floridians who compete for the first place Brown squad include offensive lineman Scott Hamilton (St. Thomas), receiver Kyle Johnson (St. Thomas) and lineman Alex Shields (Wellington).