After a rain delay, Glades Central High School was the winner of the 2nd Annual Dolphins Academy 7-on-7 Football Tournament. The Raiders will represent the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League’s 2009 7-on-7 Tournament in Minnesota the week of July 9th – 12th.
Glades Central punched their ticket to the National tournament with a thrilling victory over Miami Edison, last year’s area champion. The championship game was the culmination of a week of events that included an NFL High School Player Development (HSPD) Seminar on Monday, a round robin and single-elimination tournament on Tuesday, and the final rounds of play on Friday.
Along with the help of the National Guard, the Miami Dolphins hosted the HSPD seminar at Nova High School on Monday June 8th. Students were exposed to a variety of topics from speakers such as Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland as well as current Dolphins players Reggie Torbor and Phillip Merling. The speakers addressed several issues, including leadership, time management, and preparation to become an eligible NCAA athlete. In addition, members of the National Guard spoke regarding how behavior off the field can translate to improvements on the field.
Thirty-two teams from the tri-county area of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade attended the seminar and competed in the 7-on-7 tournament held a Central Park in Plantation. Round-Robin play began early Tuesday morning to determine seeding for the single elimination tournament, which began in the early afternoon. Members of the National Guard were on hand to serve as help with operations and as scorekeepers throughout the day. The tournament was suspended late-afternoon due to rain with six teams remaining.
The competition continued on Friday morning with the completion of the quarter-final games that were still in progress from Tuesday afternoon. The final four teams that competed in the semi-finals were Glades Central, Miami Edison, Boyd Anderson and Miami Jackson. Glades Central defeated Boyd Anderson in stunning fashion, setting themselves up with a championship match with Miami Edison, who was looking to defend their crown after taking down Miami Jackson in an epic battle of Miami rivals.
In the final, it was all Glades Central from the start, as they jumped off to an early lead with a pair of long touchdowns, and an interception (which accounts for three points in 7-on-7 football). While Miami Edison made attempts at a comeback, Glades Central’s combination of size and speed was too much for the former champions to handle. Glade Central’s receivers made spectacular catches and long runs on their way to a 41-14 victory, giving them a shot to compete for the coveted NFL 7-on-7 title. Glades Central dominated in the elimination tournament, winning each of their games by at least 21 points.
While the players from Glades Central were the victors of the tournament, those who participated in the Dolphins Academy event were the true winners. The student-athletes left with a greater appreciation for what it takes to be a strong leader, a good teammate, and an active member of their communities, all of which will help them as they move forward in their lives.