As spring practices wind down and games start to signal the end of the month of May for high schools throughout South Florida, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report has an impressive lineup for Wednesday night on WQAM (560 AM).
From 9-10, Larry Blustein will welcome Florida Atlantic University head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Elite Scouting Services founder and President, Charles Fishbein and Miami Braddock head coach Frank Rojas.
A LOT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
If you attended the spring football game this year, or attended any event on the campus of FAU, you noticed that there is a change in the landscape. A new stadium is going up in record time as the Oct. 15th game against Western Kentucky is getting closer.
At the center of this impressive facility is Schnellenberger, who has been one of the most popular football coaches in the history of South Florida, coaching the Dolphins, guiding the Miami Hurricanes to a first ever national title and making a lasting impression at Louisville and Oklahoma.
In April of 1998, Schnellenberger was asked to consider a project. He was asked to weigh the facts, research the possibilities and explore the community's interest and support for the addition of football to FAU's sports roster.
By 2008 Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger had welcomed the first recruiting class; climbed the ranks of Division I-AA, including a national semi-final appearance; joined a conference, began playing football in the country's highest classification, the Bowl Subdivision; and grabbed a league title along with two bowl championships to add to his perfect collection of six (six appearances as a head coach).
When you consider all the "firsts" that FAU's football team has accomplished, it is hard to believe.
When the team took the field for its first practice, Aug. 12, 2000, 164 players were dressed. FAU played its first scrimmage Sept. 23, 2000, and took to the field Sept. 1, 2001. It only took two games for FAU to have its first upset, defeating the No. 22 ranked team in the country, 31-28. FAU holds the record for the fastest start-up program to earn a Division I-A victory, and is the fastest program to reach the Division I-AA playoffs and the fastest start up program to be invited to bowl game. The Owls made a repeat appearance in 2008 becoming the only team in the state of Florida to have back-to-back bowl victories in 2007 and 2008. FAU also became the first Sun Belt Conference team to win back-to-back bowl games. What makes the bowl victories more impressive is that FAU became bowl-eligible, in its rise to Division I-A status in 2006 therefore the Owls captured a bowl victory in two of the three seasons that they were part of the Bowl Subdivision.
GETTING AROUND AND PROMOTING
For the past decade, there are very few people who have promoted, watched and formed more lasting relationships than Fishbein, who works closely with colleges and universities nationwide to ensure Florida's player have a place to compete and receive an education.
His relationship with athletes, high school coaches, parents and college coaches has earned him a reputation as one of the hardest working people in the industry.
From the national college coaching convention to trips to colleges across the country, Fishbein and his talented team at EliteScoutingServices.com has been able to place athletes at every level of competition, which sets him completely apart from anyone else who runs recruiting and placement services.
After Braddock finished with a school record 9-0 in the regular season in 2010, there is no looking back now for a Coach Rojas and his gifted program.
Working year round to ensure his team gets exposed at camps, combines, 7-on-7 competition and other events, the veteran head coach has earned a reputation as a solid teacher and someone who will go to great lengths to make sure his athletes have the opportunity to play.
Getting ready for his May 24th spring game at Plantation (7 p.m., PAL Field), Rojas has a number of elite players who are ready to show that last year was indeed something that Braddock fans can expect from this program.
You can also hear the show live on www.wqam.com and archived at www.sfhighschoolsports.com.