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33 posts from May 2011

May 11, 2011

Marshall, Martin and Hope on radio

Maroonefronters1
As we approach the halfway point of spring football practice, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report swings back into action with an outstanding show on Thursday night from 8-9.

Joining Larry Blustein on WQAM (560 AM) are Dade Christian 2012 quarterback Bilal Marshall, Dillard head coach Manny Martin and Purdue University head coach Danny Hope.

IT'S MARSHALL LAW THIS SEASON
For the past two years, one of the top quarterback prospects has been Marshall, who has combined tremendous athletic ability with super arm strength to become the top rated quarterback in South Florida.

Coached by former Hollywood Christian standout Mike Sonneborn, the 6-3, 175-pounder has been busy with serious attention from schools such as Wake Forest, Purdue, Rutgers, Kansas, Memphis, Duke, Boston College, FIU and Baylor to name a few.

Marshall also ran track for the Crusaders as well.

KEEPING THAT EDGE
When the Panthers open the 2011 season, Martin knows very well that the competition will be stiff as Dillard tries to turn things around.

Martin's proven track record at schools such as Miami Central, Deerfield Beach and now Dillard has provided himself an opportunity to teach extremely talented players.

This Miami native, who attended Central High and Alabama State, played five years in the National Football League as a cornerback and safety for the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.

The graduation of All-America safety Wayne Lyons, who will be at Stanford, has the Panthers searching for more leaders this spring and summer.

HOPING FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE
The former Miami Killian student/athlete, who grew up in Gainesville, Hope has truly hit the ground running at Purdue.

With 19 current Floridians on the Purdue roster this spring, the direction to keep the pipeline flowing is going very well with more players being watched this spring throughout the Sunshine State.

Among those players on the roster are locals Gary Bush (Columbus), Normondo Harris (Monsignor Pace), Antwon Higgs (Pompano Beach), Gabe Holmes (St. Thomas Aquinas), Kevin Pamphile (Central), Chris Quinn (Southwest Miami), Brandon Taylor (Dr. Krop) and Charlton Williams (Coral Glades).

The Boilermakers also have former University of Miami QB Robert Marve from Tampa Plant.

This past season watched the Boilermakers endure injuries rarely seen by any collegiate football program. Starting four different signal callers in the same season for the first time at the school dubbed the "Cradle of Quarterbacks," Purdue went the entire year largely without the services of its leading returning rusher and receiver, as well as their second- and third-string backups. Despite the numerous injuries, Hope's team jumped out to a 4-2 start, which when combined with a strong finish to the 2009 campaign, put the Boilers at 8-4 over a 12-game stretch.

Hope started as an offensive guard at Eastern Kentucky from 1977 to 1980 for the legendary Roy Kidd, whom Hope succeeded as head coach. Hope was a member of the 1979 Division I-AA national championship team and captain of the 1980 national runner-up squad. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in health education.

You can listen live on www.wqam.com or archived at http://sfhighschoolsports.com.

May 10, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Leo Alba

Leo Alba
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Leo Alba

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: University School

CITY: Davie

POSITION: DB/WR

HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 175
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Roger Harriott

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Yet another top flight football prospect continues to emerge with little fanfare. Here is a talented player who made a huge contribution to the Suns last year during the run to the 2B title game, but it wasn't until a local showcase uncovered what many teammates already knew. This young man can play!

Making key catches as a receiver, this speedy (4.4, 40) player showed he had the talent to get it done as a pass catcher - during his junior year as well as this off season, but the team will also use his tremendous athletic ability and quickness to plug up the secondary, where he has looked impressive so far.

Keeping in mind that while he is making strides on the football field, this is also a baseball prospect as well. Colleges and professional teams already have their eye on this quality player who can run, hit and play defense as well.

You can guarantee that the offers will continue to pour in for football as well as the Suns plan to do a lot of exposure events this summer, showcasing the entire team.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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May 09, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Paul Royal

Royal1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Paul Royal

YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Carol City

CITY: Miami Gardens

POSITION: S

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 190
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Harold Barnwell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: As you know by now, South Florida produces so many football prospects - year round - it's usually no surprise when another D1 player pops up during the spring/summer.

While athletes use the off season time and spring practice to gain that attention they didn't receive during the 2010 from colleges across the country, it's players like this hard-hitting defensive back who has benefited.

No matter what event he attended, this was a player who grabbed the spotlight because of his ability to read offenses and come up and make plays - even in shorts and a T-Shirt on.

Because he has played the linebacker position, he took away plenty of positives with the way he reads and reacts on running plays, and knows how play tight, aggressive coverage on passing downs.

Coaches will be watching this gifted athlete throughout the spring and summer.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Miramar finishes No. 6 in Flag Football Poll

Girl's Flag
JOE PINKOS’ POWER RATINGS
Florida High School Girls’ Flag Football

 
CONGRATS to COACH ANTHONY JONES and the DR. PHILLIPS PANTHERS, 2011 FLORIDA FLAG FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS!
 
The Florida Flag Football Power 25
1. Dr. Phillips (18-1) 82.2
2. Alonso (17-2) 81.2
3. Palm Beach Gardens (15-2) 80.2
4. Seminole Ridge (14-1) 78.4
5. Chamberlain (13-1) 77.7
6. Miramar (14-2) 73.8
7. Leon (12-3) 73.7
8. Mandarin (14-2) 73.1
9. Chiles (13-1) 73.0
10. Cypress Bay (11-4) 71.4
11. Fort Lauderdale (13-2) 70.8

12. Freedom-Tampa (10-1) 70.3
13. Boynton Beach (14-2) 70.2
14. Jupiter (8-3) 70.1
15. Harmony (10-1) 70.0
16. Pompano Beach (11-3) 69.9
17. Everglades (11-2) 69.8

18. Robinson (8-3) 69.6
19. Plant (8-5) 69.0
20. Plant City (11-1) 67.9
21. East Bay (11-3) 66.6
22. Hollywood Hills (10-2) 64.7
23. Dixie Hollins (13-2) 64.6
24. Monarch (9-4) 64.3
25. Apopka (9-7) 64.0
 
Rounding-out the Top 40:
26. Monsignor Pace (10-3) 63.9
27. Newsome (9-3) 63.6
28. Flagler Palm Coast (10-3) 63.5
29. Taravella (9-4) 63.4
30. Seabreeze (11-2) 63.0
31. Plantation (7-5) 62.8
32. Western (6-4) 62.2
33. West Broward (8-4) 61.6
34. Cooper City (7-4) 61.0

35. West Orange (8-3) 60.4
36. Kissimmee Osceola (6-3) 60.3
37. Palm Beach Central (8-2) 60.2
38. Ed White (9-5) 60.1
39. Lakewood (8-4) 60.0
40. Boca Raton (10-5) 59.9
 
About the rankings: Joe Pinkos’ Power Ratings are calculated using a formula based on strength of opposition and margin of victory. To determine the forecasted margin of victory between any two teams, simply figure the difference in the respective power ratings.
 
CREAM RISES TO THE TOP
State Championship Game Featured Our Preseason #1 and #2 Teams
 
Despite experiencing one hiccup each during the regular season (i.e., Tampa Freedom over Alonso 27-21 and Harmony 6-0 over Dr. Phillips), preseason #1 Alonso and preseason #2 Dr. Phillips both calmly and methodically paved their respective paths to the Sunshine State’s flag football championship game.
 
Ultimately, Dr. Phillips’ defenders Shya Garrett, Rachel Lopez and Hannah Schaible blanketed Alonso’s intended receiver to deny an extra point conversion and enable the Panthers to prevail 27-26 in an overtime thriller.
 
Schaible, a stand-out on offense as well, is reported to have thrown 50 touchdown passes this season.
 
Yesterday’s Florida Final marked the second consecutive season that the Alonso Ravens, coached by Matt Hernandez, have been the state runner-up. Last year, Seminole Ridge edged Alonso 12-8 in the state championship game.
 
Notably, the Seminole Ridge Hawks’ 31-game winning streak was snapped by Palm Beach Gardens on Tuesday.
 
 
Final Week Scores
State Championship Game on Saturday, May 7, 2010

Dr. Phillips 27, Alonso 26 (OT)
 
State Semifinal Games on Saturday, May 7, 2011
Dr. Phillips 27, Miramar 6
Alonso 13, Palm Beach Gardens 12
 
State Quarterfinals on Friday, May 6, 2011
Dr. Phillips 20, Leon 0
Miramar 19, Fort Lauderdale 13
Palm Beach Gardens 13, Boynton Beach 0
Alonso 28, Chamberlain 21 (OT)
 
Second Round Play-in Games on Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Leon 18, Mandarin 13
Dr. Phillips 27, Apopka 7
Fort Lauderdale 21, Pompano Beach 0
Miramar 24, Cypress Bay 14
Chamberlain 32, Newsome 0
Alonso 13, Clearwater 0
Palm Beach Gardens 13, Seminole Ridge 0
Boynton Beach 12, Boca Raton 0
 
 
Consistently Flag Football’s Top-flight Programs
 
Nine teams have earned a place in the Florida Flag Football Power 25 for the past three years (teams are listed alphabetically with ‘11, ‘10 and ‘09 rankings in parentheses):
 
Boynton Beach (13-3-21)
Chamberlain (5-20-15)
Chiles (9-10-24)
Jupiter (14-9-1)
Leon (7-21-2)
Palm Beach Gardens (3-13-22)
Plant (19-25-14)
Pompano Beach (16-18-6)
Seminole Ridge (4-1-17)
 
A dozen teams have finished in the Top 40 for the past three seasons (teams are listed alphabetically with ‘11, ‘10 and ‘09 rankings in parentheses):
 
Apopka (25-37-19)
Cypress Bay (10-15-40)
Dr. Phillips (1-7-26)
East Bay (21-31-36)
Harmony (15-26-20)
Lakewood (39-5-8)
Mandarin (8-4-30)
Monarch (24-19-29)
Palm Beach Central (37-27-18)
Plant City (20-35-3)
Plantation (31-12-25)
Western (32-14-28)

May 06, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Marquise Piton

Marquise piton1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Marquise Piton

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: West Broward

CITY: Pembroke Pines

POSITION: OLB/DE

HEIGHT: 6-3

WEIGHT: 215

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Chris Wagner

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: For a program that has been around for a short time, things are certainly getting interesting with talented football players emerging like this quality prospect who many have not had the pleasure of watching.

With several D-1 offers starting to come his way, this gifted playmaker is quick and extremely intelligent on the field, reading plays and reacting to them fast.

While he is a tremendous pass rusher, he does have the athletic ability and quickness to play outside linebacker, using his all-around knack of finding the ball.

This coming season will be huge as he continues to get bigger and stronger and separates himself from the rest of the pack of prospects.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

May 05, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Ricky Gutierrez

Rick Gutierrez
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Ricky Gutierrez

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: American

CITY: Hialeah

POSITION: WR/DB

HEIGHT: 6-1

WEIGHT: 180

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Corey Bell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: It's great to see those second generation athletes make a solid impact, and while his father was a major prospect on the baseball field, playing at American and then enjoying a successful Major League career, the son has always done well on the football field.

From his days as a quarterback at the youth level and into high school, this was a player who was quick, athletic and had that confidence that comes from competing at - and around a high level all of his playing days.

Whether as a receiver or in the secondary, this is someone who has the opportunity have an outstanding year with a coach and a staff that has proven what it can do at this level - and beyond.

While many have really not had the chance to watch Gutierrez play, this is a season in which he can make a huge impact and continue to attract collegiate attention - from all levels.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

May 04, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Terry Harden, Jr.

TerryHardin
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Terry Harden, Jr.

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Hollywood Hills

CITY: Hollywood 

POSITION: DB

HEIGHT: 6-0

WEIGHT: 170

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Scott Barnwell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of the top football prospects in South Florida, who has been getting it done for the Spartans the past two seasons.

An aggressive player who plays on both (receiver) sides of the ball. His quickness and athletic ability have been extremely appealing to colleges who love his size and how physical he can be.

While he is not a burner, his football speed - combined with his size - has certainly given him an opportunity to standout and has colleges keeping an eye on his progression.

With spring and so many summer events still ahead, here is a player who will continue to make a solid impact and will be a spotlight player to watch for.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Champion, Stuart and Cristobal on radio

Maroonefronters1
With spring football now in full swing, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report puts it into high gear this Thursday night with a tremendous show on Cinco De Mayo.

Larry Blustein will welcome a trio of quality guests from 8-9 on WQAM (560 AM), which include St. Thomas Aquinas rising senior linebacker Cole Champion, Miami Belen Jesuit head coach Richard Stuart and FIU head coach Mario Cristobal.

DEFENDING CHAMPION(S)
If you went back and watched the 5A state title game last year against Tampa Plant, you had to be thinking that the 6-0, 195-pound Champion was one of the best tacklers you had ever watched.

This is a football talent, regarded by many as one of the state's best linebackers as heads toward his senior season.

Champion's ability to play the run and drop into pass coverage continues to put a smile on the face of first year head coach Rocco Casullo, who has watched and admired this standout the past three years.

MOVING ON UP
There is no doubt that when it comes to evaluating football coaches, the veteran Stuart has done more with his Wolverines over the past three decades than any other coach in South Florida.

Not only has he sent athletes on to various colleges at the next level, but Belen Jesuit has as many student/athletes attending Ivy League schools as any high school nationally.

The combination of a superb academic program and an elite football team has earned Stuart high praise from fellow coaches and players as well as administrators from across the state.

The Wolverines will now move to 6A where they will be in the same district as powers Central and Northwestern.

RIDING HIGH AT FIU
When it comes to football coaches across the country, there are very few who can match the passion, knowledge and organization of Miami's own success story.

Cristobal has taken his Panthers to that next level, sharing the Sun Belt Conference title last year and winning the school's first ever bowl game, which was viewed by the entire nation.

The recent NFL Draft saw defensive back Anthony Gaitor have the opportunity to play at the next level. Gaitor also received his diploma this past Monday, which is a direct result of Cristobal's hard work in balancing this program.

This former offensive line standout at the University of Miami and in the NFL, Cristobal continues to develop talent and keep FIU in the spotlight.

Known as one of the top recruiters in the country, he has now surrounded himself with top-flight coaches who are competing for some of the best athletes in the nation.

You can also hear the show live on www.wqam.com and archived at www.sfhighschoolsports.com.

May 03, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Zachary Daise

Zachary Daise
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Zachary Daise

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Dillard

CITY: Fort Lauderdale

POSITION: DB

HEIGHT: 5-8

WEIGHT: 160

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Manny Martin

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: First of all, if you've been around during the off season, this is a player who has certainly jumped into the mix as prospects to keep an eye on.

This one time prospect at Plantation is now firmly on the radar screen as rising seniors to watch. His coverage skills and athletic ability have given him a running start for the spring and summer.

From combines and other events to being a member of the South Florida Fire 7-on-7 Southeast championship squad, this is one prospect who continues to showcase his skills.

In several events, he was singled out for his coverage skills as well as being one of the most promising. Keep an eye out for this quality athlete over the next six months.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

May 02, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Dion Witty

Dion Witty1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Dion Witty

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Coral Springs

CITY: Coral Springs

POSITION: DB

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 175

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Ray Gould

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Here is an extremely athletic football player who rarely blends in, usually standing out against any competition.

In the secondary, you have to love his athleticism and big play capabilities. He reads plays very well and has the quickness to head off any large gains.

He has superb cover skills, but loves to hit on running plays. His vision and knowledge of the game usually puts him the best place to make plays.

He even makes a solid impact as a special teams player. As a kick returner, this versatile football player gets into the wedge and uses his impressive speed to create a positive nearly every time he has his hands on the ball. He also has quickness to come off the edge to block punts as well.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information