« May 2011 | Main | July 2011 »

38 posts from June 2011

June 20, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Rasheed Harrell

Harrell1
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: Rasheed Harrell

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Northwestern

CITY: Miami

POSITION: RB

HEIGHT: 5-9

WEIGHT: 180 

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Billy Rolle

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: If you've watched Northwestern the past few years, the one thing that the offense really lacked was a solid running back who could keep defenses completely honest.

When news had spread that this quality runner left 6A state champion Central to become the back that the Bulls have been looking for, there was plenty of optimism around the community.

This is a indeed one of those backs who gets overlooked until it's too late. Starting this spring, this was one of the names that college coaches started talking about when looking at potential.

A very explosive runner who has speed and tremendous vision. A quality prospect who will certainly add that balance between running and passing. This is a player who will start getting looks as soon as the season starts.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

June 19, 2011

Miami Jackson wins Dolphins 7-on-7

Dolphin 7-on-7 (1)
Miami Jackson was able to withstand the South Florida heat, defeating Cardinal Newman 52-28 to win the 4th Annual Miami Dolphins Academy 7 on 7 High School Tournament Presented by Under Armour, AT&T and the National Guard. By winning the championship, Miami Jackson will represent South Florida and the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 HSPD National Championships in Cleveland Ohio, July 7-10.

“Life is about opportunities. We had a chance and took advantage of the opportunity,” said Antonio Brown, Miami Jackson Head Football Coach. “We plan to represent our school, Miami-Dade and Broward County, the Dolphins and South Florida well in the national tournament.”

The two day event began on Friday, June 17 with a symposium focusing on character development and specific skill training. The character development portion included speeches from Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano and CEO Mike Dee and members of the Florida National Guard. The high school players were taught practical life lessons and preparation for standardized tests, along with discussions on life after high school, personal development and community service. The team took those skills to the field today. Members of the Miami Dolphins Special Teams program were also on hand to help manage the tournament.

“The event went very well,” said Twan Russell, Miami Dolphins Director of Youth Programs. “To have all of the hard work come together and see the kids impacted over the last two days was a wonderful experience. We had over 1,000 kids participate and we are the stewards of the game in South Florida. To have a program of this magnitude that impact students in such a positive way is unbelievable.”

High school teams from Tri-county area that participated in the tournament included American Heritage, American Senior High School, Archbishop Curley, Barbara Goleman, Boca Raton HS, Boyd Anderson, Cardinal Newman, Carol City A, Carol City B, Christopher Columbus, Coral Springs Charter, Coral Springs High, Douglas HS, Dr. Michael Krop, Estero, Flanagan, Fort Pierce Central, G. Holmes Braddock, Glades Central, Hollywood Hills, Immokalee High School, JP Taravella, Jupiter Christian, Jupiter HS, Leonard, McArthur High School, Miami Jackson, Miami Palmetto, Miami Springs, Miramar, Miramar II, Norland, North Broward Prep, North Miami, Pahokee Middle Senior High, Palm Beach Lakes, Piper high School, Pompano, South Broward, South Ridge, Stranahan, University School, Village Academy, Western HS, Westminster Academy and Westminster Christian.

“These things are fun to do,” said Steve Walsh, Cardinal Newman Head Coach and former NFL quarterback. “Our kids competed and that’s what you like to see from these events.”

Including MVP, Class of 2014 prospect quarterback Quinton Flowers, who will be one of the most productive run/pass quarterbacks nationally, the Generals also included Nathaniel Flowers, Keano Calixte, Christopher Hall, Willie Quinn, Devondre Powell, Deandre Jasper, Brandon Phillips, Laqwan Scott, Edson Jean-Baptiste, Tyron Gernett, Demetrius Rice, Antwan Jenkins, James Alexander and Canard Brown.

June 18, 2011

FAU padded camp draws raves from all

Johnson1
You can attend all the 7-on-7 tournament you would like, but the three day padded experience that South Florida teams are receiving at FAU this weekend is something that will go a long way during the 2011 season.

With area programs such as Cooper City, Miami Ferguson, Hallandale and Miami Belen Jesuit joining American Heritage Delray, Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Port St. Lucie Centennial, Naples Gulf Coast, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Moore Haven, South Fort Myers, Boca Raton Spanish River, Wellington and Clewiston, the event was one that exposed the talent all players had.

“No hiding out here,” said Hallandale head coach Dameon Jones. “This is a live scrimmage that we could never copy at home. I have to say that this is indeed a premier event.”

FAU’s padded camp has become one of the must things to do when starting off the summer. There are very few camps like this anywhere, having been on the circuit for years.

“We just got back from Boston College and their team camp, so this is yet another thing that will get us all ready for the tough season head,” said Belen Jesuit head coach Rich Stuart. “We were here last year and the kids got so much out of it.”

The talent was also on display as many teams opted away from the 7-on-7 routine to actually work on things that will help them this fall.

Hallandale High’s defense, which will be rated No. 1 in Florida by Florida Football Magazine, was impressive as Florida bound Willie Bailey, Dashad Tucker and Darnell Brown shut down the competition all day.

“This is football,” said Bailey. “When you attend a 7-on-7, you are never as mentally prepared as being in full pads. This is one of the best things I’ve ever been to.”

Even Hallandale rising senior lineman Sherard Johnson had the opportunity to throw his gigantic 6-7, 330-pound frame around the field.

That sentiment is something that followed all the players around during the first day of heated competition with FAU coaches monitoring the action during a day where the temperatures reach the high 90s.

Players such as Belen running back Imani Davis, safety Frankie Hernandez, Jr., and defensive end/outside linebacker Alfonso Horner had the opportunity to mix it up with some of the top prospects around.

“This was great last year,” said Davis, who started since his sophomore year. “So, we kind of figured that it would be good again.”

First time area teams Cooper City and Ferguson also tested the waters for the first time.

Art Taylor, who guided his Cooper City Cowboys to a first ever district title last year, brought his team and the veteran coach wads all smiles, watching his players mix it up with state-rated competition such as Delray American Heritage who has the top 2013 running back in Florida in Greg Bryant, top-flight tight end Blake Davis and much more.

“This is something that gets me prepared on both sides of the ball,” said Cooper City rising senior receiver/running back/defensive back Camden Krohn. “The experience of getting to hit and being hit gives you something different this time of year.”

The camp is indeed one that put every player who attended through some rigorous physical conditioning. Ferguson top-flight running back Steven Braddy was also showcasing his skills, and although a little hobbled, he enjoy the experience.

“This is like having four or five additional spring practices,” Braddy smiled. “We have a real young team and this gets us ready for the summer, which is great.”

Fifteen schools with one objective - getting better by playing football and not just with shorts and a T-shirt on. FAU sets standards once again!

June 17, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Kevin Carabeo

Kevin Curbeo1
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: Kevin Carabeo

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Miami Senior

CITY: Miami

POSITION: WR

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 170

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Frank Welsh

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: When this group of seniors looks back at the what the Stingarees did last year, the exposure of being in the state playoffs, was huge for players like this talented receiver.

If you watch an athlete like this you will see a very hard worker who continues to create positives by spending more time working on his game.

Just to watch him run pass patterns, catch the ball and make adjustments tells you that he does indeed have a future in this game. His ability to make catches, block and sacrifice his body signals someone who wants the maximum from the sport.

Whether it's in full pads, where we saw him last year and in the spring, or in a 7-on-7 setting, this is a student/athlete who continues to turn heads, giving colleges something to think about.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

June 16, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Derrick Mackey

Mackey(1)
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: Derrick Mackey

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Booker T. Washington

CITY: Miami

POSITION: LB

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 180
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Tim "Ice" Harris

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of the key players on a team loaded with young talent, this is an athlete who certainly has started to pick things up with his ability to lead and react. This is a potential leader that the team needs.

A three year varsity performer, here is a versatile player who can come up and make defensive stops on running plays and is athletic enough to drop into pass coverage, which he did a number of times a year ago.

In his spring game against Pompano Beach Blanche Ely, he truly showed that his time spent in thew weightroom as well as working on his overall speed has helped in a huge way. His ability to make plays all over the field has colleges watching his progress.

With Harris back in the saddle, along with one of the top coaching staffs around, this will be a beneficial year for a player like Mackey, who has the talent to help this team get better. Much better!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

St. Thomas added to Heath Evans event

ROYAL PALM BEACH – Nationally-recognized powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, which has won three of the last four FHSAA Class 5A state titles, has accepted an invitation to participate in the sixth annual Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 Championship. St. Thomas has gone 27-1 over the last two seasons, winning the 2010 championship.

The invitation-only tournament features many of the top programs in the state in addition to St. Thomas, including Class 6A champion Miami Central along with four finalists – Orlando-Dr. Phillips (6A), Tampa Plant (5A), Miami Norland (3A) and Warner Christian (1B).

“St. Thomas Aquinas is a first-class organization and we’re happy to have them join our star-studded field,” said Evans, an 11-year NFL veteran who graduated from King’s Academy. “This is probably the deepest, most talented field we’ve ever had.”
The tournament, which benefits the Heath Evans Foundation, is scheduled for Saturday (June 18) at 9 a.m. at The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach. Teams will be split into divisions and play a round-robin format in the morning. There will be single-elimination competition in the afternoon with the semifinals set for 3 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for 4 p.m.

Acknowledged as one of the premier summer 7-on-7 tournaments in the country, the event provides a glimpse at almost 100 major college prospects.

Other top teams who previously accepted invitations include defending champion Miramar, Dwyer, Booker T. Washington of Miami and Broward County powerhouse Ely. Host King’s Academy, Cypress Bay, McArthur, Palm Beach Gardens, Vero Beach and Chaminade-Madonna round out the field.

However, the tournament committee has not heard from Orlando-Dr. Phillips in about a week and it is unsure whether they will attend the event.

“We understand there are some travel issues with them,” said Glenn Martin, Heath Evans Foundation president. “It is our understanding they did not submit a travel request into their district in time and may not be able to drive down the morning of the event.”

Usually several NFL players attend the event as well, according to Evans, the starting fullback for the New Orleans Saints who graduated from King’s Academy. They are often on the sidelines watching and providing tips to the high school players. New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who graduated from Santaluces High School and the University of Miami, is committed to attend.

“This is a great opportunity for some of the best high school players in the country to showcase their skills and for all of the players to become better leaders, to become men of leadership, integrity and character,” said Evans.
In addition to the skill players, high school linemen will have their own competition.

The Chick-Fil-A Lineman’s Challenge features a series of events, including a combine-style bench press, an agility challenge course and head-to-head tire flip over a 30-yard course. An individual champion will be crowned as well as an overall team champion.

There will also be a new event, the Fastest Man Challenge, a 40-yard dash featuring one representative from each team.

The Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 Championships, presented by Hulett Environmental, is open to the public. Tickets are $5 person and available at the gate. The King’s Academy is located at 8401 Belvedere Road, approximately one mile east of 441.
Proceeds from this tournament will benefit the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Heath Evans Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering hope and healing in the lives of children and families affected by sexual abuse. It is committed to breaking the cycle of abuse through healing the psychological, physical, and spiritual wounds inflicted on innocent children; to bring hope and healing to the young victims of sexual abuse.

For more information, visit www.HeathEvans.org.
PAST CHAMPIONS

2010 -- Miramar
2009 – Booker T. Washington
2008 – Jupiter Christian
2007 – Pahokee
2006 – Glades Central

June 15, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Dylan Welly

Dylan welly1
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: Dylan Welly

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Taravella

CITY: Coral Springs

POSITION: Athlete

HEIGHT: 6-2

WEIGHT: 210

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Dan Marguriet

* PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Here is yet another example of a quality athlete who is athletic and very talented, giving college coaches an option of putting him at a number of positions on the field.

Watching him on both sides of the ball, this is a player who has good hands and runs very well, making him a valuable player as an H-Back or possession receiver. His hands and body control make him very attractive to college coaches.

On the defensive side of the ball, watching him recently during workouts, he is active, quick and reacts to so many plays. This is a football prospect who could end up on the defensive side - at an outside linebacker - because of his ability make plays and read offenses.

In a region that is loaded with talented football prospects, here is another to add to that lost. One who continues to turn heads with his knack of making big plays. Has the chance to be in the 225-230 range at the next level.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Russell, Shashaty and Locksley on radio

Maroonefronters1
As the summer heats up, so does the Maroone High School Gridiron report on WQAM (560 AM) this Thursday night from 9-10.

Larry Blustein will welcome Twan Russell of the Miami Dolphins, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian record-setting quarterback Javan Shashaty and University of New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley to the program.

HUGE TOURNAMENT!
The Miami Dolphins will be hosting its 4th Annual Miami Dolphins Academy 7 on 7 High School and Youth Football Tournament Presented by Under Armour, AT&T and the National Guard.

The tournament begins on Saturday, June 18 with Round Robin play and then single elimination. The winning team will represent South Florida and the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 HSPD National Championships in Cleveland Ohio, July 7th – 10th.

The event, which will be held at Central Park in Plantation, will feature 64 south Florida area teams, and has been something that Russell, a former St. Thomas Aquinas, University of Miami and Miami Dolphins standout, has been instrumental in putting on each year.

The Dolphins Director of Youth Programs continues to bring the NFL into communities from Miami to Naples and in every city in between.

RECORD SETTER
If you are football fan, you have heard of South Florida record setting quarterbacks such as Rohan Davey, Ryan Schneider, Jacory Harris and Rakeem Cato. But after this upcoming season, there could be a new name that people will be talking about.

While players such as Davey, Schneider, Harris and Cato captured the South Florida record books, the 6-2, 180-pound Shashaty has much bigger fish to fry this season.

The all time passing leader for Broward County, holds 7 County passing records including career yards. Has thrown 79 TDs and for over 7,500 yards in his career. While he is looking to lead his team to a district title, there is also a record that would be tremendous to achieve. One that was broken last year when tampa Jefferson's Quinton Williams set a state career mark with 10,384 yards and 109 touchdowns. Both are within reach of Shashaty!

HE KNOWS FLORIDA
There are many football coaches across the country who are leaving a mark when it comes to building programs, but Coach Locksley has set the groundwork for his current position at New Mexico by working hard and recruiting with the best.

Locksley, who enters his third year as the head coach at New Mexico, is an 19-year veteran of collegiate coaching. He came to the Land of Enchantment after four seasons as the University of Illinois' offensive coordinator, including the final three years as the quarterbacks coach.

In two seasons as the head coach at New Mexico, Locksley has struggled through a 2-22 record, but inherited a program on NCAA probation. He remains focused on turning the program around and doing it by building a foundation with young, talented athletes.

Locksley spent two seasons (2003-04) at the University of Florida as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under current Illinois head coach Ron Zook, and six seasons (1997-2002) in the same role at the University of Maryland for head coaches Ron Vanderlinden and Ralph Friedgen.

He also knows the state of Florida extremely well, forming great relationships with high school coaches along the way. He also understands how valuable getting players fro the Sunshine State will be in the growing process with the Lobos.

If you miss the show live, you can catch the hour on the extensive archive page on sfhighschoolsports.com.

June 14, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Tad Cato

Tad Cato1
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: Tad Cato

YEAR: 2012 

SCHOOL: Miami High

CITY: Miami

POSITION: WR

HEIGHT: 6-0

WEIGHT: 165

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Frank Welsh

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Over the past three seasons, there have been a number of times that this quality athlete made catches, had a key block or did something that turned the season around for the Stingarees.

Last year, during a playoff run, his route running and big play capabilities were essential down the stretch, and helped the team create balance. The season ahead will provide him with more of a leadership opportunity.

Having watched Cato at a number of off season 7-on-7, camps and combines, it is evident that this is someone who can play at the next level.

While he doesn't have that burst of speed off the line of scrimmage, he has proven that he can indeed be one of those possession receivers that play a role at many programs. Has the potential, but still needs to get it done every week.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Johnny Dingle selected to US team

Dingle11
Former West Virginia University and Miami Booker T. Washington defensive lineman Johnny Dingle, has been selected to play for the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Team in football in the fourth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship July 8-16 in Austria. USA Football assembles America’s national teams in the sport for international competition.

Dingle is one of 39 players named to Team USA, led by former Northwest Missouri State University head coach and three-time NCAA Division II national champion MEL TJEERDSMA. Six players will be added to the roster in the coming weeks. U.S. Men’s National Team players must be at least 20 years old.

Dingle started all 13 games at defensive end his junior season, earning second-team All-Big East honors after tying a school record with 19 tackles for loss among his 48 total stops. He also had three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The Mountaineers reached bowls all three of his seasons there, including the Sugar (2006), Gator (2007) and Fiesta (2008). He was also a practice squad member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.

The IFAF Senior World Championship is an eight-nation football tournament held every four years since 1999. Games will be played in Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna. The U.S. defeated Japan, 23-20, in double overtime in Tokyo, Japan, to win the 2007 tournament, the first that included Team USA. Prior to the United States’ participation, Japan earned gold medals at the first two IFAF Senior World Championships played in Palermo, Italy (1999), and Frankfurt, Germany (2003).

Fifty-nine (59) countries across five continents possess national football federations dedicated solely to football.

The United States is part of Group A along with Australia, Germany and Mexico. Group B includes Austria, Canada, France and Japan. A round robin schedule in group play determines who will compete for gold and bronze medals.

Team USA will conduct a training camp from June 28 to July 4 before departing for Austria. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. National team participation does not affect NCAA eligibility.

Tjeerdsma led Northwest Missouri State to a 183-43 (.810) record in 17 seasons there. He was among the first three coaches inducted into the NCAA Division II College Football Hall of Fame before retiring in 2010.

“Our roster holds tremendously skilled players who recognize that success in football is rooted in playing as a team – and playing for America galvanizes us even more,” Tjeerdsma said. “We’ll be ready to face excellent competition in Austria and celebrate the world’s greatest game on an international stage.”

USA Football’s national team program is supported by the following corporate partners: Riddell, Marriott, Sports Authority, Gatorade, Shock Doctor and Rawlings.

U.S. Men’s National Team Schedule:
• July 8 – United States vs. Australia
• July 10 – Germany vs. United States
• July 12 – United States vs. Mexico

Games above will be played in Innsbruck, Austria

2011 IFAF Senior World Championship Medal Round Schedule:

• July 15 – Bronze Medal Game
• July 16 – Gold Medal Game

Games above will be played in Vienna, Austria
About USA Football
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, inspires participation, and ensures a positive experience for all youth, high school, and other amateur players. The independent non-profit hosts more than 80 football training events annually for coaches, players and youth football league commissioners. USA Football is the official football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams and manages U.S. national teams for international competition. Endowed by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football distributes $1 million annually in equipment grants and offers youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Former NFL team executive Carl Peterson is USA Football’s chairman.

For complete rosters, check out usafootball.com.