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21 posts from July 2011

July 28, 2011

2011 U.A. Baseball game at Wrigley Field

Thomspon1
Under Armour and Baseball Factory today announced the roster, to-date, for the 2011 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, which will take place at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.  The 2011 game marks the fourth year that Under Armour and Baseball Factory have collaborated to present the All-America Game. 

Players will experience four days of festivities that begin on Wednesday, August 10 and culminate with the game on Saturday, August 13.  For the second year in a row, the game will air live nationally on MLB Network, called by Greg Amsinger and Jonathan Mayo, with the first pitch taking place at 1:05 p.m. CST.  It will also appear via live webcast on MLB.com.  Over the first three years of the game, 88 of the 103 draft eligible players who competed in the Under Armour All-America Game were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, including 18 first round picks.  

An amazing five local players will be competing in the event including Yency Almonte (RHP, Braddock), Nick Basto (SS, Archbishop McCarty), Lewis Brinson III (Coral Springs), Nick Travieso (RHP, Archbishop McCarthy) and Miami Westminster Christian two sport star David Thompson (PICTURED).

“Under Armour is excited to present the premier showcase for the country’s elite high school baseball players for the fourth consecutive year,” said Matt Mirchin, senior vice president, Sports Marketing, Under Armour. “Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field is the perfect venue for the next generation of baseball athletes to learn, excel, and highlight their exceptional talents.”
 
Baseball Factory scouts thousands of high school players worldwide before selecting the athletes that make the Under Armour All-America Game.   Players are evaluated at events throughout the country, including the Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryouts, National Tournaments, National Showcases and National Teams.  In addition, players are reviewed at outside events that include high school games, tournaments and summer leagues.  From more than 400,000 high school baseball players, only 36 will earn distinction as Under Armour All-Americans in 2011.  The final players are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts, led by Steve Bernhardt, executive vice president of baseball operations. 
 
“Baseball Factory works with 25,000 players each year at more than 400 events nationwide,” said Steve Sclafani, CEO and founder, Baseball Factory.  “We pride ourselves on helping players build their way to greatness, and what better place to serve as the pinnacle of their high school careers than the Under Armour All-America Game, powered by Baseball Factory, at Wrigley Field.  We are excited to join Under Armour in showcasing these talented players at Wrigley Field and across the country on MLB Network.”
 
“We’re excited to host the fourth annual Under Armour All-America Baseball Game and provide these promising high school players from around the country with an opportunity to play at historic Wrigley Field,” said Wally Hayward, executive vice president, chief sales & marketing officer, Chicago Cubs.
 
The coaches who will lead baseball’s next superstars during the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game are Steve Bernhardt, Glenn Cecchini, Scott Demetral, Todd Fine, Jim Gemler, Steve Mandl, Matt Richter, Vince Sacco and Sammy Serrano.  Each coach has extensive experience in recruiting or coaching some of the best talent in the game of baseball.  In addition, many have held positions in or are currently associated with the scouting departments of a number of Major League Baseball clubs. MLB Network’s Larry Bowa and Bill Ripken will act as guest managers and coaches throughout the game telecast.
 
The pool of available players for this year’s game is very talented and the selection process is extremely competitive.  Of the 36 roster positions available, 31 have been filled and Baseball Factory is currently evaluating the remaining candidates to see which players will earn the coveted final five spots.

July 27, 2011

QB Bilal Marshall to Kansas Jayhawks

Bilal
His offer list was impressive - with Purdue, Duke and Wake Forest among the schools looking to lure Bilal Marshall to their campus. On Wednesday afternoon, the 6-3, 175-pound Dade Christian quarterback made his decision.

“Kansas is the perfect fit for me,” Marshall said after deciding where he will spend his future. “The coaches, direction of the program and the opportunity to make a difference.”

Chosen by Friday Night Football Magazine as the pre-season All-Miami Dade quarterback, Marshall is a three year starter for the Crusaders, elevating the program in a major way.

Marshall visited Kansas this past weekend, not sure what he would find when arriving. But after the weekend, his mind was made up.

“Coach (Robert) Wimberley has been great,” Marshall said of the Kansas assistant who had been recruiting him. “In fact, the entire coaching staff was great.”

Kansas coaches had been around during the spring, sending two coaches to the Crusaders spring game against Delray Village Academy. It was a game in which he showcased his skills as a run/pass quarterback.

“Bilal is a very special young man,” said Dade Christian head coach Mike Sonneborn. “This is someone who is truly a perfect fit for what Kansas does.”

An outstanding student in the classroom, the trip to Lawrence wasn’t all about football and the Jayhawks. Marshall had the chance to see what the school has to offer in the way of a degree, and he was impressed.

“I am going to be studying Kinesiology,” Marshall explained. “Kansas has a tremendous program for that, which is tremendous.”

Dade Christian safety/running back Ryan Janvion is also being looked at by a number of BCS schools.

Darlington, Fishbein and Maisonet on radio

Maroonefronters1
The Maroone High School Gridiron Report ushers in summer practice with the final week before teams start heading back to those productive two-a-day sessions.

Joining Larry Blustein on this Thursday night's show on WQAM (560 AM) between 9-10 are Apopka offensive lineman Ty Darlington, Elite Scouting Services President Charles Fishbein and Miami Archbishop Carroll first year head coach Rav Maisonet.

BRAINS AND TALENT TOO
For the past four years, Darlington has not only set standards on the football field, where he has been one of the nation's best for his father Rick's Blue Darters, but this University of Oklahoma bound standout is also getting it done in the classroom.

While most student athletes are spending the summer lifting weights and attending camps and combines, this summer has watched Darlington take college courses and prepare himself for a senior year that could elevate him to the prestigious valedictorian of the 2012 class at Apopka.

As he heads into his final year, Darlington is the No. 1 rated student in his class, but he will have to work extremely hard to hold onto that spot. That is something that motivates the 6-3, 275-pound offensive center.

MAKING HIS ROUNDS
Through the past three months, there is nobody in the state of Florida who has watched and evaluated more student/athleteds than Fishbein. From Tallahassee to Tampa, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville and everywhere in between, he has promoted and exposed rising stars of the gridiron.

As the season approaches, Fishbein will talk about some of the players and teams who have made the most strides since the 2011 season ended in Orlando.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
After putting Archbishop Carroll on the football map, popular head coach Jorge Zagales has moved on, leaving things in the very capable hands of Maisonet, who has been around football for many years, playing and coaching.

A promotionally minded head coach, Maisonet has taken his team just about everywhere this off season, exposing them to some of the better teams and players in the state.

This Saturday, Maisonet and Archbishop Carroll will host the final 7-on-7 of the summer when he hosts the First Annual Bulldog Classic, starting at 8 a.m. and will include Miami Archbishop Carroll 7-on-7 event on Saturday. Miami Carroll, Christopher Columbus, Belen, Monsignor Pace, Palmetto, Mater Academy, Killian, Sunset, Varela, Doral Academy, LaSalle, The HardKnocks Foundation and Westland Hialeah.

Archbishop Carroll is located at 10300 S.W. 167th Ave., Miami, 33196.

You can listen to the show live at www.wqam.com or archived at http://sfhighschoolsports.com.

July 20, 2011

Morgan, Nee and Sonneborn on radio

Maroonefronters1
High profile camps, 7-on-7s and other prestigious events highlight this week's Maroone Gridiron Report on WQAM (560 AM) Radio.

On Thursday night between 9-10, Larry Blustein welcomes in Plantation American Heritage kicker Marshall Morgan, Chris Nee from Rivals.com Florida and Dade Christian head coach Mike Sonneborn.

GEORGIA ON HIS MIND
One of the top kickers in the country, Morgan, a three-year varsity starter, leaves Archbishop McCarthy this year for American Heritage, bringing with him one of the most accurate legs in the nation.

Headed to the University of Georgia, Morgan has become one of the elite kicker/punters thanks in part to his coach Tim Conrad from the BIGFoot Kicking Academy.

Morgan follows in the footsteps of Michael Palardy (University of Tennessee) and current University of Georgia kicker Blair Walsh from Cardinal Gibbons.

HE HAS IT COVERED
When it comes to tracking Florida's high school talent, very few have the work ethic that Nee does as he attends games, camps, practices and 7-on-7s - in search of the elusive Florida-bred athlete.

On Friday night, Nee will head to Gainesville to cover Florida's Friday Night Lights, which is expected to feature locals such as Sony Michel (Plantation American Heritage, Class of 2014), Hunter Boyett (Miami Westminster Christian, Class of 2014), Amari Cooper (Northwestern, Class of 2012), Malcolm Lewis (Miramar, Class of 2012), Tracy Howard (Miramar, Class of 2012), Dionte Taylor (University School, Class of 2013) and Gator commit Willie Bailey from Hallandale.

In addition, Nee continues to keep track of all the commitments and visits for players throughout the state.

BUILDING A WINNER
Ever since Sonneborn has been at Dade Christian, he has built this program with talented student/athletes who can make a difference on and off the playing field.

His success has paved the way for some exciting games as the Crusaders have reached the playoffs a number of times.

This year's squad may be the most impressive he has had as his team features Top 100 senior quarterback Bilal Marshall and Top 100 junior receiver/defensive back Terrance Alls.

The show can be heard live on www.wqam.com or archived at http://sfhighschoolsports.com.

July 18, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Javon Wooten

Javon wooten11
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: Javon Wooten

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Booker T. Washington

CITY: Miami

POSITION: OL
HEIGHT: 6-2

WEIGHT: 270
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Ice Harris

• PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of Miami-Dade County's top offensive linemen this season for a number of reasons.

While he may not have the perfect height and weight for the "average D1" lineman, watch him through the course of a game and tell anyone that this is not a well coached, technically sound line prospect who can compete against anyone.

While his best position at the next level will be at the center spot - watch him perform at the high school level, and you will see someone who has been taught very well. Just watch where his pads end up on every play. Just watch the way he moves around the field.

If you appreciate quality linemen - and for one second put away the fact that he isn't 6-6 - there is no doubt that you will understand why coaches love what he brings to the table - every day!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

July 15, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Corry Omeally


Corry omelly2
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: Corry Omeally

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: North Miami Beach

CITY: North Miami Beach

POSITION: Athlete

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 175

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Jeff Bertani

• PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: If you know the history of this school you know that producing versatile athletes has long been the trademark of this program that prides itself on playing several talented athletes on both sides of the ball.

As one gifted player departs for the next level, another one comes in to make an impression at a number of different positions, and whether it's at receiver, where he has turned into a game-breaker, or the defensive side of the ball, he is a star in the making.

Every college coach who watched him play, believes that he will definitely make a mark at the next level at the receiver position. His route running and ability to create separation only adds to what he brings to the table.

On defense, he is physical and shows his athletic ability by reading the play before it happens. Not only does he love to hit and mix it up, but he can cover, which really gives him a huge advantage - on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

July 14, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Delroy Hamilton

Delroy Hamiton Hallandale1
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: Delroy Hamilton

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Hallandale 

CITY: Hallandale

POSITION: OLB

HEIGHT: 6-1

WEIGHT: 200

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Dameon Jones

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Once again, a prospect who has flown way beneath the radar screen surfaces in the spring and into the summer, asking the question why more schools are not on board with this gifted football talent?

For a player who competed at the defensive end position, his move to linebacker has really showcased his athletic ability, toughness, strength and speed.

A team motivational leader, he simply has a motor that cannot be taught. Avery aggressive football player who comes to hit and drop into coverage, which he has done well, learning in the spring and into the 7-on-7 season.

Could be one of the major surprises this coming season because of his will to get the most out of himself as a football player. Keep watching and you'll be amazed at what he accomplishes.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

July 13, 2011

Quinn, Burgess and Johnson on radio

Maroonefronters1
As we head toward the middle of July, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report really heats up this Thursday night from 9-10 WQAM (560 AM).

Larry Blustein will be joined this week by co-host Corey Long of ESPN, breaking down high school football in the state of Florida as well as preview the 2011 Friday Night Football - Florida Magazine, which will hit the shelves over the next two weeks.

Blustein and Long will be joined by Jackson receiver Willie Quinn, Homestead linebacker James Burgess, Jr. and the "Duke of Dade County" - Randy Johnson of Norland.

PLENTY TO TALK ABOUT
While Long spent last week with a number of Floridians and other elite athletes in Oregon, Jackson and Booker T. Washington were off winning 7-on-7 titles.

The Tornadoes went to New Smyrna Beach for the Battle of the Beach and came back with $10,000 for the school, beating some quality opponents along the way.

The Generals went to Cleveland, representing the Miami Dolphins and posted a 10-1 record, winning the national title.

One of the players who has stepped up for the Generals in the 7-on-7 events is impressive receiver Quinn, who has been one of the favorite targets of sophomore Quinton Flowers.

FOLLOWING IN HUGE FOOTSTEPS
When Burgess, Jr. committed to the University of Miami last week, the gifted linebacker not only did what many expected for quite some time, but heading to Coral Gables will bring back some positive memories for UM fans.

Burgess, the son of UM linebacking great James Burgess, has been one of the most sought after players in this region for over a year.

Making his name as a sophomore at South Dade, the move to his father's alma mater last year put the spotlight on this gifted football player.

NO. 1 - IN ANY BOOK
When the 2011 Friday Night Football - Florida Magazine comes out, a Miami-Dade County player will be at the top of the Class of 2012 list. Johnson, a gifted running back and defensive back, who made his collegiate decision last year, is the top-rated prospect in the state for the upcoming season.

An elusive running back who turns games around in an instant, Johnson is also one of the top defensive backs as well, often matched against some of the elite receivers.

Like Burgess, Johnson had the opportunity to turn heads last week in oregon against some of the best players in the country!

You can listen to the show live on www.wqam.com - or in an extensive archive section at sfhighschoolsports.com

July 12, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Derrick Walker

Derrick Walker Mac111
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 Walker

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: McArthur

CITY: Hollywood

POSITION: RB

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 185

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Andrew Rhoden

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: A very instinctive runner who finds holes and gets through them in a hurry. Not a runner who goes down on the initial hit, which colleges have been impressed by.

His vision and footwork give him a chance to break a big run any time he gets his hands on the ball. Changes direction very well, very rarely losing the ball as he switches from hand to hand.

Very valuable back in the fact that he catches out of the backfield and gets up field to create mismatches with linebackers. That facet of his game is very important when evaluating his potential.

Finally, and probably one of the most important parts of the running back position, is his ability to run tackle-to-tackle, not bouncing everything outside, which quick backs usually do. This is an athlete that continues to impress - even in the off season.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Miami Jackson wins NFL 7-on-7 event

Miami Jackson
Cleveland, OH - The Miami Jackson Generals won the prestigious 2011 NFL High School Player Development (HSPD) 7-on-7 tournament, presented by the National Guard through the NFL Youth Football Fund. The Generals went 10-1 during the tournament, which was held from July 7-10, 2011, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Miami Jackson became the third consecutive team representing South Florida and the Miami Dolphins to win the national title, joining Glades Central, who brought home the championship in 2009 and 2010.

“We felt very strongly that the team that came out of our tournament would do very well at the national level competing against this level of competition, because South Florida is a hotbed of high school football talent,” said Twan Russell, Director of the Miami Dolphins Youth and Community Programs.

The Generals faced their strongest test in their 10th game, an elimination contest against the Tennessee Titans representative. The game was back and forth until the end, when the Generals’ Willie Quinn made a game-saving interception to secure a 28-24 victory that allowed Miami Jackson to advance to the finals.

In the championship round, the Generals dominated from the beginning to the end of the game, defeating the Atlanta Falcons representative, 41-14.

Miami Jackson Head Coach and NFL alumnus, Antonio Brown, won the Coaches Character Award.

“Our kids will remember this forever,” Brown said. “They performed on and off the field with great character and that is why they were able to achieve this great accomplishment. We were representing the Miami Dolphins, Miami Jackson, South Florida, and our families”.

“Coach Brown was amazing,” Russell added. “He willed his team to victory. I am proud that they won the game and have given South Florida bragging rights for another year.”

More than 30,000 high school football players throughout the nation focused on character development, life skills and on-field techniques from May-August as part of the NFL HSPD.

Since its inception in 2001, the HSPD program has provided participants with a curriculum that focuses on inspiring excellence in the classroom, community, and on the playing field. The program, which is funded by the National Guard through the NFL Youth Football Fund, is free for students and will be implemented at more than 150 sites in 36 states this spring and summer.

The character development and life skills portion of the week often features guest speakers and discussions on life after high school. Students also take part in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) session about player safety, including concussion treatment and management.

This is the third year of the National Guard’s sponsorship of the HSPD program. During each session, members of the National Guard spoke with participants about personal development and community service while providing support to coaches on site.

Each participant received an HSPD Student Planner, NCAA initial eligibility requirements, and time management instruction.

On-field components of the HSPD program include fundamental skill development by position, reviews, and individual competitions. As part of on-field training, players focus on both an offensive and defensive position, and eventually apply their newly-learned fundamentals to live drills. Participants have access to innovative teaching and drills developed by leading NCAA coaches. The 2011 Instructional DVD and Practice Plan was produced by the University of Alabama.

In addition, HSPD kits were sent to high school football coaches nationwide this year, impacting more than one million high school football players. Please visit www.nflyouthpd.com for the most up-to-date information on HSPD sites.