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.