The Maroone High School Gridiron Report ushers in the holidays on Wednesday night (8-9) with a huge show that is dedicated to the 5A state champion Miami Norland Vikings as well as preview of the Nike Dade vs. South Florida Challenge.
Joining Larry Blustein on WQAM (560 AM) will be Norland linebacker Feddy Davey, Belen Jesuit running back Imani Davis and Jensen Beach offensive lineman Curtis Csonka.
VIKINGS BRINGS BACK A TITLE
When Norland went to the state championships last year, the Vikings fell behind Tampa Jefferson and never recovered. This year, Randy "Duke" Johnson and a solid defense made sure that didn't happen.
While Johnson has dazzled every opponent this season, with impressive runs, it's the defense that received very little recognition. One of the players who has continued to lift this defense is senior Feddy Davey.
All the versatile Davey did the past two years was lead this team in tackles - and not from just one position. Asked to move from safety back to linebacker this year, the 5-10, 195-pounder did it no questions asked, and was a huge force in the playoffs and in the state championship win over Crawfordville Wakulla.
DAVIS, MIAMI-DADE ARE READY
Over the past three years, there probably hasn't been a more productive and less publicized football prospect than Imani Davis. While he is never mentioned with some of the quality football players in the state, the 5-10, 170-pounder has been so important to the success of the Wolverines.
This tremendous student/athlete will lead a very impressive Miami-Dade squad into Friday night's (7:30) much-anticipated all-star game in the Nike Miami-Dade vs. South Florida Challenge, which will be held at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami.
What Davis has meant to coach Rich Stuart's squad since his sophomore season, when he was part of that team that went to the 3A state championship game, cannot be put into words. His play as a running back and on special teams gave the program a lift.
He currently has a number of offers with more on the way. A great game on Friday will enhance his already lofty standing.
EXPANDING THE FIELD
After 16 years of playing the Miami-Dade vs. Broward game, things changed this year with the addition of players throughout South Florida, which included Broward, but also Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast.
One of the players on that team - a Treasure Coast standout from Jensen Beach High - has a familiar name to local football fans, and while Curtis Csonka (Larry's nephew) has been making a huge impact on the football field as an offensive lineman, it's his hard work and commitment that puts him in this game on Friday night.
The 6-2, 255-pound lineman, who has an offer from Bryant University, and programs such as FAU and FIU keeping a close eye, is looking to have a standout performance against a quality Miami-Dade team, which would be a huge shot in the arm.
Csonka is just one of many out of area players who have been excited about the opportunity to play in a game that annually attracts high profile prospects. The game is expected to add Naples, Immokalee and Fort Myers players next year - with an eye on the entire state over the next five years.
WRAPPING UP YOUTH FOOTBALL
As he has done all year, Jonah Woullard joins us to talk about the recent youth football playoffs. What teams are the best in South Florida? Which players will make an immediate impact at the youth level? Jonah has all the answers.
You can catch the show live on the internet at www.wqam.com. It is also archived at http://sfhighschoolsports.com/