ORLANDO -- Booker T. Washington, the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the country, plays for a second consecutive state championship against a familiar foe in Jacksonville Bolles.
Our army of high school sports writers -- Andre Fernandez, Bill Daley, Larry Blustein and Manny Navarro -- will be there to provide updates from the scene. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
There are so many post season all-star games these days, athletes from throughout south Florida have a huge advantage over - about any other place in the country.
With the Miami-Dade vs. Florida, Miami-Dade vs. Broward, the Public vs. Private contest and a few other post season showcases, that increases exposure.
One of the post season games that marquee event is an all-star football game that not only rewards its players and coaches for a great season, but also one that helps players attract scholarships.
The annual BCAA North/South All-Star game will be played this Thursday night (7:00) at Nova High, and promises to be like it for the past two decades. The event will showcase some of the elite prospects around.
The top seniors will clash in this annual event that will determine the future for some prospects who have been working hard all season - only to have yet another chance to make that impression.
In addition to the game, the annual banquet will be held on Wednesday evening for players, coaches, cheerleaders and parents at the Signature Grand.
Here is a look at the rosters for the game:
Erin Alexander, WR/S, 5-10, 170, Coconut Creek
Michel Allette, OL/DL, 6-1, 230, Monarch
Frantz Augustal, OL/DL, 5-11, 205. Boyd Anderson
Darrell Beard, DL, 6-3, 231, Fort Lauderdale
Anson Benton, DE, 6-3, 215, Blanche Ely
Trayvone Blake, RB/S, 6-0, 185, Fort Lauderdale
Marc Blanc, DL, 6-2, 230, Coral Springs
Chad Boyd, DB, 5-9, 160, Coral Springs
Charles Bronson, DB/FB, 5-11, 215, Boyd Anderson
Max Cadot, DL, 5-10, 260, Taravella
Justin Chau, LB, 5-10, 220, Coral Glades
Jayson Coissy, OL/DL, 6-4, 255, Northeast
Davian Dailey, RB, 5-10, 180, Douglas
Kendon Davis, WR, 6-3, 185, Plantation
Jewison Dawkins, WR, 6-1, 180, Plantation
Ronald Delice, DB, 5-5, 120, Coral Glades
Robby Diejuste, DL, 6-0, 265, Piper
Tom Ellison, Jr., FB/LB, 5-11, 215, Fort Lauderdale
Nelson Ervin, QB, 6-2, 170, Blanche Ely
Kinley Faustin, DB, 5-11, 160, Northeast
Tyquan Fields, OLB, 6-0, 195, Blanche Ely
Mederick Flavious, Jr., OL/DL, 6-3, 275, Northeast
Caine Foster, TE/LB, 6-0, 210, Cardinal Gibbons
Marcson Frais, DT, 6-3, 255, Pompano
Chris Gaynor, OT/DT, 6-5, 285, Douglas
Darius Goodman, DE/LB, 6-2, 220, Taravella
Danarious Graham, QB, 6-0, 180, Deerfield Beach
Lucas Irons, LB, 6-1, 205, Coconut Creek
Chris Gaynor, OL/DL, 6-5, 285, Douglas
Phillip Gray, DB, 5-9, 180, Coconut Creek
Andre Heastie, Jr., OG, 6-1, 265, Piper
Lucas Irons, LB, 6-1, 205, Coconut Creek
Terry Jeudy, DB, 6-2, 190, Monarch
Rontavious Jones, DB, 5-10, 170, Boyd Anderson
Michael Lawrence, OL/DE, 6-2, 220, Coral Glades
Trevor Martin, LB, 6-2, 215, Cardinal Gibbons
Corey May, TE/DB, 6-1, 190, Douglas
Corey McCoy, LB, 6-1, 210, Cardinal Gibbons
Chazton McKenzie, WR, 6-0, 170, Blanche Ely
Aeron McNeal, RB, 5-8, 175, Deerfield Beach
Will Meguschar, LB, 6-0, 185, Douglas
Justin Morgan, WR/FS, 5-10, 175, Deerfield Beach
Bradley Mullings, DE, 6-4, 220, Douglas
Jared Nation, OT, 6-5, 290, Piper
Gerald Nesbitt, Jr., DE/OT, 6-3, 250, Fort Lauderdale
Alex Pacelko, PK, 5-9, 155, Taravella
Jamal Patterson, WR, 6-0, 180, Deerfield Beach
Sifo Pierre, OL, 6-4, 315, Taravella
Fritz Reed, QB, 6-1, 180, Fort Lauderdale
Jake Rodriguez, FB, 5-10, 240, Pompano
Marvin Rosseau, S, 6-1, 185, Monarch
Erik Schlecker, OC, 6-0, 235, Piper
Clint Sills, Jr., RB, 6-0, 180, Plantation
Brock Smith, DE, 6-3, 215, Blanche Ely
Semar Smith, RB, 5-10, 215, Taravella
Dontavious Spencer, KR/PR, 5-6, 145, Fort Lauderdale
Joe Swiderski, OL, 6-2, 275, Cardinal Gibbons
Dominic Versaci, OT, 6-4, 270, Coral Springs
Xugery Vixamar, DB/WR, 6-1, 180, Monarch
Nick Wade, DL, 6-1, 225, Coral Springs
Nathaniel Watson, QB/DB, 5-11, 165, Boyd Anderson
Demetris Weaver, OL, 6-4, 265, Blanche Ely
Jahvon Whitehead, WR, 5-8, 160, Coconut Creek
Todd Whyte, LB/FB, 5-10, 205, Northeast
Charles Williams, DE/DT, 6-2, 240, Plantation
Matthew Wilson, QB, 6-0, 195, Pompano
Ztrif Zamir, DE/WR, 6-4, 210, Coral Glades
Roodolph Alterma, S/OLB, 5-9, 175, South Broward
Paul Anderson, RB, 5-11, 205, Hallandale
Sean Bender, TE, 6-2, 205, St. Thomas
Eric Brown, DL, 6-2, 220, Cooper City
Hunter Brown, LB/LS, 6-1, 215, Cypress Bay
Tyson Burch, WR/S, 6-0, 185, Cooper City
Omar Castillo, LB, 5-9, 170, Flanagan
Frandsen Caesar, OL, 5-11, 244, Nova
Chris Clark, OL, 6-2, 290, West Broward
Jonah Cunningham, S, 6-2, 180, Hollywood Hills
Edward Daise, LB, 6-0, 175, Hollywood Hills
Richard Darius, S/WR, 6-0, 180, South Plantation
Kaywon Davis, LB, 5-11, 205, Miramar
Jordan DeLeon, RB/DB, 5-9, 150, Pines Charter
Nathan Dolce, LB, 6-0, 200, South Plantation
Connor D’Orio, WR/DB, 5-8, 170, West Broward
Samuel Evans, DB, 5-11, 185, Dillard
Dylan Fernandez, DB, 5-7, 160, Pines Charter
Jimmy Gonzalez, WR, 6-1, 175, Western
Terrence Grant, LB, 5-11, 190, Dillard
Kevin Hanns, WR, 5-8, 160, Nova
Brent Hart, DB, 5-11, 190, Hallandale
Patrick Hubbard, OL, 6-2, 285, St. Thomas
Tykevis Ivey, DB, 6-0, 165, South Broward
John Jablonca, QB, 5-9, 160, Pines Charter
Zachary James, TE, 6-1, 185, South Plantation
Griffin Jossfolk, S, 5-11, 210, Cypress Bay
Chris Keel, WR/DE, 6-1, 190, Flanagan
Nigel Kemp, OC, 6-1, 285, Everglades
Devon Kinlaw, TE/DE, 6-3, 244, McArthur
Joseph Laguna, OL, 6-6, 310, South Plantation
Kevin Lazo, OL/DL, 6-1, 280, West Broward
Richard Leveille, S, 6-1, 175, Everglades
James Lewis, WR, 5-11, 170, Stranahan
Khalil Lewis, RB, 5-10, 175, Miramar
Malik Lorfils, RB, 5-7, 175, South Broward
Remy Marseille, DB/RB, 5-9, 160, Hollywood Hills
Alfredrick Marshall, WR, 5-11, 170, Dillard
Darrius McFadden, WR/DB, 6-2, 180, Stranahan
Anthony McGill, PK, 5-11, 190, West Broward
Darrian McIntyre, LB, 6-2, 180, Nova
Jarrett Morgan, RB, 5-10, 175, Cooper City
Samuel Oduwmi, DB, 5-10, 175, Western
Matthew Padilla, OL, 6-2, 311, McArthur
Luka Plahutnik, DL, 6-0, 265, South Broward
Kohlenz Previlma, OG, 6-1, 270, Dillard
Damian Richardson, WR/DB, 5-9, 178, McArthur
Josh Robinson, DE, 6-3, 200, Hallandale
Michael Rodriguez, DE, 6-3, 190, Dillard
Treyvon Rolle, RB, 5-8, 175, Hallandale
Zach Romero, OL, 6-2, 280, Western
Troy Smalley, DT/OT, 6-2, 275, Stranahan
Bariah Staten, OT, 6-3, 245, Everglades
Zachary Tasse, P/RB, 5-9, 175, Cooper City
Lucas Tellefson, QB, 6-0, 175, Cypress Bay
Alex Trotman, LB, 6-0, 210, Miramar
Alex Vargas, DL/OL, 6-2, 301, McArthur
Devon Vida, OL/DL, 6-0, 265, Stranahan
Lukas Volpe, WR, 5-10, 170, Cooper City
Roosevelt Westbrook, DB, 5-10, 170, Dillard
Darryl Williams, Jr., OLB, 5-10, 200, St. Thomas
Deonte Williams, OLB, 6-0, 210, Flanagan
Andrew Wilson, DB, 5-8, 160, Nova
De’andre Yopp, OL/DL, 5-11, 317, Flanagan
Have something to add? Drop Larry Blustein a note at Floridakids1@aol.com.
Dalvin Cook warmed up in his No. 4 jersey before Miami Central’s game against Daytona Beach Mainland on Friday.
Just before walking up as a team captain for the coin toss, Cook was wearing a different number.
Cook donned the No. 3 jersey worn by teammate and close friend Joseph Yearby, who broke his left fibula in Central’s game just a week ago.
“Nobody really knew until I switched and came out the locker room,” said Cook, a University of Florida commitment, before pacing Central with 73 yards on the ground via 22 carries in a 28-15 win.
It was the ultimate tribute Cook could have paid Yearby, a University of Miami running back commit who shed tears several times throughout their last game as high school seniors at Traz Powell Stadium.
After the game, Cook took a few minutes to himself on the bench with a towel over his head to realize what was happening.
“I was just embracing the moment,” Cook said. “We’re going to states four times in a row and it’s kind of a crazy feeling. It’s my last time out here on this turf. “I sat down and really thought about it and I’m going to miss playing with Joe and them guys man. [They’re] my brothers.”
In hopes of finding some clarity with his college decision, Cook is currently on an official visit to the University of Miami on Saturday and Sunday.
Despite being committed to UF since April, Cook has taken an open approach to his recruiting in hopes of finding where his heart is.
In the past week, Cook has signed financial grant-in-aid applications with UM, UF and Florida State, guaranteeing a fulfilled scholarship without the binding nature National Letters of Intent provide. The applications, however, allow those schools to have unlimited contact with a player.
Cook had in-home visits with UM coach Al Golden, UF defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, and LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron last week, and plans to see Golden, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, UF coach Will Muschamp, Texas coach Mack Brown, and Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and linebackers coach Randy Shannon this week.
Below are some quotes that didn’t make Saturday’s story from Cook regarding his "brothers."
On Yearby and the conversation that led to Cook paying him homage: “Talking to him is always good. Just talking to him period. That’s my brother and we can talk about a lot of stuff.”
On his relationship with former Miami Central star and current FSU running back Devonta Freeman: “I talk to Devonta all the time and he says [I should] do what’s best for me. He’s like a big brother to me so he’s going to support me wherever I go. It’s just like him and [current UM running back] Duke [Johnson] have a great relationship and they at two different schools. So he said he’s going to support me wherever I go.”
On his relationship with Homestead wide receiver Ermon Lane, whom Cook was instrumental in recruiting to UF: “We built a bond where we can talk about anything. When you [are] brothers, you [are] brothers. I just told Ermon we’re going to be brothers for life. We’re brothers for life and once you’re together, we’re together. I just tell him, ‘You just got to make a decision for yourself and I just got to make a decision for me.’ I just got to better my situation.”
Cook plans to make a final college decision after Central’s Class 6A state championship game against Seffner Armwood in Orlando next Saturday.
To appreciate what Booker T. Washington has been able to do this season will certainly pay off tonight when the Tornadoes square off with traditional power, Jacksonville Bolles, in the 4A state title game.
This football program is in Orlando for the third straight year against the Bulldogs, and much like last season, come in as much as a three touchdown favorite to win another state crown. But this game represents a whole, new world for this quality team. A win and they are national champions.
How does a small school, located in remote Overtown continue to churn out major college talent every year? That has been a question they’ve been asking for decades as the youth football program furnishes enough talent to stock many rosters, and they have since the 1960s.
When BTW closed, many of its quality athletes from Overtown began to gravitate to schools such as Miami High, Jackson and Miami Beach, which used the big time talent to remain relevant for much of the 70s, 80s and early 90s.
What Overtown – and its surrounding border areas may have - is the best athletes in the state of Florida. Routinely, this is a program that has seven or eight difference makers that will make national headlines over the next three years.
While BTW athletes have always been gifted, they have not always been disciplined – and that’s where head coach Tim “Ice” Harris and one of the best coaching staffs in the state have changed everything.
This has been a program, along with Miami Central, that has been able to produce talented, elite athletes. What the Tornadoes have also been able to accomplish is not only be a prospect-rich program, but a disciplined one as well.
Last year, BTW was the only school that showed up in Orlando with shirts and ties. They plan to do the same thing this year.
“When we go anywhere, we are representing our school and community,” Harris said. “That is what our young men learn from the first time they put on this uniform.”
Look up and down the roster and you will find stars of the future such as University of Miami bound defensive linemen Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson, and defensive back Nigel Bethel.
The senior class also features such impressive players as West Virginia commit (receiver) Lamar Parker, FIU offensive line commitment Jordan Ingraham and quarterback Treon Harris among dozens of others.
The son of Coach Harris, and brother (Tim Jr.) who is the offensive coordinator, the younger Harris has been brilliant since taking over as a sophomore and posting a 39-3 record, heading into tonight’s game. On his way to FSU, Harris missed a few games with an injury, but games against Norcross, Ga., Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Miami Central, he has been worth the price of admission.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT AS WELL
While many are waiting for the “silver slipper” to fall off after the game, those who know, realize that the Tornadoes are not going anywhere. They are loaded in the junior class with prospects such as linebacker James King, offensive linemen Deiontae Lynch and Ceasar Jimenez, and defensive back Ladarius Crump.
With the youth football pipeline going strong, along with potent junior varsity players and athletes such as receivers Vaquan Smalls and Shaquille Green, defensive lineman Josh Johnson and linebacker Terry Jefferson, things look very promising.
Add in a sophomore class that boasts nationally-rated running back Mark Walton, receiver Darius Scott, kicker Jose Borregales, and linbackers Akeem Jackson and Hosea McMullin, and you have a bright future.
While this state has many quality players and teams, there are very few who have been able to do what BTW has accomplished – so far!
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. All you have to do is send a You Tube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein at Floridakids1@aol.com.
Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/larryblustein.