April 23, 2015

Tillman expects second go-round as Booker T. Washington's football coach to go smoother


The first time Earl Tillman took over as head coach at Booker T. Washington for a member of the Ice Harris family things didn't go quite as planned.

Not only did the Tornadoes slip, so did Tillman.

A broken left tibia and fibula sustained breaking up a fight at a summer 7-on-7 game resulted in five surgeries over the next three years and consequently sidelined him while the Tornadoes went from state champions in 2007 to getting knocked out of the playoffs a round earlier each year.

The 44-year-old math and engineering teacher is expecting his second shot at being in charge of one of the nation's premier high school football programs will pan out much better.

Selected by school athletic director Hector Gray as Tim Harris' Jr. successor at the beginning of this month, Tillman spoke to The Miami Herald Thursday for the first time since getting his old job back and said he's ready to keep the Tornadoes rolling.

"I just felt like I was long overdue to have another opportunity," said Tillman, who went 28-8 his first three years as head coach at Booker T. from 2008 to 2010 and then stepped down to allow Ice Harris to retake the reigns.

"The first time around I wasn't at the best of health. When the opportunity presented itself and Coach Harris came back I was willing to step down and let him run the program as long as I was a part of the program. Since then, the program has been pretty successful.

"I wanted to make sure it continues. Being that I had the most experience of the guys that were still left here when [Tim Jr. left to become running backs coach at FIU in February], I just felt like I owed it to myself to make a push for it. My health is better. The guys that were here know what it takes. And we're going to keep it going."

The Tornadoes, who own the state's longest-active winning streak at 41 games, went a combined 96-10 under Harris Sr. and then 14-0 this past season with Tim Jr. at the helm after Harris Sr. joined Al Golden's coaching staff at the University of Miami following the 2013 season.

Gray said the decision to hire Tillman was made "following an extensive, national search." Gray said he received resumes and calls from coaches as far west as Nebraska and Texas and he interviewed seven to 10 candidates. He said Tillman was the best interview and the most qualified.

The Tornadoes open the 2015 season at defending Class 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas on the night of August 28. Tillman said the school is still working on trying to setup games with powers from Texas and New Jersey.

He said he has 11 assistant coaches returning and only four from last year's team including Tim Harris Jr. and defensive line coach Pierre Senatus (named Miramar's head coach) are gone.

"Torrance Moise, our old quarterback here when I was the coach, has come back from college and will be our quarterback's coach," Tillman said. "We've also brought back Benedict Hyppolite, who was with us in 2013, but spent last year at Edison. He'll be our new offensive coordinator. And we've added Torrance Snelling, who played at Northwestern. He'll be our defensive line coach."

Tillman, who spent the last few years as associate head coach and offensive line coach, said his toughest task will be replacing himself "as the eye in the sky up in the press box" during games.

"We know the expectations are going to be high," Tillman said. "We've been to four straight state championship games. That's a big expectation we've built. But we're not going to settle for anything less."

April 22, 2015

Dozens of Dade, Broward track and field stars rank among the nation's best

NOTE: Track and field Honor Roll is updated through Tuesday, April 21st.


State champions won't begin being crowned in track and field until a week from Friday in Jacksonville, but it's already been another season of elite, national performances put on by athletes throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Entering Wednesday, there were at least 58 girls (24 sprinters, 17 hurdlers, 7 jumpers/vaulters, 5 throwers, 5 distance runners) and 32 boys (13 sprinters, 13 hurdlers, two jumpers, two throwers, two distance runners) from Dade and Broward ranked among the nation's elite according to DyeStat.com. There were also another 16 girls and 14 boys relay teams nationally ranked from the same two counties.

Here's an event-by-event look at the best of the best in South Florida.



> HIGH JUMP: Ponte Vedra's Nicole Green (6-0) has the best high jump in the state and the second-best in the nation. Locally, Northwestern junior Briana Eskridge, Hallandale senior Aisha Nelson, Douglas senior Gillian Morrison and Coral Reef senior Taylor Dames were tied for the fourth-best high jumps in the state and 19th-best jumps nationally at 5-feet, 8-inches. Last year Hallandale's Equisha Alvin became the latest Dade-Broward high jumper to win a state title at the Class 2A meet. She jumped 5-7.

> POLE VAULT: Ransom Everglades senior Nati Sheppard, headed to Duke University, has the best pole vault in the state this year -- a vault of 12-feet, 6-inches at the Pine Crest Panther Relays on March 7. It ranks 12th nationally according to DyeStat.com. Others ranked among the state's best: Westminster Academy senior Karin Sastre and Pine Crest's Taylor Loque, who each vaulted 11 feet. There hasn't been a local pole vault state champion since Cypress Bay's Emily Gale in 2011. She cleared 12-feet.

> LONG JUMP: Golden Gate junior Darlene Charles posted the best, non-wind influenced long jump in the state at the Florida Relays (19-5.75). Locally, Hallandale junior Kimani Rushing has the third-best long jump in the state at 18-10. It ranks 21st nationally. Other locals whose jumps are worthy of elite national status but aren't ranked because they performed in an event with no wind index: Flanagan sophomore Devin D'Oliveira (19-2), Southridge sophomore Courtney Gibson (18-11.5), Gulliver Prep freshman Jazmyn Smith (18-11) and sophomore Antonia Spencer (18-9.5) and Northwestern sophomore Taranique Alexander (18-8.5).

> TRIPLE JUMP: Hallandale's Kimani Rushing has the top, non-wind aided long jump in the state at 40-feet, 2 1/4 inches. She posted it at the Texas Relays and it ranks sixth nationally according to DyeStat.com. Northwestern's Taranique Alexander had a jump of 38-10 at the Bob Hayes invitational, second-longest locally. But it took place without a wind index. Other top marks locally: McArthur senior Nastolgia Smith (38-8, NWI), Douglas's Gillian Morrison (38-2, 6th state, legal), Ferguson senior Kamaria Johnson (37-10.5, NWI), Killian senior Brianna Payne (37-2.5) and Northwestern's Briana Eskridge (37-1.5).


> HIGH JUMP: Booker T. Washington senior Vaquan Small posted the second-best high jump in the state at 6-feet, 9 1/2 inches at the District 16-2A meet. It ranks 31st nationally. Boyd Anderson junior Phillip Lee's high jump of 6-9 ranks third in the state and 32nd nationally. Other local high jumpers tied for 10th in state with a high jump of 6 feet, 6 inches, but unranked nationally: Booker T. senior Pierre Thelon, Miramar senior Jovon Durante, Carol City junior Montray Smith, Homestead senior Carl Robertgeau and Boyd Anderson senior Shevon Phipps.

> POLE VAULT: There hasn't been a pole vault state champion since St. Thomas Aquinas' Nicolas Shepard won the 4A title in 2012, and there doesn't look like there will be another this year. The best locally is Pompano Beach senior Andrew Reising, who vaulted 14-feet at the BCAA Championships. St. Thomas Aquinas junior Cameron Long came in right behind Reising at 13-6. Reising's vault is tied for 13th best in the state and Long is tied for 26th.  

> LONG JUMP: Naples junior Tyler Byrd is the only long jumper in the state with a non-wind aided, legal jump ranked among the nation's best. He had a jump of 23-feet, 5-inches at the Florida Relays. Boyd Anderson's Phillip Lee's jump of 22-5.75 ranks fourth in the state among legal (non-wind aided) jumps. Other locals whose long jumps were wind-aided, but impressive: South Dade junior James Wiggins (23-2.5), Westminster Academy senior Jordan Cabral (22-2.5), Fort Lauderdale junior Bradley Fleurinord (22-2.5), Ely senior Gregory Winston (22-2), Cardinal Gibbons sophomore Daniel Wright (22-1) and North Miami junior Nitchev Casseus (22-0).

> TRIPLE JUMP: Most of the state's top triple jumpers from Dade and Broward have high, unrecognized marks because there was no win instrument on hand to measure them at the meet. Among the leaders: Boyd Anderson senior Lenny Laguerre (46-0), Ely senior Gregory Winston (45-11), Coconut Creek junior Binjimen Victor (45-8.25), St. Thomas Aquinas senior Austin Pryce (45-5.5), South Dade junior Jesse Jeudi (45-4.5), McArthur senior Michael Cambridge (45-4.5), Coconut Creek junior Ricky Lewis (45-3.75), Ely senior Steven Nesbitt (45-1), Boyd Anderson's Shevon Phillips (45-0.5). 



> DISCUS: Monarch senior Phoebe Gustely has the longest discus throw in the state and 31st-longest nationally this year at 144 feet, four-inches. She did it at the District 12-4A meet last week. Northeast senior Camora Sanders' throw of 136-6 at the Florida Relays ranks third in the state, 77th nationally. Other locals with elite throws include Northwestern freshman Chanel Dawson (130-05, 7th in state) and sophomore Kayla Clark (127-09, 12th). Hallandale senior Lamisha Simmons (131-0, 6th) and Ransom Everglades' Debbie Ajabe (128-3, 10th), giving Dade and Broward half of the top discus throwers in the state.

> SHOT PUT: Northeast's Camora Sanders, headed to Virginia Commonwealth University, posted the longest shot put in the state this season and 36th longest nationally (44 feet, 1 inch) at the BCAA championships last month. Aquinas junior Shanell Atkins (43-10) and Northwestern's Kaylah Clark (43-5) round out the top three shot put throws in the state this year. Atkins ranks 39th nationally and Clark 49th. Other top locals include Northeast junior Kameliah Style (40-09, 7th in state) and Northwestern's Chanel Dawson (39-4, 12th). That's five of the top 12 in the state.


> DISCUS: Only two discus throwers in the state, West Florida senior Dane Stolsig (169-6) and Pace's Chris Clark (164-6) have throws ranked among the nation's elite according to Dyestat.com. But according to Athletic.net, some of the locals rank among the state's best: Central senior Aaron Hanna (155-08), Westminster Academy senior Hozie Hankerson (151-3), Archbishop McCarthy senior Joseph Bost (149-01), Ely senior Jefferson Roseme (148-7.5) and American Heritage senior Fedner Petit-Homme (144-2).  

> SHOT PUT: Central's Aaron Hanna and Norland senior William Gordon are the only two shot put throwers in the state who are among those nationally ranked by DyeStat.com. Hanna's throw of 57-feet, 10-inches at the Florida Relays on April ranks 49th nationally and tops the state. Gordon's throw at the District 16-3A meet last week of 57-9 ranks 50th. Other locals ranked among the state's best, but not nationally recognized: Archbishop McCarthy's Joseph Bost (52-0, 13th), St. Thomas Aquinas senior Kyle Raunig (561-3, 20th), Jackson senior Christopher Mainer (51-1), Cardinal Gibbons junior Elijah Daniels (50-6.5) and Westminster Academy senior Luke Miseyko (50-4.5, 28th).



> 100 METERS: St. Thomas Aquinas senior Krystal Sparling (11.65) and junior Khalifa St. Fort (11.68) have the second and third fastest legal times in the state this year behind Orlando First Academy senior Teahna Daniels (11.61). Sparling's time ranks fifth nationally and St. Fort ranks seventh. They ran both times at the BCAA championships last month. Northwestern senior La'Kayla Harris' time of 11.71 seconds at the District 16-4A meet ranks fourth in the state and the ninth-fastest in the country. Northwestern sophomore Twanisha Terry posted the fifth-fastest time in the state and 12th-fastest in the nation (11.79) at that same meet. Southridge sophomore Symone Mason posted an 11.81 at the regional meet this week, the sixth-fastest time in the state and tied for 14th nationally. St. Thomas Aquinas senior Diamond Spaulding posted a 11.98 (12th-fastest in state, 44th nationally) at the BCAA championships. Both Spaulding and Sparling are headed to Texas A&M next year. Other locals with fast, legal times in the 100 meters include Hallandale's Kamari Rushing (12.01), Northwestern freshman Shamarah Shannon (12.03), Flanagan senior Daja Bush (12.05) and Northwestern senior Alexis Harrell (12.08).

> 200 METERS: Nine of the nation's top 40 times in the 200-meters come from within Dade and Broward Counties' borders. Northwestern's La'Kayla Harris has the third-fastest time in the country and tops in the state (23.56) this season. Southridge's Symone Mason (23.57) ranks fourth nationally, and Northwestern's Twanisha Terry (23.85) ranks sixth. Those are the top three times in the state. St. Thomas Aquinas' Krystal Sparling (24.04) and Diamond Spaulding (24.05) have the 11th and 13th fastest times nationally. American senior Lenysse Dyer (24.13) has the nation's 14th fastest time. Others nationally ranked include St. Thomas Aquinas' Khalifa St. Fort (24.31, 23rd) and Northwestern's Shamarah Shannon (24.33, 24th) and Alexis Harrell (24.50, 40th).

> 400 METERS: Orlando Oak Ridge's Sharrika Barnett posted the nation's fastest time in the 400 meters at the Bob Hayes Classic this year at 53.32 seconds. American's Lenysse Dyer wasn't far behind. On Tuesday, she ran the third-fastest time in the state and fifth fastest in the nation according to Dyestat.com (54.24) at the Region 4-4A meet. She's one of nine runners in Dade and Broward ranked among the nation's Top 77 times in the event. Southridge's Symone Mason's run of 54.78 seconds at the Bob Hayes Classic ranks fifth in the state, 15th nationally. St. Thomas Aquinas senior Alon Lewis (54.91) ranks sixth in the state, 20th nationally. Boyd Anderson junior Chyna-Joi Staton (55.76) ranks 12th in the state, 47th nationally. American Heritage seventh-grader Danielle Bess (55.89) ranks 13th in the state, 59th nationally. Southridge sophomore Kayla Johnson (55.91) ranks 14th in the state, 60th nationally. Northeast senior Kayla Woulard (56.04) ranks 15th in the state, 67th nationally. St. Thomas Aquinas's Diamond Spaulding (56.11) ranks 17th in the state, 75th nationally. Northwestern's La'Kayla Harris (56.13) ranks 18th in the state, 77th nationally.


> 100 METERS: Three runners from Broward have posted nationally elite times in the 100 meters this year, two count in the rankings because there was no wind aided influence. West Broward senior Isaiah Taylor, headed to the University of Miami on track scholarship, ran the fastest official time in the state and sixth-fastest in the nation at 10.52 seconds at the BCAA South Qualifer on March 17. Miramar freshman Terrence Horne Jr. is credited with a 10.58 in the same race, giving him the 12th fastest time in the nation. American Heritage star quarterback Torrance Gibson ran a 10.59 at the District 15-2A meet last week, but its not official because there was no wind measuring instrument. Other top local times this year: Plantation senior Khai McLin (10.63, 4th in state), Killian junior Dicaprio Bootle (10.64, NWI), Chaminade freshman Shaun Shivers (10.69, NWI), Coral Gables junior Amir Rasul (10.70, NWI; 10.71, 11th in state official time) and South Dade senior Javaonte Dean (10.73, NWI). 

> 200 METERS: Plantation's Khai McLin is credited with the second-fastest official time in the state and seventh in the nation this year in the 200 meters at 21.28 seconds. He ran it at the BCAA North Central Qualifier on March 17. Other officially recognized top national times from locals: Killian's Dicaprio Bootle (21.52, 5th state, 16th nationally) and Coral Gables' Amir Rasul (21.53, 6th state, 17th nationally). They completed those at regionals this week. Other non-official top times from locals: American Heritage's Torrance Gibson (21.30), Chaminade's Shaun Shivers (21.32), Hallandale senior Oliver Alexandre (21.33).

> 400 METERS: American senior Ari Cogdell, headed to the University of Tennessee on scholarship, posted the state's fastest and the nation's fourth-fastest time this year in the 400 meters (46.60) at the Region 4-4A meet this week. Cogdell is one of eight locals with nationally recognized times. The others: St. Thomas Aquinas freshman Jamal Walton (47.40, 2nd state, 11th nationally), Hallandale's Oliver Alexandre (47.55, 3rd state, 18th nationally), Ely senior Markevious Roach (47.64, 4th state, 20th nationally), St. Thomnas Aquinas senior Rasheed Tatham (47.73, 5th state, 23rd nationally), Southridge senior Tyler Johnson (47.88, 6th state, 27th nationally), South Dade's Javaonte Dean (48.16, 9th state, 40th nationally) and Nova junior Vanzel Burnett (48.17, 10th state, 41st nationally).  



> 100-METER HURDLES: Northwestern junior Timetria Mitchell posted the fourth-fastest 100-meter hurdles time (13.72) in the country and fastest in the state at last month's Hallandale Invitational. Hallandale's Kimani Rushing (13.96, 5th in state, 13th nationally) and senior Channel Freman (14.07, 7th in state, 24th nationally) aren't far behind. Other locals with times among the nation's elite include Northeast senior Jeyland Valentin (14.30, 8th in state, 29th nationally), Northwestern sophomore Ariyanna Val (14.36, 9th in state, 32nd nationally), Southridge senior Kayla White (14.36, 9th in state, 32nd nationally), Jackson sophomore Tiara McMinn (14.47, 14th in state, 50th nationally) and Northwestern senior Shamaria Lovett (14.50, 15th in state, 54th nationally).

> 300-METER HURDLE: Hallandale's Kimani Rushing posted the fourth-fastest 300-meter hurdles time in the nation and fastest in the state (42.06 seconds) at the Texas Relays on March 28. Other locals with nationally recognized times include Northwestern's Shamaria Lovett (42.47, 3rd state, 12th nationally), Northeast's Jeyland Valentin (42.70, 4th in state, 17th nationally), Northwestern's Timetria Mitchell (42.77, 5th state, 19th nationally), Hallandale senior Lamisha Simmons (42.84, 6th state, 23rd nationally), Northwestern sophomore DeAndreah Young (43.76, 9th state, 51st nationally), Hallandale junior Tia Strackman (43.94, 11th state, 61st nationally), Northwestern's Ariyanna Val (44.31, 13th state, 84th nationally), Hallandale's Devin D'Oliveira (44.47, 14th state, 96th nationally).


> 110-METER HURDLES: Three Broward County athletes posted times among the nation's eight fastest in the 110-meter hurdles this year. Northeast sophomore Damion Thomas posted the fastest time in the state at the Florida Relays with a blazing mark of 13.64 seconds back on April 4. St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Trevon Grimes (13.79, 2nd state, 6th nationally) and Hallandale senior Antwuan Musgrove (13.86, 3rd state, 8th nationally) posted their marks at the Texas Relays. Other locals with times ranked among the state's best: Boyd Anderson junior Glenn Durosier (14.40, 7th), Ely senior Steven Nesbitt (14.46, 9th) and American senior Kevin Turner (14.60, 15th).

> 300-METER HURDLES: Seven of the nation's fastest 73 times were set by Dade and Broward athletes. Hallandale's Antwuan Musgrove tops that list. He ran a 36.72 at the Texas Relays on March 28, the third-fastest time in the nation and fastest in the state. Northeast's Damion Thomas (37.39, 3rd state, 14th nationally), St. Thomas Aquinas' Trevon Grimes (37.42, 4th state, 16th nationally) aren't far behind. Others on the list: Ely's Steven Nesbitt (38.01, 7th state, 42nd nationally), Carol City senior Lannoris Graden (38.16, 9th state, 53rd nationally), Pompano Beach senior Jayson Francois (38.34, 12th state, 71st nationally) and Northwestern freshman Thomas Burns (38.38, 13th state, 73rd nationally).



> 4X100 METER RELAY: Northwestern, the defending Class 3A state champions, posted the nation's second-fastest time (45.67 seconds) at the Florida Relays earlier this month. Other local teams with nationally recognized times: Southridge (46.15, 2nd state, 8th nationally), St. Thomas Aquinas (46.65, 4th state, 13th nationally), Northeast (47.44, 5th state, 54th nationally), Hallandale (47.47, 6th state, 55th nationally) and Killian (47.90, 10th state, 85th nationally).

> 4X400 METER RELAY: Northwestern posted the third-fastest time in the country of 3 minutes, 44.38 seconds at the Florida Relays earlier this month. St. Thomas Aquinas ran the fourth-fastest time, 3:45.67 at the District 13-4A meet last week. Other top locals include: Southridge (3:45.69, 3rd state, 5th nationally), Northeast (3:46.14, 4th state, 8th nationally), Boyd Anderson (3:49.68, 6th state, 24th nationally), Hallandale (3:53.73, 8th state, 53rd nationally), American (3:55.54, 9th state, 72nd nationally) and Flanagan (3:55.77, 10th state, 76th nationally).

> 4X800 METER RELAY: Northwestern posted the nation's fourth-fastest and state's fastest time at the Florida Relays (9:12.90) earlier this month. Only one other local team is nationally ranked in this event: Ferguson, which posted 9:24.54 at the Region 4-4A meet this week. It's the fifth-fastest time in the state and 25th fastest nationally.


> 4X100 METER RELAY: Seven schools from Dade and Broward are ranked among the fastest in the nation in the boys' 4x100-meter relay: Plantation (41.47, 5th state, 24th nationally), Miramar (41.60, 7th, 38th), St. Thomas Aquinas (41.64, 8th, 40th), Northwestern (41.76, 11th, 52nd), Booker T. Washington (41.85, 12th, 58th), American Heritage (41.85, 12th, 58th) and West Broward (41.86, 14th, 61st).

> 4X400 METER RELAY: The two fastest 4x400-meter relay teams in the country call Miami-Dade County home: American (3:12.86) and Northwestern (3:13.92). Those teams put those blazing times up at the Florida Relays back on April 4. In all, five local programs are ranked among the nation's top 12-fastest teams. The others: St. Thomas Aquinas (3:15.29, 3rd state, 9th nationally), American Heritage (3:15.71, 4th, 11th) and Ely (3:15.72, 5th, 12th).

> 4x800 METER RELAY: Two of the nation's top 19 fastest 4x800-meter relay teams call South Florida home. Coral Reef's GMAC championship team posted the nation's ninth fastest time last month at 7:50.24. Boyd Anderson's Florida Relays-winning squad posted the 19th-fastest time at 7:53.87.



> 800 METERS: Ransom Everglades junior Lauren Archer posted the fourth-fastest 800-meter time in the state this year (2:14.46) at the FSU Relays on March 26. It ranks 79th nationally. Other locals ranked among the state's best, but not nationally recognized: North Broward Prep freshman Katie Pinnell (2:15.74, sixth), Ransom Everglades eighth-grader Jatana Folston (2:17.60, 14th) and Jackson sophomore Daesha Rogers (2:17.71, 15th).

> 1600 METERS: Ransom Everglades' Lauren Archer (5:00.33) ran the third fastest time in the state Wednesday night at regionals and it ranks 79th nationally. Pine Crest junior Julia Montogomery ran the fifth-fastest time in the state and 90th fastest in the country (5:00.95) at the FSU relays on March 28. Other locals ranked among the state's best, but not nationally recognized: St. Thomas Aquinas junior Alexa Cruz (5:03.67, 8th), Gulliver Prep junior Alyssa Pujals (5:09.80, 19th) and North Broward Prep's Katie Pinnell (5:11.36).

> 3200 METERS: Pine Crest's Julia Montgomery posted the second-fastest time in the state and 44th fastest in the nation (10:43.16) at the FSU Relays on March 26. St. Thomas's Alexa Cruz also posted one of the nation's top times (10:48.90, 4th state, 75th nationally) at the Jeff Wentworth Invitational back on March 7. Other locals ranked among the state's best, but not nationally recognized: Ransom Everglades sophomore Beatriz Ruan (11:06.06, 11th), Gulliver Prep's Alyssa Pujals (11:06.58, 12th), Lourdes sophomore Sabrina Quijano (11:09.88, 15th) and St. Thomas Aquinas seniors Brianna Rischar (11:18.98, 21st) and Margaret Schloss (11:19.49, 23rd).


> 800 METERS: Boyd Anderson senior Javon Patterson, headed to Kansas State, posted the state's second-fastest and nation's 15th-fastest time in the 800 meters (1:52.49) at the Florida Relays back on April 4th. Other local runners considered among the state's best, but not nationally ranked: Columbus junior Humberto Freire (1:54.75, 7th), St. Thomas Aquinas junior Yohance Haynes (1:54.86, 8th), Coral Reef junior Derwin Moultrie (1:55.79, 13th), Sunset senior Malik Gunter (1:56.02, 17th), Archibshop McCarthy senior Jeremy Farrell (1:56.20, 19th).

> 1600 METERS: Coral Reef senior Carlin Berryhill's 1600-meter time of 4:17.10 at the FSU Relays didn't break into the nation's elite, but it was on the cusp. It's the fourth-fastest time in the state this year. Other locals with top recognized times in the state: St. Thomas Aquinas senior Bryce Statham (4:18.87, 13th), Sunset senior Nick Diaz (4:19.50, 15th), Belen Jesuit senior Ryan Rodriguez (4:19.72) and Pembroke Pines Charter senior Carlos Penaranda (4:21.34, 23rd).

> 3200 METERS: Sunset's Nick Diaz, headed to Florida, is the only local runner among six in the state to post nationally elite times in the 3200-meter run. Diaz ran a 9:15.17 at the FSU Relays on March 26th that ranks sixth in the state, 90th nationally. Other locals with top-30 state times in the 3200 meters: Coral Reef's Carlin Berryhill (9:20.37, 8th) and senior Kurt Convey (9:27.70, 4th), Ransom Everglades junior Gaby Correa (9:30.49, 16th) and Pine Crest sophomore Michael Kennedy (9:36.07, 24th). 

To provide updates to the Track and Field honor roll please send an email to Andre Fernandez at a1fernandez@miamiherald.com

February 22, 2015

State boys' basketball tournament schedule


When: Tuesday through Saturday.

Where: The Lakeland Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland.

Admission: $10 per session; Parking: $8.

Defending state champions – Class 8A: Winter Park; 7A: Oviedo; 6A: Miami Norland; 5A: Plantation American Heritage; 4A: Orlando Lake Highland Prep; 3A: Weston Sagemont; 2A: Orlando Christian Prep; 1A: Malone.

Tuesday’s schedule – Class 1A semifinals: Chipley vs. Malone, 10 a.m.; Hawthorne vs. Crescent City, 11:30 a.m.; Class 2A semifinals: Land O’Lakes Academy at the Lakes vs. Orlando Agape, 2:30; Miami Christian vs. Sarasota Christian, 4; Class 3A semifinals: Orlando First Academy vs. Jacksonville Providence, 7; Sagemont vs. Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, 8:30.

Wednesday’s schedule – Class 4A semifinals: West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman vs. Fort Myers Dunbar, 9:30 a.m.; Tallahassee Godby vs. Melbourne Holy Trinity, 11 a.m.; Class 1A final: 5:05; Class 2A final: 8:35.

Thursday’s schedule – Class 3A final: 9:30 a.m.; Class 4A final: 1:05; Class 8A semifinals: Oviedo Hagerty vs. St. Petersburg, 7; Hollywood McArthur vs. Wellington, 8:30.

Friday’s schedule – Class 5A semifinals: Tallahassee Rickards vs. Tarpon Springs, 10 a.m.; Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons vs. St. Petersburg Gibbs, 11:30 a.m.; Class 6A semifinals: Gainesville vs. Orlando Edgewater, 2:30; Miami Norland vs. Tampa Jefferson, 4; Class 7A semifinals: Blanche Ely vs. North Port, 7; Kissimmee Osceola vs. Oviedo, 8:30.

Saturday’s schedule – Class 5A final: 10:05 a.m.; Class 6A final: 1:35; Class 7A final: 5:05; Class 8A final: 8:35.

February 17, 2015

Norland's Dewan Huell talks Tuesday's win over Mater Academy, recruiting


Dewan Huell scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and Norland kept its hopes of winning a fourth consecutive Class 6A state title alive with a 52-39 come-from-behind win at Mater Academy Tuesday night.

The seventh-ranked Vikings (20-8) advance to host fourth-ranked Pembroke Pines Charter (18-8) Saturday night. It's the fourth year in a row the teams will meet in the regional final.

"We're going to beat them again," Huell said. "We don't lose at The Ship."

Trailing 18-15 at the half, Norland (20-8) opened the third quarter on a 10-4 run thanks to six quick points from Huell, a 6-10, 218-pound who went from being a rebounder and shot blocker in the first half to a more Chris Bosh-type role, hitting jumpers and runners around the key in the second.

The Lions (20-6) stayed within striking distance until Vikings guard Tyrik Waite was fouled while making a three-point shot with 4:25 remaining. The four-point play gave Norland a 41-34 lead; Mater didn't get closer than five points the rest of the way. 

"What happened in the second half was that Dewan and the two kids in our rotation from last year stepped up," said Vikings coach Lawton Williams, seeking his sixth state championship since 2006. "I told Dewan, 'You're an All-American -- play like it.' And he did."

> Norland (20-8): Jean-Baptiste 12, Andre 5, Waite 4, Huell 20, Wough 4, T. Jones 5, Foster 2. 

> Mater Academy (20-6): Mejia 5, Adderley 2, Osorio 2, Kurnick 12, Frias 14, Nunez 4.

> Three-pointers: Baptiste 3, Waite 1, Mejia 1. Rebounds: Huell 11. Williams 4. Half: MA 18-15. 

February 16, 2015

Miracle Sports 2015 Florida state softball rankings

Here is the first Miracle Sports softball poll for the 2015 season.


1. Bloomingdale 4-0

2. Miami Coral Reef 4-0

3. Oviedo Hagerty 5-0

4. Palm Beach Gardens 4-0

5. Jupiter 4-0

6. Lake Worth Park Vista 3-0

7. West Orange 4-0

8. Orange City University 7-1

9. Boca Raton 3-1

10. Tampa Alonso 4-1

Honorable mention: Cooper City 1-1; Boone 4-1; Tampa Wharton 4-0; Wellington 2-1, Douglas 2-1.



1. Tate 4-0

2. Fleming Island 5-0

3. Viera 8-0

4. St. Thomas Aquinas 2-1

5. Fort Myers 4-0

6. Harmony 3-1

7. Hialeah American 3-0

8. Melbourne 5-1

9. Tampa Gaither 4-0

10. East Lake 6-1

Honorable mention: Coconut Creek Monarch 6-0; St. Cloud 4-0; Lakewood Ranch 4-0; Dwyer 2-2; Niceville 2-0; Winter Park Lake Howell 3-1; Clearwater Countryside 3-0



1. Pembroke Pines Charter 5-0

2. North Fort Myers 4-0

3. St. Johns Creekside 4-1

4. Ocala Forest 4-0

5. Gainesville 4-1

6. Lake City Columbia 5-1

7. Orange Park Oakleaf 4-1

8. Pace 5-1

9. Lake Minneola 5-0

10. St. Johns Bartram Trail 5-0

Honorable mention: Auburndale 4-1; Lake Region 3-2



1. Plantation American Heritage 2-0

2. Gulf Breeze 5-0

3. Baker County 6-0

4. Clay 3-1

5. Ponte Vedra 2-1

6. Suwannee 4-1

7. Bradenton Bayshore 4-0

8. Panama City Arnold 3-0

9. Rockledge 4-1

10. Nature Coast 4-0

Honorable mention: Eustis 3-1; Riviera Beach Suncoast 2-1



1. Gulliver Prep 0-0

2. Astronaut 5-0

3. Bradford 3-0

4. West Florida 3-1

5. Cocoa Beach 4-1

6. Jacksonville Bolles 1-0

7. Fort Myers Bishop Verot 4-1

8. Alachua Santa Fe 4-1

9. Tallahassee Florida High 4-1

10. Fort Pierce Lincoln Park 2-1

Honorable mention: Miami Monsignor Pace 5-0; South Sumter 4-1; Montverde Academy 3-2



1. Miami Westminster Christian 3-1

2. Melbourne Central Catholic 3-0

3. University Christian 4-0

4. Tampa Prep 4-0

5. Lake Worth Christian 3-0

6. Carrollwood 0-0

7. Rocky Bayou Christian 1-0

8. North Florida Christian 2-2

9. The First Academy 4-1

10. Moore Haven 3-1

Honorable mention: Northside Christian 2-1; Seffner Christian 3-1



1. Canterbury 2-0

2. Aucilla Christian 1-1

3. Grandview Prep 0-0

4. Seven Rivers Christian 2-0

5. Academy at the Lakes 2-1

6. Foundation Academy 2-0

7. Pine Castle Christian 0-0

8. Glades Day 1-0

9. Orlando Christian 0-0

10. Seacoast Christian Academy 1-0



1. Chiefland 0-0

2. Williston 4-1

3. Sneads 2-1

4. Lafayette 3-1

5. Dixie County 3-1

6. Wewahitchka 3-1

7. Union County 2-0

8. Port St. Joe 1-0

9. Jay 0-1

10. Holmes County 2-0

Honorable mention: Pierson Taylor 4-2; Trenton 3-2

February 15, 2015

State girls' basketball tournament schedule and info

When: Tuesday through Saturday.

Where: The LakelandCenter, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland.

Admission: $10 per session; Parking: $8.

Defending state champions – Class 8A: Miami High; 7A: Apopka Wekiva; 6A: Orlando Edgewater; 5A: Bradenton Southeast; 4A: Jacksonville Ribault; 3A: Miami Country Day; 2A: Boca Grandview Prep; 1A: Paxton.

Tuesday’s schedule – Class 2A semifinals: Land O’Lakes Academy at the Lakes vs. Tallahassee FAMU, 10 a.m.; Boca Raton Grandview Prep vs. Sarasota Christian, 11:30 a.m.; Class 3A semifinals: Miami Country Day vs. Clearwater Calvary Christian, 2:30; Seffner Christian vs. Jacksonville University Christian, 4; Class 4A semifinals: Jacksonville Ribault vs. Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 7; West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman vs. Fort Myers Dunbar, 8:30.

Wednesday’s schedule – Class 1A semifinals: Hilliard vs. Wildwood, noon; Paxton vs. Freeport, 1:30; Class 3A final: 4:35; Class 4A final: 8:05.

Thursday’s schedule – Class 1A final: noon; Class 2A final: 3:35; Class 7A semifinals:HainesCity vs. Wekiva Apopka, 7; Fort Myers vs. Palm BeachLakes, 8:30.

Friday’s schedule – Class 8A semifinals: Orlando Colonial vs. Flagler Palm Coast, 10 a.m.; Miami High vs. Boca Raton, 11:30 a.m.; Class 6A semifinals: Winter Haven vs. Pensacola Pine Forest, 2:30; Miami Norland vs. Naples Barron Collier, 4; Class 5A semifinals: Land O’ Lakes vs. Jacksonville Paxon, 7; Fort Lauderdale Dillard vs. Bradenton Southeast, 8:30.

Saturday’s schedule – Class 7A final: 10:05 a.m.; Class 8A final: 1:35; Class 6A final: 5:05; Class 5A final: 8:35.

February 12, 2015

FABC/Source Hoops Boys' basketball state rankings - Final reg. season poll

Here's the final FABC/Source Hoops Boys' basketball rankings until after the playoffs
CLASS 8A                        
1. Evans  22-6
2. Wellington 24-3
3. McArthur  23-7
4. Dr. Phillips 19-8
5. Newsome  23-1
6. Winter Park  18-9
7. Oak Ridge  20-7
8. Park Vista 19-8
9. Ocoee  21-5
10. Wharton  23-4
10. Hagerty 20-8
CLASS 7A                        
1. Blanche Ely  23-0
2. Bartow  24-3
3. Dwyer  23-4
4. Lakeland 20-5
5. Osceola  19-4
6. Miami Central  22-4
7. Oviedo  22-5
8. Melbourne 20-5
9. Freedom 21-6
10. Lake Worth  18-9
CLASS 6A         
1. Lake Minneola  23-4
2. Gainesville  24-3
3. Deltona  23-4
4. Pines Charter  17-8
5. Wolfson  24-3
6. Ed White  17-6
7. Norland  18-8
8. Lehigh  24-1
9. Edgewater 22-5
10. South Fork  19-2
1. Cardinal Gibbons  28-1
2. Dillard  21-6
3. Tarpon Springs  27-1
4. St. Pete Gibbs  18-8
5. Rutherford  23-3
6. Mariner  21-6
7. Bishop Kenny 19-6
8. Jesuit 21-6
9. Atlantic 20-5
10. Lakewood 13-10
1. Godby  28-0
2. Cardinal Newman 22-1
3. Bolles 24-2
4. Jacksonville Jackson  24-3
5. Coral Springs Charter 17-6
6. Chaminade-Madonna  22-6
7. Berkeley Prep 21-6
8. Cocoa 23-4
9. Lake Highland Prep 19-9
10. Ocala Trinity 21-6
10. Holy Trinity 19-7
1.  Providence  28-1
2. Sagemont  25-3
3. First Academy  23-4
4. Tampa Prep  21-6
5. Florida Air Academy  19-4
6.  International School of Broward  13-4
7. Windermere Prep  18-9
8. Oxbridge Academy 23-3
9. Cardinal Mooney  16-2
10. Master’s Academy 22-4
1. Champagnat Catholic  24-1
2. Miami Christian  20-4
3. Grandview Prep  23-3
4. Zion Lutheran  19-6
5. Faith Christian  16-5
6. Orlando Christian Prep  16-11
7. Calusa Prep  14-6
8. Southwest Florida Christian  21-5
9. Sarasota Christian  17-8
10. Agape Christian 21-3
10. Atlantic Christian 17-4
1. Chipley  24-3
2. Hawthorne  25-2
3. West Gadsden  25-2
4. Paxton  23-2
5. Graceville  22-5
6. Malone  17-9
7. Hamilton County  20-7
8. Crescent City  18-4
9. Cottondale
10. Williston 16-11

Coaching Carousel: Smith goes from Coral Park to Hialeah; University School, Chaminade looking

Hialeah High has a new football coach -- it's former football coach.

Steve Smith, who spent two years coaching the T-Breds back in 2004 and 2005, has left Coral Park after one season to replace the coach who replaced him at Hialeah nine years ago, Marc Berman.

Smith, who has a career 31-38 record with a two-year pit-stop at Killian included, accepted the job last Thursday according to athletic director Len Sanders. Smith went 1-9 at Coral Park last year.

Berman, 52, went 46-34 during his nine years on the job at Hileah and led the T-Breds to the playoffs twice in 2011 and 2013. He's stepping aside from football for a year to deal with health issues.

"Overall for the kids it’s going to be better," Sanders said of bringing Smith back. "He’s a strict disciplinarian and I think that's what we need right now. The players have no idea what they are in for.

"[San Diego Chargers defensive lineman and former Hialeah High star] Corey Liuget is a big backer of Coach Smith. He played three years for him here. Once you go to the NFL you see how things are different, how you need that discipline. He really appreciates Coach Smith. Same with [Dolphins running back] Lamar Miller over at Killian, who played for Smith too."

Sanders said Liuget has pledged upwards of $30,000 to help renovate Hialeah's weight room. There's no timetable yet as to when the fixes will take place.

As for Berman, he remains a teacher at Hialeah. He said his plan is to get back to coaching in a year. He said he had a health scare during the middle of last season and that's when he decided he needed a break from coaching.

“Honestly, I’m going crazy right now," Berman said of being away from the game. "It’s something that for 31 years that’s all I’ve ever done. It’s something new. But I have four grandchildren and I spend a lot of time with them. So that's something I'm looking forward to.”

The T-Breds had 20 seniors sign with Football Bowl Subdivision programs during Berman's tenure including six in 2014.

"Coach Berman did a good job with that," Sanders said. "Whether we win games, I don’t really care. As long as the players learn to become young men and disciplined. Getting them in school and prepared for what's ahead, that's what's important."


According to classifieds placed on the FHSAA's website earlier this week, former Broward County private school powers and state champions Chaminade-Madonna Prep and University School are looking for head coaches.

Marcelo Rodriguez, still listed as the athletic director at Chaminade, went 7-12 in two years as the head coach. His son Marcelo, who has quarterbacked the Lions each of the last two seasons and is a Class of 2017 prospect, has transferred to Miami High. 

University School, meanwhile, is looking for its second head coach in less than 12 months. The school hired Brandon Harris a year ago to replace Roger Harriott, who left to become an assistant coach at FAU after leading the Suns to the Class 3A state title in 2012. Harris went 3-7 this past season and the Suns missed the playoffs.

Phone calls to athletic directors and coaches at both schools were not immediately returned.


Mater Academy, Coral Park, Westland Hialeah and Hialeah Champagnat are among the schools still searching for head coaches in Miami-Dade County.

National powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas remains among a handful of schools in Broward still looking to fill vacancies.

Monarch coach Calvin Davis stepped down earlier this week. The Knights went 9-2 last season and won their district for their first time ever. Davis, 36, was 26-8 in four seasons at Monarch.

February 06, 2015

Jon Jay, Gio Gonzalez to attend charity game at Columbus Saturday

Gio Gonzalez and Jon Jay are taking a moment before the start of the Major League Baseball season to help kids in need.

The two famous Miami-Dade County baseball alums will be coaching when Columbus High hosts a Miracle League baseball game Saturday morning at its school's baseball field in support of children with special needs.

The game will be played at 11 a.m. and will be attended by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Marc Buoniconti, President of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, who will each throw out the game's first pitches along with Columbus School President Brother Kevin Handibode.

Each Miracle League player will be paired up with one of the Columbus varsity players who will be their "buddy" and who will assist the player throughout the game both on and off the field.

For more information about joining a team, volunteering during games or supporting the Miracle League of Miami Dade, please visit www.mlomd.org.