May 16, 2015

Prospects give Valdes solid foundation as he takes over at Coral Reef

It’s clear that coach Javier Valdes is the right man for the job at Coral Reef.

With two years of head coaching experience building Mater Academy’s program to the point of its first playoff appearance last season, Valdes takes over at Coral Reef, a program that has seen success in recent years but then fell on tough times with a 2-8 season in 2014.

A new coach, a new district (15-8A) and solid prospects in a talent-rich neighborhood in the south has football at the Reef back on the rise.

“The guys have already taken into the culture and the mentality that we’re trying to build and are working really hard,” Valdes says. “I feel like there’s a lot of talent here that was untapped, and I think if you give them the system, they buy in and they work their tail off, they start building championship habits. Good things are going to follow.”

--Harvey Clayton Jr., a 2016 athlete who already lists offers from Louisville, Temple and Alcorn State, tops the senior class for the Barracudas.


At 6-2, 185 pounds, he already has ideal size and ball skills to translate to a cornerback that could match up with possession receivers at the next level.

Offensively, he lines up at wide receiver and can go up and get a ball over a defender in single coverage – like he did at one point in the end zone in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“We’re expecting a lot of big things from him – not only as a leader on the field – but as a playmaker,” Valdes says. “I think Harvey gives us an X-factor any time we line up on Friday nights.”

N.C. State, Miami and Cincinnati have also shown interest recently.

--2017 linebacker/safety Colvin Alford received his first offer from Temple on Tuesday and has received interest from the likes of Nebraska, Florida, Miami, USF, N.C. State, FIU and FAU.

After watching him, it’s obvious why so many schools like him as he heads into the summer between his sophomore and junior years. At 6-0 and close to 200 pounds, Alford presents Coral Reef with versatility on defense both at linebacker and safety. He had an impressive interception on a poorly thrown ball at the scrimmage.


“Dynamic playmaker, he’s got a physical presence but he’s athletic enough to cover at safety or outside backer,” Valdes says. “He makes plays in the box, he makes plays all over the field. Eventually he’ll be making plays with the ball in his hands.

Alford lists Nebraska as an early front-runner once he gets an offer from the Corn Huskers.

--Brian Castro, a 2016 leader on the offensive line at 6-2, 250 was a beast on Saturday.

“Real smart football player and student,” Valdes says. “He plays physical and is the leader of the offensive line, brings the nastiness and is going to help our power run game.”

--Randy Shannon Jr. was out on the field playing middle linebacker and wearing his father’s old No. 22 that Randy Shannon wore as a Hurricane.

With his father now the defensive coordinator with the Florida Gators, one might assume he may end up at UF – if not through scholarship, as a preferred walk-on – but Valdes says the scholar athlete who brings “a calming presence” to the defense will likely go a separate route.

“They don’t want to play for each other; they’re going to make it their own way,” he says – a notion that Shannon Jr. himself confirmed to me.

Shannon Jr., a 6-0, 215-pound 2016 prospect, has seen interest from FIU, FAU, Buffalo, Georgetown, Cornell, Colgate and Fordham.

--Coral Reef has a slew of talented 2018 prospects that its new coaching staff can surely build upon. There’s quite a few to list, but two that really stood out to me were running back Jordon Donaldson and lineman Jaylaan Williams.

Donaldson possesses the vision, burst and ability to make sharp, quick cuts. Williams is an absolute monster at 6-3 and weighs between 280 and 290 as he wraps up his freshman year; he was seen lining up at left tackle.

--2016 RB Mehki Ervan runs with a low center of gravity at 5-7 and can run a defender over if he doesn’t meet him with proper technique. He also has great footwork.

Coral Reef will hold its spring game on Wednesday against Edison at Harris Field.

May 15, 2015

Talented crop of Miramar Patriots flourishing this spring

Miramar held its spring classic on Friday afternoon, and by watching the kids play and the coaches conduct the scrimmage, you couldn’t tell this is the same team that had to forfeit its playoff game last season due to sanctions by the FHSAA for an academic scandal.

Former Booker T. Washington defensive line coach Pierre Senatus has taken over as head coach, cleaned up the program, brought his winning mentality to a program that has seen plenty of winning and the scandal is behind the Patriots.

I’ll have more on how Miramar has moved on from that in the coming week, but first let’s focus on some of the athletes that stood out, some of which have had to wait their turns to finally blossom because of the players they've been behind on the depth chart in past years.

--I was very impressed with 2017 safety Brian Edwards, who already looks like a college safety on the field. He showed great range in his pursuit, going from sideline to sideline.

Syracuse was impressed too. With a coach at the scrimmage, the Orange offered him Friday. Edwards added to an offer sheet that includes UM, Clemson, Cincinnati and interest from South Carolina and Alabama among others.

--A pair of 2016 Patriots were offered by Coastal Carolina on Thursday in defensive end Terrell Lucas and offensive lineman Obinna Nwankwo.

Lucas is already 6-2, 231 and has a tremendous motor off the edge. Nwankwo is 280 pounds and paves a hole with force when a runner gets behind him.

--Miramar’s projected starter at quarterback, senior University School transfer D’Angelo Fulford, looked smooth with his delivery, flashed a gifted arm, showed some escape ability and stood even taller than his impressive 6-1 frame in the pocket.

All he needs to do is continue to learn the Patriot’s tempo offense and put the right touch on his deep ball to connect with his speedy receivers.

--Fulford connected with 6-4 senior receiver Kyle Anthony for two touchdowns at the scrimmage. Anthony displayed tremendous rapport with Fulford, ability to go up and use his body to get the ball as a possession receiver, and Senatus said he also has developed chemistry with Caleb Thomas when he is at quarterback.

Anthony picked up three offers at the FIU scrimmages last weekend – Colgate, Florida A&M and Alcorn State –  and is getting looked at by “all the HBCUs and all the Ivy League schools,” according to Senatus, but one would imagine his recruitment will explode in not time with his size and skill set. Anthony has a 5.0 grade-point average to go with all his tools on the field.

“His skill set, his speed, he has that tremendous ball radius, phenomenal burst, great route-running, great ball recognition,” Senatus says. “We feel we have one of the top receivers in the state of Florida right now.”

--Senatus calls 2016 cornerback Korel Smith “the honeybadger.” At the scrimmage, he presented his ball skills with an acrobatic interception in the end zone in single coverage.

--Senatus added that the cornerback combination of Smith and 2016 recruit Shemar Jean-Charles is one of the top tandems in the Southeast United States.

--Linebacker Deshondre Pitts is a beast at linebacker, shedding off blocks in the box and ripping through the line for tackles for loss. Pitts is also a captain on defense and earns the praise of both Senatus and defensive coordinator A.J. Scott.

“He has some of the highest football IQ that you’ll see in the United States. He is a coach on the field. He’s our field general,” Senatus said. “The intensity and the tenacity that you’ll see him bring on the field is some of the best that you’ll see in the country.”

*Pitts is driving the Miramar equipment crew crazy, breaking his own facemask and the facemask of a teammate running back all in the past week.

May 14, 2015

Amir Rasul headlines strong senior class for Coral Gables

After Shaquery Wilson took his talents to Georgia and several other talented defensive prospects moved on, Coral Gables is looking strong with its senior class once again.

At the top of the list is running back Amir Rasul, who at 6-0, 192 pounds is a four-star recruit on most sites.

Rasul committed to UM in January and had his recruitment blow up since, gathering more than 20 offers from all over the country. Even USC has come all the way to the East Coast to visit Coral Gables and check on Rasul.

“He’s offered from coast to coast,” Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard said. “Every school in the nation has recognized his talent.”

With all the options that have opened up for Rasul, who is also an elite track talent and is spending the spring away from the football team running track, his commitment to the Canes should be considered a soft one. When asked, Pollard could not confirm how firm Rasul’s commitment is currently but said he will sit down with him when he rejoins the team in June.

While college coaches love Rasul’s track speed, they love even more that he runs like a football player with that speed.


Amir Rasul after a 195-yard, 4-TD performance against Coral Park last season. DAVID FURONES

“He doesn’t run like a track guy. He runs like a really fast running back, and I think that’s why so many people are really in love with him and what he can do for their program,” Pollard says. “People want home run hitters, and with the type of speed he possesses, he’s a home run hitter.”

Coral Gables’ trio of senior linebackers in Shakur Cooper, Gee Stanley and Robert Brown is one that will spearhead the Cavaliers’ defense and pick up some steam in the players’ recruitment in the fall.

Cooper, at 6-1, 210 pounds, is a four-year starter in Pollard’s defense. He was second-team all-state last season and recently received an offer from FAMU to add to a list that includes Appalachian State and Alcorn State.

“If he was 6-2, he’d be recruited by every school in the nation because his ability to rush the passer – you can ask anybody that’s played against us – he’s got a special knack, a lot of unteachable skill,” Pollard says. “Once that ball moves an inch, he moves two feet.”

Pollard plans on using Cooper, who goes by the nickname of “Pooh Bear,” all over the field his senior season and not restrict him to just outside linebacker.

Stanley (6-2, 200) has started since he was a sophomore and is a sideline-to-sideline outside linebacker who has also seen time at strong safety and lists offers from Alcorn State and Robert Morris since receiving an offer from Temple in the fall.

“He’s really quick in the box, quick with his feet and really knowledgeable in what offenses are trying to do against us,” Pollard says.

Brown (6-1, 195) is a South Miami transfer that Pollard describes as an “effort linebacker.”

“He’s going to run, he’s going to take you down,” Pollard says. “Wherever the ball is, he’s going to do whatever he can to get there.”

Alcorn State and Bryant University have offered Brown, but he’s also receiving interest from FIU and New Mexico.

“I don’t think there will be another linebacking corps with this talent. Usually you’ll have one stud, but with these three, pick your poison,” Pollard says. “If you block one, where’s the other?”

Quarterback Voshon Waiters currently lists one offer (FAMU), but Pollard expects his recruitment to heat up over the summer and in the fall once the season starts.

“I think with the numbers he’s going to put up this year, people are going to hit the brakes when they come by Coral Gables, and it’s not just for Amir Rasul,” Pollard says.

Pollard wants to take him to camps at FIU and FAU because he feels with how meticulously quarterbacks are recruited and offered college coaches need to see him in person.

He says Waiters has solid size at 6-1 to see over the line and runs the Cavaliers’ spread offense, which is very popular in college, to perfection for his unit.

May 12, 2015

Redwine ready to report to the U


I had a chance to catch up with Sheldrick Redwine, the 6-1, 193-pound cornerback coming out of Miami Killian that will be enrolling at UM – which he has previously called his “dream school” – for the start of the Summer A session on Monday and moving in to campus on Sunday.

The offseason has not slowed Redwine down. He’s still working as if it’s South Dade week for the Killian Cougars.

“I’ve been doing two-a-days with my teammates,” says Redwine, the physical corner who also possesses the quickness of the feet and hips to keep up with speedy receivers. “We go to a gym, we get worked out by a trainer. Then we go [back home], eat and do field workouts. Then after that we’ll do lighter drills.”

From the K to the U

FROM THE K TO THE U: Sheldrick Redwine and Jaquan Johnson on Signing Day. DAVID FURONES

With high school teammate Jaquan Johnson already at UM since the spring, Redwine says he’s also been in contact with another pair of Dade County defensive backs – senior Deon Bush (Columbus) and junior Artie Burns (Northwestern).

“They’re just telling me how it is and what to expect from the DBs. Just to come in confident,” Redwine says. “[Johnson] says he likes it, he’s coming along. He’s learning the playbook and the game speed is starting to slow down for him.”

Redwine is coming in with the mindset that he wants to take his time learning during the summer but then seriously compete for playing time in the fall.

With UM’s deep, talented and experienced secondary, however, a redshirt could be a possibility.

Redwine says if that happens “I’ll just take it in stride, just practice hard every day, try to get better and earn my spot.”

Redwine was a Louisville commit very late in the recruiting process before announcing he was headed to Coral Gables instead with a Signing Day hat trick.


He let Louisville know what his move would be the day before.

“They were cool with it,” Redwine says of Louisville’s response.

Cane coaches’ reaction?

“They reacted great. They said they couldn’t wait. They were happy they could get me to flip.”

The dynamic Redwine finished his senior season with five interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — three forced fumbles, 33 tackles and four blocked kicks.

May 08, 2015

State volleyball - Palmetto falls against Bishop Moore

Palmetto, perhaps South Florida’s best chance at ending the region’s championship drought in boys’ volleyball, was the first team bounced from the eight-team state tournament.
Bishop Moore, which won state titles in 2010 and 2012, swept the Panthers 25-13, 25-17, 25-11, on Friday afternoon at Pine Crest.
South Florida hasn’t had a champion since Southwest in 2008.
Palmetto (20-8), which beat Bishop Moore 25-15, 25-22 during the regular season, had no answer for the Hornets (21-5) on Friday
“Our team sort of fell apart – we weren’t working as a family,” said Palmetto star Devin Decker, a 6-6 senior outside hitter and four-year starter. “Our team was sort of overconfident. We weren’t ready to play.
“Bishop Moore is a state-contested team, and none of us had played in games like this. Bishop Moore was prepared to beat us.”
Palmetto Coach Chris Kallinosis said his team was off its game – the reverse of what happened when the teams met in the regular season.
“It’s tough to have a game plan when we are making so many bad contacts on the ball,” he said. “Bishop Moore is a good team. They took us out of system with their serves in the beginning. They made it tough for our guys. We got a little rattled.”

May 07, 2015

State boys' volleyball preview


The boys’ volleyball state championship, which will be played out Friday and Saturday at Fort Lauderdale’s Pine Crest High School, features eight teams – six of them from South Florida – and no clear favorite.

Tampa’s Berkeley Prep beat Longwood Lyman for the 2014 title, but both of those schools failed to make it back to state. Also missing is Orlando’s Dr. Phillips, which was 25-0 before getting upset in the district playoffs.

Of the eight teams that will be at Pine Crest this weekend, only

two - Timber Creek (2009) and Bishop Moore (2010, 2012) - have won state titles. Both of those schools are from Orlando.

“It’s up for grabs,” Palmetto Coach Chris Kallinosis said of the tournament. “Usually there’s a strong favorite or two. But I think there are at least five teams who have a legitimate shot.”

Palmetto (19-7) got perhaps a tough draw by having to face Bishop Moore (20-5) in Friday’s quarterfinals. Bishop Moore swept Berkeley Prep to get here. But a further look reveals that Palmetto beat Bishop Moore 25-15, 25-22 during the regular season. Bishop Moore also lost to Wellington, a team Palmetto beat.

In addition, Palmetto has 6-6 senior outside hitter Devin Decker, a player Kallinosis considers to be the best in the county.

“He’s been starting for us all four years,” the coach said.”He’s a force at the net. He’s our captain and a big reason why we are at state.”

Wellington (18-8) takes on Mourning (24-6) in the other part of Palmetto’s side of the bracket. Mourning beat Wellington 2-1 earlier this season.

Mourning has won eight matches in a row. During that streak, the Sharks beat Southwest and Palmetto, avenging earlier losses to those teams. They also beat Berkeley Prep.

But the Sharks, who lost to Bishop Moore in the 2013 state quarterfinals and Lyman in last year’s state semifinals, were 0-3 against Orlando teams this season, losing to Dr. Phillips, Bishop Moore and Apopka.

The other half of the bracket features Monarch (21-2) against Archbishop McCarthy (18-8) and Timber Creek (22-4) vs. Columbus (24-2).

Monarch is the surprise team of the tournament. The Knights went 2-13 in 2012 and 3-13 in 2013 before posting a winning record last year.

This year, they won a district title for the first time in program history, but they have yet to play a team outside of South Florida.

They lost in straight sets to Wellington in their only matchup against a team currently at state.

McCarthy is back at state for the first time since 2012. From 2009 to 2012, the Mavericks lost to the eventual state champion four years in a row: Timber Creek, Bishop Moore, Seminole Ridge and Bishop Moore.

In terms of common opponents with Monarch, McCarthy has the edge having beaten Wellington 3-1.

Columbus, which reached the state semifinals in 2012, may have the toughest challenge of all the local teams in its matchup with Timber Creek, which is led by 6-5 junior Michael MacGillivray, a Division I prospect according to his coach.

McCarthy Coach Karen Frank, who has seen every team at state play this season, believes it will be a “close” tournament.

“At the beginning of the year, everyone was talking that it would be a Lyman-Dr. Phillips final, and neither of those teams are here,” she said. “I think all eight teams have the ability to advance to the final.”

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 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 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 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 But according to, 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 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 (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

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.