October 27, 2013

UPDATED: Miami-Dade football playoff scenarios

Here's a look at the playoff picture in Miami-Dade County.


North Miami (4-0, 7-1): District champions.

Hialeah (3-1, 5-3): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. NMB.

NMB (3-1, 4-5): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Hialeah.

ELIMINATED: Reagan (1-3, 3-5); Krop (1-3, 1-7); Hialeah Gardens (0-4, 0-8).



Coral Gables (4-0, 7-1): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Miami Beach; Can still clinch playoff berth with Columbus loss to Coral Park.

Columbus (3-1, 4-4): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Coral Park AND Miami Beach loss to Gables; A win AND Coral Gables loss forces tiebreaker for both playoff spots.

Miami Beach (3-1, 6-2): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Gables AND Columbus loss; A win AND Columbus win forces tiebreaker for both playoff spots.

ELIMINATED: Miami High (1-3, 4-4); South Miami (1-3, 3-5); Coral Park (0-4, 0-8).



Southwest (4-0, 8-0): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Varela; Can still clinch playoff berth with Belen loss to Ferguson.

Belen (3-1, 6-2): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Ferguson and Varela loss; A win and Southwest loss clinches tiebreaker for both playoff spots.

Varela (3-1, 5-3): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Southwest and Belen loss; A win and Belen win clinches tiebreaker for both playoff spots.

Ferguson (2-2, 4-4): Needs win vs. Belen and Varela loss to Southwest to force tiebreaker for runner-up berth.

ELIMINATED: Braddock (0-4, 1-7); Sunset (0-4, 1-7).



South Dade (2-1, 7-1): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Coral Reef; Can clinch district championship with win AND Killian loss to Southridge.

Coral Reef (2-1, 5-3): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. South Dade; Can clinch district championship with win AND Southridge loss to Killian.

Killian (2-1, 4-4): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Southridge; Can clinch district championship with win AND Coral Reef loss to South Dade.

Southridge (2-1, 4-4): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Killian; Can clinch district championship with win AND South Dade loss to Coral Reef.

ELIMINATED: Palmetto (0-4, 2-6).



American (5-0, 5-3): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Mater Academy; Can still clinch playoff berth with Miami Springs loss to Mourning.

Miami Springs (4-1, 6-2): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Mourning and Mater loss to American; A win and Mater win forces tiebreaker for both playoff spots.

Mater Academy (4-1, 6-2): Needs win vs. American to at least force tiebreaker for both playoff berths; A win and Miami Springs loss clinches district championship.

ELIMINATED: Hialeah-Miami Lakes (2-3, 2-6); Mourning (1-4, 3-5); Goleman (1-4, 1-7); Westland (1-5, 2-6).



Central (4-0, 7-1): District champions.

Carol City (2-1, 5-3): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Norland.

Northwestern (1-2, 4-4): Needs win vs. Homestead and Carol City loss to Norland to force tiebreaker for runner-up spot.

Norland (1-2, 2-6): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Carol City and Northwestern loss to Homestead; Needs win vs. Carol City to force tiebreaker for runner-up berth.

ELIMINATED: Homestead (0-3, 5-3).



Cardinal Gibbons (2-0, 7-1): Can clinch district championship with win vs. Heritage; Has clinched playoff berth.

American Heritage (2-0, 7-1): Can clinch district championship Nov. 1 with win vs. Gibbons; Has clinched playoff berth.

ELIMINATED: Jackson (0-2, 4-4); Key West (0-2, 0-8).



Booker T. Washington (2-0, 9-0): District champions.

Gulliver (1-1, 6-2): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Pace.

Monsignor Pace (1-1, 5-3): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Gulliver.

ELIMINATED: Edison (0-2, 1-7).



Westminster Christian (1-0, 8-1): District champions.

Chaminade (0-1, 1-6): District runner-up.



Champagnat (3-0, 8-0): District champions.

Barrington Christian (2-1, 4-4): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Dade Christian.

Dade Christian (2-1, 4-4): Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Barrington Christian.

ELIMINATED: Coral Springs Christian (1-3, 1-7); Highlands Christian (0-3, 1-7).

September 26, 2013

Preliminary All-American jersey presentations list for South Florida

Under Armour and U.S. Army officials with be making their way to South Florida in the coming weeks to present several top athletes in the area with All-American honors.

Below is a tentative list of presentations scheduled for the Under Armour All-America game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Jan 2, 2014, and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at The Alamodome in San Antonio on Jan. 4, 2014.

Under Armour All-America game jersey presentations

--Oct. 4: Travis Rudolph (uncommitted), WR, West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman, Time TBD

--Oct. 8-10: Stops in South Florida, but tentative plans to schools in Broward on Oct. 8, and Miami on Oct. 9 and 10.

The Miami stops include Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami commitment) and Miami Central running backs Dalvin Cook (Florida commitment) and Joseph Yearby (Miami commitment), and offensive tackle Trevor Darling (Miami commitment). Fort Lauderdale University School cornerback Quincy Wilson's presentation is to be determined.

U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey presentations

--Oct. 22: Johnnie Dixon (uncommitted), WR, Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, 11:15 a.m.

--Oct. 25: Sony Michel (Georgia commitment), RB, Plantation American Heritage, Time TBD

--Oct. 28: Chris Lammons (Florida commitment), ATH, Plantation, Time TBD

--Oct. 29: Khairi Clark (Florida commitment), DL, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, Time TBD

--Oct. 31: Travonte Valentine (Miami commitment), DL, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic, Time TBD

--Date TBD: Richard Yeargin III (Notre Dame commitment), DL/LB, Fort Lauderdale University School, Time TBD

More updates for both games, regarding roster additions and jersey presentations, will be posted when available. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@Safid_Deen) for the latest recruiting news and updates.

August 25, 2013

August 23, 2013

August 22, 2013

This weekend's preseason games in South Florida

Here's a look at this weekend's games in South Florida.


Boyd Anderson vs. Carol City (Traz), 7:30

Braddock at Reagan, 3:30

Cardinal Gibbons at Belen, 4

Norland at Flanagan, 7

Village Academy at Archbishop Carroll, 4

Mater Academy at Gulliver, 4

Northwestern at Palm Beach Central, 7

Deerfield Beach at Southridge, 7:30

Hialeah-Miami Lakes at Monsignor Pace, 7

Coral Park at Naples Gulf Coast, 7:30

South Plantation at Everglades, 7

Stranahan at Blanche Ely, 7

West Broward vs. Goleman (Milander), 7:30

Dade Christian at Riviera Beach Suncoast, 7:30

Champagnat Catholic at Eastern Christian (Del.), 7

Orlando Centennial at South Broward, 4

La Salle at St. Andrews, 6

Miami Springs vs. North Miami (N.Miami), 7

North Miami Beach at Seminole Ridge, 7

Coconut Creek at Coral Glades, 7

Cooper City at Seffner Armwood, 7

Taravella at Treasure Coast, 7

Western at Northeast, 7

West Broward vs. Goleman (Milander), 7:30

Glades Central at Coral Springs, 7

Douglas at West Boca Raton, 7

Highlands Christian at Calvary Christian, 7

Naples Golden Gate vs. Fort Lauderdale (Dillard), 7

Somerset at Pines Charter, 7

Barrington Christian at Florida Christian, 7:30

Canterbury at Northwest Christian, 7



Booker T. at Norcross (GA), 7

Preseason classic: Central at Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, 7

Preseason classic: Westminster Christian at Indian Rocks Christian, 6

Preseason classic: Gateway Charter vs. Keys Gate (Southridge), 4



University School vs. Homestead (Cypress Bay), 11 a.m.

American Heritage at Cypress Bay, 3


August 08, 2013

UPDATE: Central, Booker T. each ranked nation's best in separate polls

It's no secret Miami Central and Miami Booker T. Washington each have some of the nation’s best talent.

On Thursday, the debate began as to which was better.

Central found out early in the day that it will open the season ranked No. 1 nationally by Rivals.com, which released its Top 100 preseason poll. But later in the day, Booker T. found itself in the No. 1 spot in USA Today’s Super 25 presesason rankings.

The teams will play each other Sept. 6.

In the Rivals poll, Central is joined in the top 10 by Booker T. (No. 4) and Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 9).

Central is also ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps.com. The Rockets have won two state titles in the past three seasons and advanced to at least the state semifinals four consecutive seasons.

USA Today, however, has Central ranked No. 7 and St. Thomas ranked No. 11.

Fort Lauderdale University School is also ranked at No. 38 completing South Florida's defending state champion quartet in the Rivals rankings.

Central is entering its first season under coach Roland Smith, who guided rival Miami Northwestern to a state title in 2006 - the last season he coached high school football prior to being hired this summer.

The Rockets return 10 starters on offense including their whole offensive line and star running backs Dalvin Cook and Joe Yearby. They also have six starters back on defense.

Central opens the regular season Aug. 30 at Plantation American Heritage, which is considered a top contender in Class 5A. The Rockets then take on Booker T. in a huge showdown Sept. 6.

Central also travels to play Don Bosco Prep (NJ), ranked No. 83 by Rivals, on Sept. 21. The Rockets also have tough district matchups against Northwestern, Carol City, Norland and Homestead and finish the season with a showdown against University School the weekend of Nov. 8.

Booker T. opens the season Aug. 24 at Norcross (Ga.), a team ranked No. 5 in the poll. The Tornadoes follow that with Central and a game Oct. 4 at No. 18 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.

St. Thomas Aquinas opens with Northwestern Aug. 31 at Sun Life Stadium and two weeks later plays consensus defending national champion John Curtis Christian (La.) Sept. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

In addition to their season-finale against Central, University School's schedule begins with a nationally-televised preseason game Aug. 25 against Homestead. The Suns later face Miami Norland, defending Class 8A state runner-up Weston Cypress Bay, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson and have an Oct. 25 road date at Rivals No. 48 Bradenton Manatee.

August 05, 2013

High school football practice gets a midnight start in South Florida




            Columbus football players lined up and counted down to midnight “New Year’s Eve” style early Monday morning.

            For seven years, this is the way the Explorers have celebrated the start of a new football season.

            Under the lights of their on-campus field-turf practice field, Columbus broke the ice on the start of official practice for Miami-Dade County high schools with a 90-minute session reminiscent of the longtime college basketball season-opening tradition.

            “We try to get an eight-hour head start on everybody and try to get the most we can out of it,” Columbus coach Chris Merritt said. “It’s something the kids and their parents have fallen in love with over the years. It starts the season off the right way.”

            The traditional practice drew around 20 people the first year according to Merritt and has steadily increased over the years.

            A crowd of approximately 150 filled a few of the bleachers surrounding the field to look at the squad they hope can keep Columbus in the hunt for another deep playoff push. Merritt said the practice culminated a full day of team activities at the school, which included several guest speakers and a spiritual retreat.

Columbus is coming off back-to-back state semifinal appearances in Class 8A, but graduated several key players from last year’s 9-5 squad.

Senior linebacker Nick McBeath, an FIU commitment, and junior quarterback Tucker Beirne, who will enter his second season as the Explorers’ starter, are among the team’s top returners.

Beirne threw for over 1,800 yards as a sophomore and is ranked No. 21 among Miami-Dade County Class of 2015 prospects.

The Columbus backfield is looking for new leaders after the graduation of Daryl Chestnut and Lorenzo Woodley, who combined for 2,294 yards and 38 touchdowns. Senior Oshton Armstrong, who had over 500 yards and seven touchdowns last season, appears to be the frontrunner.

“We graduated 40 seniors so we need every hour for this team to be together,” Merritt said. “This [practice] means a lot to us.”

            Midnight practice could be a growing trend in South Florida as a few schools have discussed holding one next season. On Monday morning, Columbus wasn’t the only team working out.

In Broward County, Douglas High in Parkland was another school that held a 90-minute practice session that began at midnight.

            The Eagles, who are coming off a 3-7 season, are entering their first season under new coach Willis “Peanut” May. After spending the past eight seasons compiling a 59-30 record at Hurricane High in West Virginia, May brought the tradition of midnight practice to Douglas. May will try to help an Eagles squad compete in a tough District 11-8A that includes Coconut Creek Taravella, South Plantation and much-improved Deerfield Beach.

            Other South Florida teams were set to begin their practices either Monday morning or afternoon.

            Under the new Florida High School Athletic Association’s policies for fall practices, teams are only allowed one practice (three hours max) and a walk-through allowed for the first week, all of which are to be non-contact. For the first two days, teams can only practice in helmets and shorts before being allowed to wear shoulder pads the next three sessions.

            Full-contact practices are permitted from the sixth practice session onward and teams will be allowed to begin two-a-day sessions starting with their eighth practice session. Teams are not allowed to hold two-a-day sessions on consecutive practices, however, and cannot exceed 24 total practice hours in a week.

            Preseason classics begin the weekend of August 22-24.

The first regular season game involving a South Florida team will take place August 24th when defending Class 4A state champion Miami Booker T. Washington takes on Georgia powerhouse Norcross High at 7 p.m. in a matchup of nationally-ranked teams. The game is slated to be televised on ESPN.

August 04, 2013

Miami Herald Preseason: Broward Class of 2015 Top 25 football prospects

List compiled by Miami Herald recruiting analyst Larry Blustein:


1. Jordan Scarlett, RB, 6-0, 200, University School

2. Tyrek Cole, DB, 5-10, 175, Miramar

3. Shawn Burgess-Becker, DB, 6-2, 175, Monarch

4. Jason Strowbridge, DE, 6-4, 250, Deerfield Beach

5. Torrance Gibson, QB, 6-3, 195, Plantation American Heritage

6. Tavarus McFadden, DB, 6-2, 185, Plantation American Heritage

7. Alex Anderson, RB, 6-0, 200, Miramar

8. Leeward Brown, OL, 6-3, 300, Miramar

9. Calvin Ridley, WR, 6-1, 185, Monarch

10. Chris Hart, LB, 6-3, 200, St. Thomas Aquinas

11. Kendrell McFadden, S, 6-3, 185, McArthur

12. Rashard Causey, DB, 5-11, 180, University School

13. Deltron Sands, RB, 5-7, 175, St. Thomas Aquinas

14. Davante Peete, WR, 6-5, 190, St. Thomas Aquinas

15. Brandon Boyce, DL, 6-0, 240, University School

16. Christian Strachan, OL, 6-5, 315, Chaminade-Madonna

17. Jeffrey Hill, DB, 5-10, 165, Miramar

18. Tyson Ciserow, S, 6-1, 175, St. Thomas Aquinas

19. Taj McGowan, RB, 6-2, 185, Hallandale

20. Anthony Bennett, DE, 6-2, 215, Cypress Bay

21. Shamar Kilby, LB, 6-2, 190, Hallandale

22. Juwann Taylor, LB, 6-3, 200, Hollywood Hills

23. Rodrick Archer, S, 6-1, 200, South Plantation

24. John Antkiewicz, LB, 6-2, 210, St. Thomas Aquinas

25. Jawanza Evans-Morris, 5-9, 175, Taravella

Miami Herald Preseason: Miami-Dade Class of 2015 Top 25 football prospects

List compiled by Miami Herald recruiting analyst Larry Blustein:

2015 DADE TOP 25

1. Jaquan Johnson, Athlete, 5-10, 170, Miami Killian

2. Da'Vante Phillips, WR, 6-1, 190, Miami Central

3. Devonaire Clarington, TE, 6-5, 235, Miami Westminster Christian

4. Jovon Durante, WR, 6-1, 180, Miami Jackson

5. Timothy Irvin, Athlete, 5-9, 175, Miami Westminster Christian

6. Dominic Sheppard, LB, 6-2, 210, Gulliver Prep

7. Calvin Brewton, S, 6-0, 175, Miami Central

8. Gerald Robinson, DB, 5-10, 180, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic

9. Emilio Gibbs, LB, 6-3, 215, Coral Gables

10. Jordan Cronkite, RB/WR, 5-11, 180, Miami Westminster Christian

11. Keivonnis Davis, DE, 6-3, 225, Miami Jackson

12. Steven Claude, WR, 6-2, 185, Hialeah Champagnat

13. James King, LB, 6-2, 215, Miami Booker T. Washington

14. Terry Jefferson, LB, 5-10, 185, Miami Booker T. Washington

15. Robert Knowles, S, 6-1, 180, Miami Edison

16. Bruce Davis, LB, 6-0, 200, Miami Killian

17. Johnnie Hankins, RB, 5-10, 190, Homestead South Dade.

18. Davante Davis, WR, 6-3, 180, Homestead

19. Maurice Alexander, QB, 5-11, 170, Homestead

20. Deundre Pickett-White, Athlete, 6-1, 180, Southwest

21. Tucker Beirne, QB, 6-2, 233, Miami Christopher Columbus.

22. Brandon Silvestry, RB, 5-11, 185, Belen Jesuit

23. Anthony Olivencia, WR, 6-2, 170, Killian

24. Cedric Wiggins, QB, 6-0, 185, North Miami Beach

25. Vaquan Small, WR, 6-2, 175, Booker T. Washington