FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, three teams from Miami-Dade County fought their way up to Orlando to play in a state championship game.
Two came home with crowns: nationally
ranked Central and Booker T. Washington.
Both will be ranked and favored to win state
titles again this season.
Could either the Rockets or Tornadoes win
their first national title, too? It’s possible.
Just like they did a year ago, Central and
Booker T. will be going on the road to play in
some big games with national interest.
The Rockets have signed to play at 14-time
New Jersey state champion Don Bosco Prep
on Sept. 21 and against reigning Florida
Class 3A champion University School.
The Tornadoes have two huge road games
– at Georgia’s defending Class 6A cham-
pion Norcross on Aug. 24 and at 11-time state
champion Las Vegas Bishop Gorman on Oct. 4.
Booker T. and Central also play each other
again on Sept. 6. The Rockets rallied to win
last year’s meeting 37-26.
JACKSON EYES TITLE
The second oldest high school in Dade,
Jackson High has produced some of the
greatest athletes to come out of the county:
baseball star Rafael Palmeiro, No. 1 NBA
overall pick Mychael Thompson and ESPN
college football analyst Lee Corso.
But the Generals have never won a state
title on the gridiron. They’ve never even
reached the big game, instead watching
neighborhood rivals like Northwestern, Central and Booker T. all claim titles over the
last two decades. The wait for a title on 36th
street may finally come to an end this year.
Class 5A state semifinal team, led by quarterback Quinton Flowers and linebacker Bennie Powell, has added big-time
transfers in receiver Jovon Durante and
offensive tackle Ben Tirolia.
“We got a lot going on 36th Street
now,” coach Antonio “De La” Brown
said. “As a team we are more mature.
The great individual guys who carried us
are now battle tested. This could be a
CLASS 8A UNREST
Since the state expanded to eight
classes two years ago, Dade has yet to
even reach the large-school title game.
Columbus has twice emerged from
Region 4 only to lose in the state semifinal
game to Broward’s Miramar and Cypress Bay.
Is there a team in Dade capable of winning
the state’s largest classification?
South Dade, Killian, Coral Reef, South-
ridge, Coral Gables, Belen, Hialeah, North
Miami Beach and Columbus could all make
arguments – and lots of noise – this sea-
son. But it’s anyone’s guess at this point
who will emerge.
CATCH ’EM IF YOU CAN
If you haven’t caught on yet, receiver is a
loaded position in Dade this season.
Homestead’s Ermon Lane, North Miami
Beach’s Steve Ishmael, Coral Reef’s Jacob
McCrary, Northwestern’s JoJo Robinson
and South Dade’s Tyre Brady and C.J.
Worton are among the nationally-ranked
seniors at the position.
The junior class is just as exciting with
Jackson’s Jovon Durante, Central’s Dovon-
tae Phillips and Southwest’s DeUndra
b d i
Dalvin Cook, Central
QB Treon Harris
Booker T. Washington
RB Joseph Yearby
RB Dalvin Cook
WR Ermon Lane
WR Steve Ishmael
North Miami Beach
WR Jovon Durante Jackson
OL Trevor Darling
OL A’Lique Terry
OL Raul Diaz
OL Michael Smith Central
OL Ben Tirolia
UT Quinton Flowers Jackson
DL Chad Thomas
Booker T. Washington
DL Michael Smith Northwestern
DL Joe Suarez
LB Anthony Wint
LB Bennie Powell Jackson
LB Dominic Sheppard Gulliver
DB Nigel Patten
Booker T. Washington
DB Deatrick Nichols Central
DB Jaquan Johnson Killian
DB Antwan Cordy
UT Tim Irvin
UT JoJo Robinson Northwestern
TOP 5 TEAMS
1BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: The one thing Tim “Ice” Harris didn’t get to do the
first time he won it all was defend a state title.
He’s got the opportunity and team to do it now.
2CEN TRAL: Even with a new coach and a bunch of defensive starters gone, don’t
count on Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook
letting the Rockets down.
3JACKSON: They made it to the 5A state semis with a team full of sophomores and
juniors in 2012. They’re even more loaded now.
4NORTHWESTERN: Sack master Michael Smith will lead another stellar
Luther Campbell coached defense. But can
they stop Central?
5NORLAND: T wo years removed from their last state title, the Vikings have
moved into the district of death.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA 2013