There are very few public high schools in South Florida that can boast the offensive linemen that Parkland Douglas has turned out over the past five years.
What head coach Willis May and his staff have been able to do is make this program relevant because of what happens up front. The Eagles have produced some high level line talent – and once again showed why they were indeed the talk of last Saturday’s University of Central Florida Line Camp in Orlando.
Joining hundreds of other linemen from throughout Florida, Douglas “big men” were impressive as coaches from UCF and Liberty University saw firsthand.
While many South Florida line prospects used this past weekend as a time to get away from the sport for a week, there were seven young linemen who made their way up to Orlando and to experience what a night away from home was like – and of course high level competition with great coaching.
“These young men came up here and did what the Douglas linemen have done for many years,” Defensive Coordinator Quentin Short explained. “They are used to high level competition and going against aggressive defenses and offenses in South Florida, so they knew exactly what things would be like.”
Offensive linemen Patrick Scullen (2019), Zack Stark (2019), Charlie Rothkopf (2019), Marek Malinowski (2019) and Gage Gaynor (2020), as well as defensive linemen Anthony Erale (2019) and Miles Dickens (2019) had the opportunity to learn plenty and to meet with Coach Frost.
“This was a great opportunity for us,” said Dickens. “We went up against some top linemen all day.”
Competing on a dirt field with plenty of sunshine and heat beaming down on them, the line prospects were singled out by Frost in his post camp talk. He commended the players for working hard on a field that “his players don’t even work on.”
Rothkopf comes back with two years of experience and will be the leader. Scullen, at 6-3, 319, is one of the next prospects on the line. Dickens has a solid future – and as he continues to learn more about the game, he is going to be one to keep an eye on.
Gaynor, the cousin of University of Miami recruit, Corey Gaynor, has the chance to be special – although he knows that he needs to continue working. He has already grown over the past few months.
TAMPA PLANT WINS 5TH TITLE
While the linemen were showcasing their talents, the skilled athletes were on hand for the annual UCF 7-on-7 tournament, and when the day was finished, there was plenty of talent on hand.
For the first time in the history of the event, no South Florida teams came north for the first of two 7-on-7 events that will be held on campus. The weather played a part.
Coach Frost also was impressed at the way the teams competed all day long – and told runner up Daytona Beach Mainland and champion Tampa Plant in a post event trophy celebration.
For Plant, a usual player in the 8A state football race, the talent is very much in place. Coach Robert Weiner and his Panthers won the UCF event for the 5th time. In the past he had Aaron Murray and Robert Marve, who is on the coaching staff.
For Mainland, losers to Miami Carol City in the 6A playoffs last season, the talent is still in place – and will be among the best in the state again.
- • The loss was the first in 37 games for the Buccaneers.
- • In addition to these quality football teams, there were others such as University of Miami commitment Lorenzo Lingard and his Orange City University Titans. Every game that this gifted running back played, all eyes were on his every move. Made some impressive plays.
- • Former University of Miami player and coach Hurlie Brown is the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Merritt Island.
- • Speaking of University of Miami players, Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was also around showing the linemen what to do.
- • UCF also had coaches from Liberty University and head coach Turner Gil, run the event. Gil, considered one of the best quarterback in Nebraska history, was Frost’s coach at Nebraska.
Others schools on hand included: Academy at the Lakes, Armwood, Orlando Bishop Moore, Valrico Bloomingdale, Orlando Dr. Phillips, Orlando Edgewater, Eustis, Flagler Palm Coast, Winter Garden Foundation Academy, Orlando Freedom, Monticello Jefferson County, Winter Park, Lake Howell, Longwood Lyman, Merritt Island, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Ocoee, Oviedo, Palm Bay, Daytona Beach Seabreeze, Sanford Seminole, Groveland South Lake, Port Orange Spruce Creek, St. Cloud, Apopka Wekiva, Winter Garden West Orange and Winter Park, who also made the Final 4.