ON THE RISE: Miami Norland Vikings

larry block6 ON THE RISE: Miami Norland VikingsSFHSSports: Twitter | Facebook

Daryle Heidelburg has been coaching in South Florida for well over two decades – and during that time, he has watched some quality athletes.

As the veteran Norland head football coach gets ready for the 2017 season, many of those elite prospects happen to be on his roster – and that’s what makes this coming year very exciting.

As a part of the most prospect rich football district in the country, Heidelburg has found a way to compete by adding some impressive pieces over the years.

While Northwestern comes in as a favorite – with defending 6A state champion Carol City, Central and Hialeah-Miami Lakes all battling, this Viking team had added enough pieces to make a solid impact this coming year.

With a competitive spring that has been followed up this summer with the addition of more athletes, this is a program that has to be mentioned with the powers in this district as a legitimate contender.

“We have been adding players the past couple of years, trying to recapture that championship feeling around here once again,” Heidelburg pointed out. “The players and coaches have dedicated themselves to putting this program back in the spotlight.”

What the Vikings have done is add competition to all positions – and the results have been extremely positive.

On offense, senior quarterback Alec Carr returns to pick-up where he left off when the 2016 season ended. He is joined by Class of 2019 transfer Deon Jones.

The running game will be solid with the addition of senior Craig Cooper from McArthur. Norland also boasts senior Terence Evans and junior Michael Harris.

The receiving corps starts with seniors Jaquan Denson, Jamarie Harrison, Blake Veargis and versatile Kevon O’Connor. It also includes 2018 standouts Shemar Carter, Mark Edwards and Donnell Wells, and promising Class of 2020 prospects Anthony Johnson, Isaiah Lewis and Charles Roberts.

The difference this year is the talent and size up front. Lineman such as seniors Gio Ambrose (G), Artic Harris (G) and Marc Starkey (C).

There are also Class of 2019 big men such as heavily-recruited Wardrick Wilson (T), Joshua Blanchard (T) and Shawn Cassy (G).

The future also looks very promising with Class of 2020 prospects Marlon Johnson (OG), Kacey Prospere (G), Brian Ridore (T), Marvin Villarson (C) and Isaiah Walker (T).

With veteran coordinator Jacquay Nunnally calling the plays, the Vikings will certainly has a unit that will score some points this season.

The mark of every Norland team – no matter what year it happens to be – is on the defensive side of the ball.

As veteran coach Luther Campbell continue to coordinate this unit, expect many of these quality athletes to make a solid impact.

Leading the way for the 2017 season will be a secondary that is once again loaded and very talented.

Among the seniors include talented Erick Smith (S), Christopher Hall (CB), Mervin Jean (CB), Jalen Jinks (S), Rashod Matthews (FS), Chris Smith (SS), Dave Sylvester (S) and Darrick Vickers (CB).

Class of 2019 secondary performers feature Patrick Bonner (FS), Javas Jackson (SS), Trayon Russell (CB) and Hialeah-Miami Lakes transfer Norman Pickens (S). Class of 2020 standouts Joshua Ancrum (CB), Dorain Anderson (CB) and Ja’Quay Janvier (CB) will help as well.

 This group of linebackers may be as good as you will find. Seniors Wayne Barr (OLB), D’Angelo Dormelus (OLB) and Khalil Jordan (OLB) are talented. But so are Class of 2019 standouts Larry “L.J.” Smith (OLB), Darius Williams (MLB) and Will Bradford (OLB). There is also Class of 2020 standout Ian McFarlane (MLB).

Up front, Class of 2018 lineman Matthew Eddins (DE), Reginald Lee, Jr. (DT), Tachaz Rolle (DT) and Jermero Toote (DE).

There is also 2019 performers Jonathan Carter (DT), Denzell Daxon (DT), Andre Mayo (DE) and Terrance Tate (DE).

The future on the defensive line is also bright – with 2020 prospects Ali Adam (DT), Samuel Anaele (DE), Earnest Johnson (DE) and Monticello Rivers (DT).

Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!

south florida high school sports ON THE RISE: Miami Norland Vikings

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