Miami Gardens – For the past five years, the Miami Dolphins have made the first Saturday in August one to remember for local high school football teams.
The Dolphins High School Media Day started with a need to get all the teams – from Jupiter to Homestead – exposure and have all the media members, coaches and a few players attend this first class event.
With over 100 schools on hand as the event was moved back to Hard Rock Stadium, Saturday was indeed a day that every player and their coach will remember for a long time.
What the Dolphins did five years ago was start something that very few had success in doing. But since this began, nearly every area in Florida has started to do the same thing.
From Jacksonville to Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, Ocala-Gainesville and Tallahassee, everyone now hosts these college-like media gatherings and they are a huge hit – for everyone involved.
With Jason Jenkins, Twan Russell, Troy Drayton and a staff of hundreds leading the way, Media Day once again set standards – as defending state champions Miami Southridge (8A), St. Thomas (7A), Miami Carol City (6A) and 5A state champs Plantation American Heritage all came through – with prospect after prospect.
“It’s such an honor to be at an event like this, and I would like to thank the Dolphins for this first class media day,” St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Roger Harriott explained. “It is hard to figure how they get over 100 schools through and do it in a professional manner.”
Programs that everyone talks about were part of this day. From Palm Beach County, Jack Daniels brought his Dwyer team down. Palm Beach Gardens, Oxbridge, Pahokee and Glades Central were there.
“You have a chance to be a part of a local NFL teams’ event, you do it without question,” Glades Central head coach Jesse Hester said. “It is an experience that all of us will always remember.”
For local powers such as Miami Northwestern, Booker T. Washington, Champagnat Catholic, Chaminade-Madonna and Miami Central, it was about showcasing prospects. Athletes who had the opportunity to come and be a part of interviews – video and audio – and get their name out there for all to check out.
What these media and fan websites did was talk about the upcoming season and find out information about each player that could go a long way in determining which schools start following them.
“When we began this five years ago, it was with giving our local athletes exposure,” said Russell. “It is something nobody does on this scale, and with the talent we have in South Florida, it is something that works.”
In addition to those schools mentioned, many others flocked to Hard Rock Stadium as well.
From Miami Miami-Dade County, North Miami Beach, Ferguson, Mourning, Barbara Coleman, Ronald Reagan, North Miami, Palmetto, Varela, Palm Glades, Miami Jackson, Dr. Krop, Columbus, Killian, Pine Crest Prep, Miami Springs, Norland, Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Westland Hialeah, American, Homestead, Miami Edison, Florida Christian, Monsignor Pace, Miami Sunset, Miami Belen Jesuit, Coral Reef, Miami Community Charter, Braddock, Mater Academy, Miami High, Ransom Everglades and Coral Gables.
Broward Schools Archbishop McCarthy, Hollywood Hills, Pembroke Pines Charter, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Cardinal Gibbons, Cooper City, Monarch, South Plantation, Taravella, Everglades, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach were there. So were Northeast, Nova, Western, Coral Glades, Boyd Anderson, Dillard, Hallandale, NSU University School, North Broward Prep, Pine Crest, West Broward, Douglas, Cypress Bay, Stranahan, Coral Springs Charter, Somerset Academy, Piper, Plantation, Miramar, Deerfield, Flanagan, South Broward, Westminster Academy and Blanche Ely.
Even Palm Beach continues to jump into this event that the Dolphins continue to put together. Programs such as Spanish River, Olympic Heights, Palm Beach Gardens, West Boca, Jupiter Christian, Wellington, Delray Atlantic, Forest Hill, Saint Andrews, Boynton Beach, Park Vista, Cardinal Newman, Boca Christian and Palm Beach Lakes.
“We’re honored to host football teams from the tri-county area for our fifth annual high school media day at Hard Rock Stadium,” said Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins. “Media day is an excellent opportunity for teams to showcase their talented coaches and student-athletes and preview what should be another exciting season of South Florida high school football.”
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Photo Credit: Miami Dolphins