The one thing you learn about high school football in South Florida over the years is that one or two losses will never get in the way of that final objective.
When 4A power Booker T. Washington dropped a tough 19-17 decision to 6A Miami Central last Thursday night at “The Mecca” – Traz Powell Stadium, it was just one game between two of the best in the country – and even though the Tornadoes lost the contest, you can guarantee that they will be right back in the mix to get back to play for yet another state title.
What the Tornadoes represent is everything that is great about Miami-Dade County. Tremendous talent, supportive fans and perhaps the best coaching staff that you will find – with veteran Tim “Ice” Harris running the show.
This is a program that continues to teach, coach and develop players – and if you watch the young prospects on the roster – that is something that will not end anytime soon.
This is a smaller school with a smaller enrollment, but the athleticism that this program has on its roster is mind-boggling to say the least.
The Tornadoes are stacked with players and elite talent. No matter if it’s a senior, playing his final year – or a freshman, who has been in class less than two weeks, this is a team that has enough of what it takes to win their fifth state title in six years.
As Cocoa looms as a major obstacle once again this season, this is a BTW team that has one of the most complete quarterbacks in South Florida in junior Daniel Richardson. On pace to break just about every record in the area, Richardson has really made some major offseason strides to get stronger and quicker, and in the first three games of the season, he has turned heads and had everyone, even his own head coach, heaping mountains of praise on his young shoulders.
In addition to Richardson, the offense features playmakers such as senior receiver/running back Willie Davis, who has already shown that he has the chance to help add balance to the offense – while playing a number of positions.
The receiving corps is easily as good as you will get, led by seniors Tyquan Thornton and Zahir Turner, who make the plays that will keep this program right in the hunt.
In addition, freshman Jacorey Brooks has to be one of the best in the country right now. He is 6-3, 180 already! Classmates Natron Pruitt and Ja’Varis Phillips are also going to be very good.
Also, sophomores Jovan Ferguson, Ternard Summerall, Frederick Grice and Theodore Richardson III are very special. Juniors Winston Quinn, Jaylin Richardson, Corey Thornton, Fred Altidor, Yusuf Ali and Izaon Morris are going to be productive as well.
The Tornadoes figure to use Davis a lot to carry the ball, but there are also sophomores Rionne Jackson and Akeem Liverpool, senior Cyril Jones and freshman Darrell Bellinger.
In losing several players from the line to graduation and transfer, there were many questions that this program needed answers to – and while they haven’t lit up the scoreboard in the three games played, there are some very well coached athletes up front.
Seniors Rodney Monpremier (four year varsity performer) and Emilio Rodriguez will look to lend their experience and leadership this season. Junior Lutalo Muhammud, sophomores Jeremiah Jenkins and Bryan Velasquez, and freshman starter Henry Williams are learning and being well coached.
THE DEFENSE IS STILL RUNNING THE SHOW
There are very few programs in the state of Florida that have a solid defense every year – but this is a team that continues to produce elite football talent every year.
With senior linebacker Jaquan Beaver leading the way, this is a unit that will keep this team in every game this season.
The linebacker corps also includes senior Travis Pittman, junior Isaac Flores, sophomores Travaris Lark, Lafonso Ruffin, Randell Pittman and Jah’mal Brown. There are also freshmen Jason Newman, Keiyon Kelley and Terrance Lewis.
The secondary really took a hit with graduation, but Defensive Coordinator Nitron Stork and his coaches have plenty of talent to choose from.
Leading the way is senior Jermaine McMillan, considered to be one of the best around. He is not alone – fellow seniors Tavaris Phillips, Eric Jones, Terell Williams, Cedrick Walker and Quentyn Harvey are solid. So is junior Moishe Ferguson.
Sophomores Amaru Howard and Eddie Jackson, Jr., are promising. Freshmen Antwan Massie and Horacio Johnson showcase a bright future for the secondary as well.
MIAMI CENTRAL PROSPECT SPOTLIGHT
2019 – Tatum Bethune, LB
2018 – Dwayne Boyles, DE
2018 – Arthur Brathwaite, S
2018 – Zeryus Coleman, WR
2018 – James Cook, RB
2021 – Amari Daniels, RB
2019 – Willie Davis, RB
2018 – Malik Edwards, DL
2018 – Hunter Goetz, DB
2018 – Robert Hicks, LB
2018 – Chandler Jones, DB
2019 – Lexington “Flex” Joseph, RB
2018 – Tijuane Martin, QB
2018 – Starreak Moncrieffe, OL
2020 – Kim Owens, RB
2018 – Seth McGill, Athlete
2018 – Terrell Perriman, WR
2018 – Ki’Dron Moore-Shuler, WR
2018 – Maurice Smith, OL
2018 – Taurrean Stafford, OL
2018 – Jaylin Thelmas, OL
2018 – Kristallion Valentin, LB
2018 – Darnell Vickers, DB
2018 – Jeremiah Youngblood, DL
2018 – Davonte Wilson, DB
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