By Larry Blustein

larry block6 FALL SPOTLIGHT: North Miami Building Toward The Future

While North Miami’s 45-20 loss to Palmetto last Friday night was not something you want to happen, but that setback illustrates why the Pioneers are optimistic about the future.

Days after upending district favorite and major rival, North Miami Beach, first year head coach Pat Colon and his football team learned a lesson.

Even with Tuesday night’s convincing win over the Chargers that put this team in a good place in district play, that setback to the Panthers on Friday was a reality check for a program that has underachieved the past few years.

What this North Miami team can be in the near future is very competitive within the district. They compete for many of the players that district opponents have on their rosters, so this is always going to be a fight to get prospects.

What Colon and his program will do is teach and develop. Getting those high-end players that Norland, Central and Carol City have will come in time, but winning games and getting into the competitive post-season is what this all about.

They have to worry about Dr. Krop, NMB, Hialeah, American and Hialeah Gardens. Worrying about the Palmettos, Southridges and Miami Highs cannot stand in the way of this short-term objective.

As the loss to Palmetto showed the Pioneers what they need to work on, the victory over NMB gave this team bragging rights and reason to be optimistic in a crazy year that has produced just two wins in five games.

THE OFFENSE WILL CLICK

As offensive coordinator, veteran coach Antonio “Dayla” Brown spent the spring and summer, trying to find that right combination that will help the Pioneers move the ball and not put so much pressure on defense.

The Pioneers have gone with the two-quarterback system – with juniors Isaiah Velez and Karon Johnson splitting time. Johnson is such a talented athlete, the Pioneers have also used him at receiver.

Speaking of the receiver position, this is where this program really has some elite prospects. Ronald Fanfan, Alvin Johnson III, Andy Pierre, Richard Sam, Ebelson Rafael, Makenlove Petit-Phard, Justin Days, Kris Fowles and gifted youngster, Bitoven Lorquette is also very special.

The running game is solid, and will be used more this season. Athletes such as Quinto Mauricette, Rayjae Grant and gifted Derrick Jackson need to make a major impact this year and set the tone for the future.

With a number of linemen, either graduated or transferred out, this has been a season to put players in a position where they will help to maximize the talent. Among those prospects who have elevated their play include Darius Gaiter, Adler Mompremier, Pierre Arney, Brown Lalane, Demetrie Massey, Richie Volmar, Kobe Desir and Warren Hayling.

THE DEFENSE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS

As the offense looks to keep the pressure off this young defensive unit, things haven’t always worked out that way this year.

With line prospect Will Raoul, and ends such as Chamon Metayer, Laurent Pierre-Louis and Straus Laguerre, this is a strong unit.

The linebacking corps is also very talented with Rolph Michel, Barndon Sloan, Johnsen Augustin, Amari McCray, Zachary Smith, Don Ollson Jean and Michael McCray learning and making a huge impact.   

At the start of the year, Colon talked about the secondary being the place where the Pioneers would be much better.

Nicholas Days, Gary Britt, Chrisden Francois, Nick Louis, Joseph Narcisse, Marquise Medina, Eiljah Deravil, Jemel Horenstein, McGrew Fortune, Marco Lorquette, Marquis Braddock and Xzavien Jackson give this team plenty to choose from.

NMB PROSPECT SPOTLIGHT

2018 – Kahric Belle, OL

2018 – Frandy Deresias, RB

2018 – Jean Desir, OL

2019 – Joselio Felix, NG

2018 – Marvin Francois, OL

2018 – Erin Labissiere, WR

2018 – Daryl Lefever, DE

2021 – Kelly Loiseau, RB

2018 – Allen Metellus, CB

2018 – Wendell Morrison, QB

2018 – Rooldy Pierrelus, S

2019 – Leroy Wilson, WR

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 FALL SPOTLIGHT: North Miami Building Toward The Future

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