For any program that wins a state title and looks to defend that championship, things are never easy.
For the defending 6A state champion Carol City Chiefs, this has been a different season – to say the least.
When Carol City alumnus and head coach Aubrey Hill got a job at FIU after the Chiefs won the 6A crown last December, the search was on for someone who not only was good with football, but had to embrace Chief Nation, which has supported this program from the beginning.
At stops during his young coaching career at Booker T. Washington, Miami Edison and Hallandale, Benedict Hyppolite learned what it took to achieve success.
His time spent with the legendary Tim “Ice” Harris was indeed what has made this young coach someone who is on a fast rise to the top. It was also the reason he was hired to continue leading a proud program that has maintained its rich tradition through the years.
Last Saturday night, Hyppolite had the chance to faceoff against the Tornadoes and Coach Harris, who has developed such a successful coaching tree and has his share of athletes move on to the next level – and beyond.
The game at the “Mecca” – Traz Powell Stadium was not the message on this night. What was learned is how two very impressive football programs got together to showcase how much talent and tremendous coaching we have in South Florida.
Win or lose, what the #305 and #954 continue to filter to colleges and the NFL is amazing.
In less than 24 hours, Traz Powell Stadium had hosted four of the most impressive and prospect-rich teams you will find anywhere.
As the Tornadoes lost to Carol City – the night before watched Northwestern win a district title over the Central Rockets.
THE CHIEFS ARE VERY TALENTED
Like many area programs, defense is still king when it comes to South Florida elite teams – and the Chiefs are as good as you will find.
Up front, Louisville-bound Yasir Abdullah is a big time playmaker, who is a tremendous student as well. There are also seniors such as Aaron Morgan, and way under the radar playmaker Sherron Chester, who have been solid in 2017.
Juniors Malcolm Ray, Juwan James and Victor Covington are as good as you get – and they are all getting plenty of recognition.
The Chiefs lost heavily at the linebacker position before the start of 2017, but with senior Kewan Parker leading the way, this is a very impressive group – that also includes standouts Nick Reed, Tyrik Robinson, Daequan Nelson and Tyquan Howard.
Juniors Robert Garcia and Travis Trimmings are solid as well.
In a region that boasts some of the best secondaries in the country, this one has been as good as you get – with players in each class making a huge impact.
Seniors such as three-year starter Randy Russell, Irshaad Davis, Gregory Grate, Mark Carter, Jr., Jawon Johnkins and Shoney Washington have led the way.
There is also talented junior Nicholas Gifford, and sophomores Marcel Williams, Andre Bent, Darius Stokes and Ronald Delancy. Freshman Chester Fearon will also be in the mix in the years to come.
THE OFFENSE IS IMPROVING
Despite not having junior standout running back Nay’Quan Wright in the lineup, the Chiefs are still moving the ball, but need to be more consistent against the better teams.
University of Miami-bound running back Camron Davis leads a group that also includes juniors Craig Akinson and Elisha Barnwell.
Senior quarterbacks Marlon Smith and versatile Legend Moore are effective and very talented. There are also sophomores Kemani Brown and Elijah Goree.
Receivers are also among the most improved. Seniors Phenol Williams, Treyunn Lane and Brent Plummer have shown that they are all hungry for playing time.
There are also juniors Volaskis Walkins, Darius Colbert and Michael Bucknor, and sophomores DeAndre Stafford, Ngozi Charles, Thaiu Jones-Bell and Earl Pope who are special.
The Chiefs have worked hard over the past few years to produce linemen. Seniors Montrell Newton, Jr., Donell Woods and Johnny Wilson have come up huge so far this season.
There are also quality underclassmen such as juniors Triston Parks and Danickson Joseph, and gifted sophomore Luscious Israel.
Sophomore kicker Javez Johnson is going to be a force in the future as well.
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!