When it comes to Dillard High School, student/athletes learn quickly that when you attend this storied institution, it is a community experience like very few.
Whether it’s athletics, the arts or taking education to the next level, this Fort Lauderdale-based school has always served as a pillar of tradition, and thousands and thousands have walked the talent-filled halls for decades.
A true community school, the athletic fan base is as close the homes across the street. This is a school where success is easily recognized – and failure – not accepted.
Through the years, Dillard’s football program has always had athletes, but over the past 10-15 years, things have changed, and while these athletes still live in the community, many are opting to attend other schools. That is not sitting well with the alumni.
When the Panthers beat longtime rival Blanche Ely last Saturday night in the annual Soul Bowl, 31-16, in Pompano Beach, they finished the regular season at 6-4, undefeated as district champions. They also secured a surprising No. 3 seed.
While the first round assignment this Friday night (7:30) will feature defending state champion Miami Carol City, first year head coach Rick Hemmingway believes that this is a program that can truly make things happen into the future.
“I think what may be missing, and we are trying to get that back, is the respect and understanding how lucky these young men are to walk in the same footsteps as so many before them here at Dillard,” Hemmingway explained. “The standards set here in the past, from coaches and players, has provided us with so much tradition to follow.”
As much as the Panthers would love to look toward the future, they have to believe that the success this season has come from a senior class who fought and scraped to keep things going the past two seasons.
Standouts such as two-way (WR/CB) University of Kentucky commitment Stanley Garner. This impressive athlete is also a tremendous basketball player as well.
There is also Bryce Oliver, a gifted receiver who has been among the best around for two seasons, receiving heavy interest from Louisville and Kentucky.
But this has also been about a team that has come together and batted for a winning record and a chance to play into the post-season.
Other senior offensive standout include talented three-year quarterback performer Moise Francois, running backs Keyondre White and Clifford Wright, and receivers Jaylan Blackmon, Joshua Freeman, Donald Wesley, Jabron Hanna and T’Darius Gibson.
There are also quality linemen such as Andrew Blackshear, Kashawn Wilson and Devin Jordan.
On defense, there are secondary standouts John Clayton, Christopher Johnson and Terrell Williams; linebackers Stanley Lindsey, Richard Major, Derek McKinney, Lee Williams and Timothy Jackson.
There are also linemen Reginald Grant and Malcolm McFadden.
UNDERCLASSMEN WILL HOLD THE KEY
If Dillard is going to be a yearly participant in the state playoffs, the younger prospects need to keep it going.
Class of 2019 offensive standouts such as receivers Jacari Robinson Angel Andino, Davon McCoy and Avontae Mobley, quarterback Keon Gooding, running backs Demarkus Everett and Sky Louis, linemen Malik McNeil, Kevon Hall, Keion Gregory, Aamire Henderson, Eddie Eugene and Robert Boyd.
Defensively, nationally rated lineman Braylen Ingrahm has been injured, but there are others who have stepped up as well.
There are also linebackers Dave Clarke, Jacquan Marlow, Devon Corker, Tavaris Daniel, Xzavier Cintron, Jordan Cox-Alexander, Reginal Mozart and Jacquez Chance, secondary standouts Carl Mosley, William Hoston, Omari Hill, Darrion Harris and Jason Hardwick.
In addition, linemen Shanoyd Whyte, Javon Johnson, Jarod Jackson and Rodner Exumn are promising as well.
The sophomore class (2020) has also opened some eyes as well with receiver Elijah Black, defensive back Favion Harden and defensive lineman Christopher Henson.
There are also a pair of freshmen offensive linemen – D’Andre Campbell and Bryan McDonald who are already impressive.
BLANCHE ELY TIGER PROSPECT WATCH
2018 – Jamal Bartee, LB
2018 – Jamari Brown, DB
2018 – Carlton Cleophat, LB
2018 – Deon Crowder, DB
2019 – Tyrese Crump, DL
2019 – Corey Davis, OL
2019 – DeShawn Davis, WR
2018 – Isaac Doceur, DB
2018 – Craig Fields, DL/OL
2018 – Markel Grant, RB
2019 – Jarret Hamilton, S
2018 – James Harris, DB
2020 – Woody Jean, OL
2020 – Carlson Joseph, RB
2018 – Chris Lafleur, OL
2018 – Richie Laurent, RB
2018 – Desmond Pete, DL
2019 – Grantis Poole
2018 – Darryl Powell, WR
2018 – Nick Prophete, DB
2018 – Marquise Simon, OL
2019 – James Wallace, Athlete
2018 – Jordan Williams, LB
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!