By Larry Blustein

larry block6 PLAYOFF SPOTLIGHT: Western Keeps Its Magic Season Alive

Adam Ratkevich has been around a number of programs in his coaching career, but when he came to Western High a few years back, this one time Miramar High standout felt right at home.

What Ratkevich is as a football coach is what Davie represents in its storied history. The rugged, never back down mentality has transferred itself right over to the football team – and with the help of youth programs and those quality prospects, things have finally started to turn around.

But like it has been – from the beginning of this school – the students who attend, have that certain suburb mentality mixed in with a little big city swag.

When the Wildcats upended Deerfield Beach in the opening round of the state playoffs, it was the first post season win in school history and sent them on to Palm Beach Central last Friday night.

As they have done in a few games this year, the Wildcats fell behind – and stayed behind 12-0 until late in the fourth quarter – and just when the home team felt they had an answer for everything, this program, which won 10 games for the first time ever, went on to rally for a 14-12 victory and a chance to win a region title on Friday at Delray Beach Atlantic (11-1).

WILDCATS TURNING HEADS

Leave no doubt that the roster this program put together over the past few years has added up. Several players stepped up to play a major role this season.

Check out these quality football players, headed to the third round of the state playoffs:

2018 – Jordan Chamber, LB. One of the players who really had a solid spring and summer and was extremely valuable for a defense that was among the best in South Florida. Very good tackler and someone who continues to work hard.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6132949/jordan-chambers

2018 – Keshaun Clarke, RB. A rushing champion a year ago, this gifted runner became a complete player this season, helping to add balance as someone who could also catch and block, showcasing all of his skills. Will be a huge asset at the next level.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/5313822/keshaun-clarke

2018 – Jaeden Fagan, WR. In his one season with the Wildcats, here is a football player who stepped up and was one of the difference makers on a team loaded with them. Will be very exciting at the next level as well.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9400754/jaeden-fagan

2019 – Julian Hernandez, OL. On a team loaded with seniors and prospects with loads of playing experience, here is indeed one of the top linemen for the future. A big and very agile lineman who has made the most of this experience in 2017.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6322441/julian-hernandez

2019 – Trevor Honse, LB. Coming over from Archbishop McCarthy before the year began, this has been a huge addition for this defense, which got stronger in every game. Quality football talent who is a real throwback player.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6084783/trevor-honse

2018 – Dylan Litsenberger, LB. One of the big surprises this year after sitting out last season with an injury. Talk about being one of the catalysts for a solid unit, he was in on just about every big play this season. Has the size, quickness and passion to play this game at the next level.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/4672197/dylan-litsinberger    

2018 – Rueben Oliver, SS. After coming over from South Plantation, this is another huge addition who stepped up in several games this year. Has the talent to play safety or even a linebacker position. Colleges can use this talent at a number of positions.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9134200/rueben-oliver

2018 – Robert Reubel, CB. Every team needs a player like this. Someone who leads by example and plays this game at a high level and with plenty of passion. Big time kid who steps it up every week.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6009683/robert-ruebel

2018 – Jordan Smith, WR. After spending last year at Plantation, his move to compete for the Wildcats worked out for everyone involved. The moment he started playing with this team, colleges started to watch and pay serious attention to this gifted talent who is only going to improve and get better. Very impressive future.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6133547/jordan-smith

2018 – Teshaun Smith, CB. After watching him perform at Westminster Academy, you knew that this was going to be something special – and this year – against bigger and better competition, he has proven that he does belong, and he has shown it all season. This is a real talent who will be an amazing player at the next level.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6133547/jordan-smith

2018 – Harrison Story, QB. From the time he was on the junior varsity team to this year – leading the Wildcats to their best record in school history – his career has certainly been one of the most productive the Wildcats have produced. Tremendous athlete who started out as a baseball standout, but has been all about football as schools still watch and appreciate.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/6164842/harrison-story

CHECKOUT THESE CONTRIBUTORS

2018 – Olivier Ambroise, DT

2018 – Kervenson Bissainthe III, DE

2018 – Daniel Colon, RB

2019 – Austin Cordero, DE

2018 – Charlie Dale, TE

2019 – Cameron DeCasseres, CB

2018 – Markus Decius, WR

2018 – Stefan Fernand, Slot

2018 – Ayden Galindo, WR

2019 – Patrick Grillo, OL

2018 – Frank Heran, FS

2019 – Jake Kalinowski, WR

2018 – Jared Kaufman, LB

2018 – Jakai Linwood, DT

2018 – Matthew Loy, DE

2018 – Christian Maffett, OC

2019 – Marcel Martinez, OG

2019 – Armanti Mathis, WR

2020 – Danny Panchookian, PK

2019 – John Panchookian, DE

2018 – Andy Rodriguez, WR

2018 – Ethan Rodriguez, OT

2020 – Erik Rosanski, DE

2018 – Jason Rotger, S

2018 – Willy Rubio, OG

2018 – Dannie Sanders, WR/DB

2018 – Christian Santos, DT

2019 – Justin Tomlinson, DE

2019 – Myles Wilson, CB

Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show this Monday night (8-10) 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 PLAYOFF SPOTLIGHT: Western Keeps Its Magic Season Alive

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