MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A major showdown is expected between Miami’s Booker T. Washington and Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday night.
Two of the premier high school football programs in South Florida are taking on each other in a nationally televised (ESPN) game.
Booker T. Washington is a three-time defending Class 4A state champion, riding a Miami-Dade County record 41-game winning streak into the 2015 season.
The program, which produced University of Miami players RB Mark Walton, DL Chad Thomas and LB Demetrius Jackson, is now under the direction of Earl Tillman, who took over once Tim Harris Jr. became an assistant on Florida International University’s coaching staff.
St. Thomas Aquinas has a new coach too.
Roger Harriott now leads the Raiders after Rocco Casullo, who led Aquinas to two state titles during his tenure, resigned. Harriott came in with much fanfare though; as he’s an Aquinas alum, has a state championship on his resume (2012, Davie University School) and has twice served on college coaching staffs – Syracuse and Florida Atlantic University.
Both teams are loaded with talent.
St. Thomas has a pair of national recruits in defensive end Nick Bosa, the brother of Ohio State All-American defensive lineman Joey Bosa, and wide receiver Sam Bruce – an University of Miami commit that is also the nephew of former NFL receiver Isaac Bruce.
Also, former NFL cornerback Asante Samuel, NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem all have sons on the Raiders roster. Samuel Jr. followed in his dad’s footsteps and is a defensive back, Irvin Jr. is a tight end and Kedonis Haslem plays on St. Thomas’ offensive line.
Booker T. Washington is led by a young core. Sophomore linebacker Jaquan Beaver is already garnering attention from all of the nation’s major programs and junior defensive back Dedrick Mackey is a top-50 player in South Florida.