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BY J.T. WILCOX | Senior WriterREAD MORE: Report: 25 AR-15 Rifles Missing From Miami Police Department's Inventory
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You guys should be high school football experts by now.
As the third week of the high school football season waits to kick off, the football lover’s trifecta is complete since the college game strapped it up for the first time this past weekend and the pros start this weekend.
What everyone should have realized at this point is that high school football is a big deal here.
Our teams have played in nationally televised games, we have multiple teams in national polls and you can go to any game and see a future college football – maybe even professional football player.
Whether you’re still taking your high school gridiron action in small doses or you dove head first into it, be sure to check out South Florida High School Sports (www.SFHS.CBSLocal.com) for highlights, pictures and analysis from the all the action each week.
Dade County Special
Norland Vikings vs. South Dade Buccaneers
Friday at Homestead Harris Field, 7:30pm
This has the makings of being the best game of the week – in either county.
Both teams come into week three undefeated, although South Dade has only played one full game because it’s week two showdown with Coral Gables, which the Buccaneers led 7-0 was called in the first quarter because of lightning.
Player for player, Norland is one of the more talented teams in Miami-Dade County.
University of Miami all-time leading rusher yard leader and Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson would be proud of his alma mater.
Norland’s linebackers are one of the best groups you’d find statewide; Emmett Rice is a Florida State commit, Vosean Joseph has a standing pledge to the University of Florida and Kion Holder is a Kent State commit.
Those three – Norland’s defense as a whole – is a physical group, just what Vikings defensive coordinator (and new author) Luther “Luke” Campbell wants to see. Campbell is a more than legit coach, cutting his teeth on the youth football level to now commanding one of the top high school defenses in the state.
South Dade, a team that won the Class 8A state championship in 2013, has one of the best offensive lines in South Florida and a dynamic tandem of running backs in Ivan Smith and Jawon Hamilton.
It should be a battle of wills – Norland’s stingy defense against South Dade’s power running game.READ MORE: Broward Transit Resumes Collecting Bus Fares On June 1st
Broward County Special
Chaminade-Madonna Lions vs. Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs
Friday at Cardinal Gibbons HS, 7pm
Here’s a good game in the making in Broward County.
Chaminade-Madonna, the school that produced former University of Miami linebacker Jon Beason, is now led by first-year head coach Jason Milgrom. “Moose” Milgrom, a St. Thomas Aquinas alumni and former assistant coach, has injected the Lions’ program with a renewed energy and has Chaminade trending upward.
The Lions have a roster full of talented youngsters – receiver Tecory Couch is a potential star – but they count on senior quarterback Kole Stealy to lead the way.
Cardinal Gibbons is coached by veteran Mike Morrill and the Chiefs have a talented roster with some notable legacy players.
Running back Deon McIntosh, the younger brother of current University of Miami defensive lineman Richard “RJ” McIntosh, is arguably one of South Florida’s best ball carriers and defensive back Daniel Wright – the brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Major Wright – appears to be headed down the same path as his pro bro.
Did You Know
Right here in South Florida we have some schools that compete in independent leagues.
Many of these smaller programs in Miami-Dade and Broward County have elected to join these independently sanctioned leagues – playing in their own playoffs and even championship game.
Scheck Hillel Day School, Miami Community Charter and Palmer Trinity compete in the Florida Independent Football Conference. Archbishop McCarthy, Key West and North Broward Prep are members of the Gold Coast Football Conference.
But the independent conference with the most cache is probably the Southeastern Football Conference.
Consisting of 16 teams from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties, the SFC – and the other independent conferences – allows its teams to play against programs with similar circumstances; non-football power schools with lower enrollment, which levels the playing field.
Dade’s Ransom Everglades, Archbishop Curley, Immaculata-LaSalle, Florida Christian and Miami Country Day participate while Broward’s members include Pine Crest, Coral Springs Charter, Calvary Christian, Westminster Academy and Pompano Beach High.
The Southeastern Football Conference is in its fourth season of existence, having a crowned a different in each of the past three years – Palm Beach The Benjamin School (2012), John Carroll Catholic (2013, no longer a member) and Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian (2014).
Calvary Christian, which is led by former Florida Atlantic University assistant coach Kirk Hoza, has become one of the conference’s marquee teams because of its head coach and the fact that it has multiple players that currently have division-I football scholarship offers.
Just because the schools are smaller doesn’t mean that the football talent is.MORE NEWS: ‘Just Really Shaken Up’: CBS4 Crew Attacked On South Beach While Working Story About Efforts To Cut Down On Violence There
For more information and coverage of high school sports in South Florida, visit www.SFHighSchoolSports.com