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For the past two years, you could see the difference in Western High’s football program under veteran head coach Adam Ratkevich.

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Last Saturday, competing in the Elite 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenge at McArthur High, the Wildcats put everything together and made all that hard work in the offseason pay off when they wrestled the team title away from defending champion Miami Springs.

The victory, while it will never guarantee winning a district title in the fall, showed the players on this team that what you put into this game will certainly surface, and it did in this event.

“We have taken part in so many things to get better over the past two seasons,” Ratkevich said. “From taking linemen to California, to making sure that all of our players have the opportunity to get better and learn.”

In winning the event on Saturday, beating another quality program, Archbishop McCarthy, the Wildcats picked up the Offense MVP with outstanding junior quarterback Harrison Story picking up the honors.

Story, who is also a tremendous baseball player, is one of the emerging prospects in South Florida. To this point, very few analysts and recruiting services have recognized him, but that is all going to change.

Also, junior Robert Ruebel (S/LB), another of the much-improved players on this team, picked up the defensive MVP.

“The difference in this program this year at this time is that all of our young men have bought into what we are doing,” Ratkevich pointed out. “Picking up a win in such a great event, loaded with quality competition, is such a plus for the players and coaches.”

In addition to Story and Reubel, this is a team with players who are turning heads. Athletes such as 2017 prospects such as Dylan Merino (Slot/RB), Ki-jana Whyte (WR), Hunter Stephens (DB) and Darius Maxwell (Slot); 2018 athlete Keshaun Clarke (RB/Slot) to name a few.

As Western flew toward the team title, there were other talented prospects who showed to make a statement as well.

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Check out the teams:

Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks: With a perfect season behind them, veteran head coach Byron Walker now looks toward 2016, and after Saturday’s second place finish, everything looks very good. Among the players making this program go include 2017 prospects Kevin Geulce (DB/WR), linebacker Daniel Cerda and Zach Messer (DE/TE). There are also 2018 players who will make an impression as well. Prospects such as standout defensive back/receiver Logan Giordano, Andrew Hallman (S), and quarterback Quinn Dempsey. The Class of 2019 is also going to be fun to watch with Derek Burns (LB/TE) leading the way.

Cooper City Cowboys: There are very few coaches who work harder for their kids that Brandon Walker. His development of players such as seniors Tyler Brown (RB/LB), Max Quinones (RB/LB), Christian Cuenca (WR/DB) and Justin Croye (WR/DB).

Coral Glades Jaguars: Christian Baldwin’s team has been on fire this offseason – with positive performances at every stop. Last Saturday, senior prospects such as defensive end Juan Rivera and linebacker Keyone Henry; juniors Alfonso Dixon (SS/WR), receiver Samuel Oshodi, quarterback Cameron Brooks and defensive back Shawn Valcin were among the player grabbing the attention.

Miami Springs Golden Hawks: Last year when they won this event, veteran head coach Darryel Bethune came in as a big surprise. This season, everyone was watching the only team that made it from Miami-Dade County. Among the football players stepping up so far have been 2017 receiver Deon Asbury and athlete Michael Mobley, athlete Andre Pacheco; and 2018 standouts Angel Maldonado (defensive back) and linebacker Keyvon Randolph.

Piper Bengals: Since taking over the program before the 2015 season, head coach David Coleman knew that if all his players bought into what he and his coaching staff were doing, this would be a fun ride. Getting it done this summer so far include 2017 prospects Kaory Simmons (DB) and Raevon Clarke (WR); 2018 standouts Josh Riles (DB) and Jaycob Williams (WR/DB). There are also 2019 players Fabian Allen (DE/DT) and safety Jadus Rogers. The Bengals are also prepared with 2020 athletes too. Prospects such as quarterback Derohn King, running back Jaylan Knighton and Paul Oliver.

Stranahan Dragons: What head coach Tally Adams and his football team have been doing the past two seasons is teaching and building this program. After a 4-1 finish at the 7-on-7 event, this is truly a program to keep an eye on. Among the prospects showing up on Saturday include Jyquen Griswell, J’Veion Johnson, Freddie Sears, Dionte Henderson, Ginial Isma, Trevontae Cunningham and Johnny Solomon were among the best.

Taravella Trojans: History says that this program will always have the talent to compete, and with some impressive coaches in the past, they have done just that. As the 2016 season approaches, this is a team, with head coach Charles Hafley leading the way, will once again be as ready to play as any team in South Florida. Among the prospects that have looked good include senior Shanda Gordon (Athlete); and juniors Angel Lozano (LB) and Malik Beckford (QB/WR) are the faces of the future of this program.

West Broward Bobcats: Monte Dillworth took over this team in the spring after serving as an assistant last year, but even though the offseason has been trying, he has managed to get it done with quality athletes who are buying in to what he and his coaching staff are doing. On Saturday, there were some key players stepping up – such as seniors Derrick Wright (WR/DB), Jaquri Weatherspoon, safety Corey Sesto, Daniel Richardson and Eric Hoff.

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