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As many South Florida high school football programs are making plans for the state playoffs, there is going to be one team that will certainly be missing from the landscape this November.

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The Miami Central Rockets, who have been in the Class 6A playoff mix for the past decade, will not be playing in the postseason this year.

As many are quick to sweep the Rockets under the carpet and move on, true football fans know better.

Those who have been around for decades and remember when Miami-Dade and Broward were rarely in the mix for the state playoffs – took time after Northwestern’s win over Norland last Friday night, which officially eliminated the Rockets – to remember a state championship run that may never be equaled again.

Even as Booker T. Washington continues on its current four-year state championship run, what Central did over a span of six years – compiling an 83-9 record with five state titles – is unheard of.

As rival schools such as Seffner Armwood and Daytona Beach Mainland, both teams that Central had beaten multiple times over the course of its championship runs, may breathe a sigh of relief that the Rockets will not be the obstacle this year; respect is something that the Hawks and Bucs – among other programs – feel for what head coaches Telly Lockette and Roland Smith were able to accomplish.

From the 2010 season when Central came from 17 down to crush Orlando’s Dr. Phillips in the 6A title game, the talent that has filtered through 95th Street has been mind-boggling.

If fans need a refresher course on some of the elite players that wore Green and White during the five state titles, maybe a mention of those prospects will really put into perspective how impressive this was.

With the exception of 2011, where they were 14-1 on the field but had to forfeit the wins, the Rockets etched their name in the history books as one of the great and productive programs in Florida high school football history.

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2010 Seniors of note (14-1): Charles Gaines, Jr., Tommy Shuler, Thomas Finnie, Devonta Freeman, Oliver Vigille, Rakeem Cato, John Miller, Durell Eskridge, Jordan Thomas and Miles Pace.

2012 Seniors of note (12-2): Da’wan Hunte, Ahmad Thomas, Emilio Nadelman, Christopher Herise and Marquis Hodge.

2013 Seniors of note (13-1): Tavius Brown, Jr., Joe Yearby, Dalvin Cook, Deatrick Nichols, Malik Adams, Carlin Clark, Keith Reed, Jonathan Harris, Rasheed Blatch, Raul Diaz, Fredrick Jones, Michael Smith, Reginald Bain, Joshua Addison and Trevor Darling.

2014 Seniors of note (14-1): Da’Vante Phillips, Anthony Jones, Calvin Brewton, Cedric Miller, Adam Mattison, Keivonnis Davis, Tamerick Simpson, Lenwood Joyner, Jauvanie Francis, Beymar Piraquive, Marquis Couch, Jason Jean, Robzel Sylvester, Jamari Hester.

2015 Seniors of note (10-2): Keir Thomas, Donavan Thompson, Kenio Mike, Jr., Darnell Salomon, Kahmanie Carter, Jerrod Thomas, Jasen Dorvilier, Jamal Hudson, Devante Granger, Jamel Cook, Kenny Turnier and Eric Mitchell.


With Central out for this season, the final few weeks of football will be exciting as key matchups and performances will define the 2016 season.

Here are a few of the prospects who stepped up this past weekend in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties:

2017 – Jake Allen, QB, St. Thomas
2018 – Riley Allison, RB, Douglas
2017 – Angel Alvarez, QB, Doral Academy
2018 – Quayvon Beckford, WR, Booker T. Washington
2018 – A.J. Betancourt, RB, Dr. Krop
2017 – James Bostic, III, WR, Cardinal Gibbons
2020 – Mark Britt, WR, Champagnat Catholic
2017 – Jason Brown, QB, American Heritage
2017 – Tyler Brown, RB, Cooper City
2018 – Traquan Butler, DB, Killian
2019 – Brandon Cohen, RB, Ronald Reagan
2018 – Daniel Colon, RB, Western
2018 – Michael Cox, QB, Southridge
2017 – Rishard Dames, DB, Booker T. Washington
2019 – Darren Davis, Jr., RB, Columbus
2019 – Kervin Dessources, QB, Champagnat Catholic
2018 – Michael DiLiello, QB, Cooper City
2017 – Najha Edwards, RB, South Broward
2017 – Mike Epstein, RB, St. Thomas
2017 – Diego Fagot, LB, Calvary Christian
2017 – Rashawn Fraser, Athlete, Piper
2017 – Massi Gamble, RB, Calvary Christian
2017 – Kobe Green, DB, Deerfield Beach
2017 – Mike Harley, WR, St. Thomas
2018 – Tyler Harrel, WR, Columbus
2018 – Akeem Hayes, WR, South Broward
2017 – Leroy Henley, WR, Deerfield Beach
2017 – Nick Holm, QB, Deerfield Beach
2017 – Willie Hunt, RB, Boyd Anderson
2020 – Derohn King, QB, Piper
2017 – Justin Korakakos, S, Dr. Krop
2018 – James Micioni, QB, Monarch
2017 – Craig Nelson, RB, Booker T. Washington
2017 – Kevin Oliver, DE, Western
2018 – Wendell Morrison, QB, North Miami Beach
2018 – Lawrence Papillon, RB, Dr. Krop
2019 – Cairiq Rackley, QB, Killian
2018 – Edwin Reed, WR, Hollywood Hills
2019 – Daniel Richardson, QB, Booker T. Washington
2019 – Joseph Rodriguez, CB, Reagan
2018 – Gregory Rousseau, WR, Champagnat Catholic
2018 – Robbie Ruebel, DB, Western
2019 – Nik Scalzo, QB, Cardinal Gibbons
2017 – Travon Shannon, WR, Miami High
2018 – Shawn Shivers, RB, Chaminade-Madonna
2019 – T.J. Smith, QB, South Broward
2018 – Harrison Story, QB, Western
2019 – Jacob Wiley, QB, South Plantation
2018 – Xavier Williams, WR, Chaminade-Madonna
2017 – Javier Zuniga, RB, Doral Academy

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