Johnson, a longtime coach, was the founding member of the Liberty City Warriors and a former commissioner. His program gave many kids a chance to play competitive football with some elevating into the college and even pro ranks, like Antonio Bryant (University of Pittsburgh/NFL), Lavonte David (University of Nebraska/Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Devonta Freeman (FSU), Brandon Harris (University of Miami/Houston Texans), Duke Johnson (University of Miami), Darryl Sharpton (UM/Houston Texas) and Cary Williams (Washburn University/Baltimore Ravens).
Rudolph Taylor, the cousin of Sean Taylor, is another Liberty City alum. Through Johnson, former University of Miami standout and current Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson was very supportive of Liberty City Optimist.
Sam Johnson brought some structure into the lives of kids, giving them goals, something positive to achieve. He did a lot of good for the community, deserving the HOF honor.
Tacolcy/Pop Warner football
The Tacolcy Red Raiders football team (8-1) won the Sean Taylor Classic in Midget Division II, defeating the Palmetto Bay Broncos 15-2 at Curtis Park in Miami.
The Sean Taylor Classic, named after the former Gulliver Prep High School, University of Miami and Washington Redskins star football player, awards the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner champions in each division.
Rayvon Ragin caught a touchdown pass from Alex Knight. Ragin also added an extra point run for a 7-0 lead. With 1:08 remaining in the second quarter and Palmetto Bay in the red zone, Brandon Bennett made a huge interception and returned it 95 yards for a backbreaking score. Alberto Pena kicked the 2-pointer, and the Red Raiders increased their lead, 15-0.
Tacolcy’s Jarrce Sutton also had an interception in the first half, and Gregory Cooper did a good job on special teams. The defense did not allow a point as the Red Raiders won their third consecutive Sean Taylor Classic, advancing to regionals.
The champs are: Brandon Bennett, Gregory Cooper, Antonio Crumbley, Kevin Dillard, Tywan Harris, Alex Knight, Terrell Lipscomb, Drekey Mack, Michael Major, Darwin Martinez, Tevin Michel, Alberto Pena, Caesar Pernell, David Pierre, Douglas Puig, Rayvon Ragin, Juwaun Ray, Xavier Remike, Reakwon Starks, Jarrce Sutton, Darren Taylor and Michael Walker.
The head coach and offensive coordinator is Cedric Hooper. The defensive coordinator is Rickey Collier, and the special teams coach is Ralph Edwards. The receivers coach is Chelton Jackson. The offensive line coach is Allen Hardnett. Assistant coaches are James Everette, and Indjy Numa.
The runners-up are: Sean Britton, Brian Castro, Nez DaCosta, Shawn Davis II, Quotai Gilbert, Jose Gonzalez, Paul Gonzalez, Rafael Hatta, Daniel Helie, Kristian Hernandez, Arturo Hevia, Afton Howard, Jamal King Jr., Devonta Lopez, Michael Martinez, Shaun McReynolds, Delano Morgan, Demar Morgan, Travis Murray, Dwayne Nobles, Isaac Readon, Noah Rice-Kerr, Delone Scaife, Wayne Simmons, Jorge Torres Jr., Daniel Walker, Michael Whyte and Jerome Williams. The head coach is David Ballou, and the assistant coaches are Mark Britton, Julio Fernandez, Isaac Readon, John Square and Oscar Williams.
• The Tacolcy Red Raiders also won the Sean Taylor Classic in Jr. Pee Wee Division II. The Palmetto Bay Broncos were runners-up.
The champs are: Mike Alexis, Jean Auguste, Roger Barton, Robert Birch, Roscoe Burton, Isiah Cadillon, Emmanuel Charles, Tyquan Covington, Deidrick Dansby, Ramont Gage, Blake Graham, Baron Grant, Michael Harp, Jamari Jackson, Torrell Jackson, McKenzie Jean, Christopher Maldonado, Seth McGill, Tercier Muller, Terance Newkirk, Dearon Ortiz, Eric Pierre, Travis Pittman, Alaric Pouchie, Artemius Russell, Rayquan Smith, Sedan Sturrup, Jeremiah Torrence and Marco Wynn. The head coach is S. McGill, and the assistant coaches are Derrick Britt, Franklin Burden, Michael Robinson and Walter Solomon.