Aubrey Hill led his alma mater to its first state championship since 2003 this season.
This weekend, Miami Carol City’s football coach was recognized among the top high school coaches in the nation by the NFL.
Hill was named the Miami Dolphins’ High School Coach of the Year, and honored during a brief ceremony Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Hill is among the 32 finalists — one representing each NFL team’s city — who will be considered for the 2016 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year. Shula, the former Dolphins’ coach who has the record for wins as a coach in NFL history, is among the panel of voters who will select the winner.
The panel includes Peyton Manning, Michael Strahan and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The winner will be announced during the third quarter of the NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 29. The game airs at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Hill led Carol City on a dominant run through the Class 6A playoffs, which culminated with a 14-6 win over Lakeland Lake Gibson in the state final at Camping World Stadium in Orlando — site of the Pro Bowl. It was the Chiefs’ fifth state title overall.
In addition, the finalists will attend Pro Bowl practices, participate in the USA Football National Conference, and will attend the Pro Bowl. Two finalists will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which goes to his high school’s football program. The winner will receive an additional $10,000, with half going to his football program.
▪ Southridge had two more players commit to enroll early with colleges on Wednesday. Defensive back Antwan Collier signed with UCF and defensive end Deandre Johnson signed with Tennessee.
The two were integral parts of a Southridge defense that recorded eight shutouts this season and carried the Spartans to the Class 8A state championship.
Johnson (6-4, 275 pounds) finished with 88 tackles and 10 sacks.
“The great football tradition and the history of the program at Tennessee is great,” Johnson said. “I loved Knoxville when I went there and I just feel like I can go there and be successful.”
Collier, a versatile athlete at 6-2 and 175 pounds, delivered clutch performances as a dual-threat quarterback toward the end of the season, in addition to his defensive contributions. In the playoffs, Collier ran for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
Collier finished the season with four interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), 43 tackles and a fumble return for a touchdown.
“I love the fact that UCF has a 90 percent graduation rate and I’ll be closer to home and closer to my mom,” Collier said. “I just have to work hard and compete and I’ll have a chance to graduate and continue my football career.”
▪ North Miami Beach offensive lineman Woodlyson Alcius will enroll early at Southern Mississippi. Alcius anchored a stout line for the Chargers, who won the District 13-8A title this season.
The FHSAA announced Wednesday that the state softball tournament will remain at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach for the next three seasons. The event has been held there since 2013.
Tuesday—Calvary Christian 1, Boca Christian 1: Jake Palmar goal; John Leserra five saves.