Pompano Beach Ely’s success will start on the lines

08/13/2014 6:16 PM

08/14/2014 12:21 AM

He has a 6-7, 210-pound receiver in Therrell Gosier who can jump out of a basketball gym and is committed to play football for the University of Miami.

He has a quarterback entering his third season as a starter in junior Teddrick Moffett and about five or six running backs he feels confident can handle the job.

New Blanche Ely football coach and offensive guru Nakia Jenkins has all the confidence in the world in his skill position players. It’s up front where he wants to improve during the next couple of weeks.

“That’s where you win ball games,” Jenkins said Saturday during the Miami Dolphins High School Football Media Day event at Sun Life Stadium. “The main thing we’re going to focus on is getting these guys their assignments, blocking techniques. Hopefully, we can get that going in the right direction before the first game.”

The Tigers, coming off a 6-6 season and their 14th trip to playoffs in the past 16 years, have as tough a schedule as anyone in Broward County. Their first four games are all on the road against traditional powers, three of which made the playoffs last season.

The trek begins at Clewiston on Aug. 29 and continues with Deerfield Beach, Glades Central and Miami Northwestern. After opening District 14-7A play at Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 2, the Tigers finally play their first home game Oct. 10 against Plantation. The Colonels were a second-round playoff team last year.

“We should definitely be ready for district play after we get done with those first four games,” Jenkins said.

Defensively, Ely brings back only three starters but one of them is West Virginia commitment and star safety Kevin Williams (5-11, 173). Senior cornerback Terrence Henley (6-0, 170) is “another kid who flies around to the ball and is very smart” in the defensive backfield, according to Jenkins.

Up front on the line, senior Rochelin Romain (6-5, 280) is whom Jenkins will lean on early for leadership.

“He’s come a long way from last year,” said Jenkins, who served as the program’s offensive coordinator for the last seven games of last season. “He’s going to be a key to our success.”

•  New faces: Jenkins isn’t the only new head coach in the district. Chris Hay, a former assistant at Hollywood Hills, took over at Northeast this spring after former Florida State receiver Kez McCorvey accepted a job as the new receivers coach for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Over at Boyd Anderson, Carlos Woods, 34, takes over for Wayne Blair. Woods served as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 2005 and worked his way through the NFL with the Colts and Bengals.
•  Biggest game: Boyd Anderson at Northeast, Oct. 2. Both of these teams probably aren’t good enough to overtake Ely for the district crown, but the winner likely makes the playoffs.
•  Player to watch: Fort Lauderdale receiver James Gardner, a 6-3, 197-pound senior and University of Cincinnati commitment, caught 41 passes for 704 yards and nine touchdowns last season and is aiming to lead the Flying L’s to their first playoff appearance since 2004.
•  Predicted order of finish: 1. Ely; 2. Boyd Anderson; 3. Northeast; 4. Fort Lauderdale

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