Miami Central’s Calvin Brewton and Fermin Silva were among many players the Miami Herald put in front of a video camera on Aug. 11 during a high school media day event held by the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.
While a few players used the opportunity to provide a laugh or two, the leaders of the Rockets defense opted for a more casual and straight-forward conversation to discuss their upcoming season.
Between the two videos Brewton and Silva filmed — Silva interviewing Brewton, then vice versa — there was one topic Silva brought up in both scenes.
“A lot of people think y’all are done because of Joe [Yearby] and Dalvin [Cook]…’’ Silva said while beginning a question to Brewton.
When Brewton asked Silva of his personal goals this season, the defensive end/linebacker said he wants to “… win a national championship and show the world we’re not done just because Joe and Dalvin left.’’
Central’s talented backfield duo of Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook are now in their first college minicamps at the University of Miami and Florida State, respectively. The running backs, along with returning senior receiver Da’Vante Phillips, fueled the Rockets to 44.1 points per game last season and their second consecutive state championship.
Brewton and Silva believe their unit can lead the Rockets past a loaded non-district schedule and their District 16-6A rivals (Homestead, Norland, Northwestern, and Carol City), and into contention for their fourth state title in five years.
“Everything first starts off with the defense this year,’’ said Brewton, a safety committed to FSU. “And then the offense has got to be putting up points because we’re going to be doing a lot of things to get [the defense] off the field [as] fast as possible — three and out.’’
Central’s season kicks off on the road Saturday at noon as part of ESPN’s 2014 High School Football Kickoff against reigning Alabama Class 6A champions Hoover at the Buccaneers’ home field. Hoover enters the contest on a 31-game winning streak.
“I’m just thinking about going up there, ending their streak and showing the world who the best team really is,’’ Silva said. “I think we’re very prepared for that game.’’
The Rockets’ non-district schedule in Roland Smith’s second season as coach continues at Stone Mountain, Georgia, against Stephenson on Aug. 30; against Booker T. Washington at Traz Powell Stadium on Sept. 5; against Coral Reef on Sept. 12 at Harris Field; and against Columbus at Traz Powell on Sept. 18.
Team to beat: Central. The Rockets are one of two schools, along with Booker T. Washington, trying to become the county’s first team to win three consecutive state titles.
New face: Stephen Calvert, Carol City quarterback. The junior, whose middle name is Buckshot, can rifle the ball downfield, and should propel an already-potent Chiefs offense to a prolific season and possibly the playoffs.
Player to watch: Da’Vante Phillips, Central wide receiver. He’s a future-NFL talent on an offense that is trying to reload after graduating two special players.
Biggest game: Central vs. Carol City, Oct. 24, Traz Powell Stadium. The championship of the toughest district in the state should come down to Central facing its toughest offensive challenger.
Predicted order of finish: 1. Central; 2. Carol City; 3. Northwestern; 4. Norland; 5. Homestead.