As much as a hotbed for high school football talent as Miami-Dade, Broward and even Palm Beach counties have been through the years, that usually means a lot of it slips through the cracks and many kids wind up going unnoticed.
For the second year in a row, the Orange Bowl Committee decided to do something about it as Nova Southeastern University was the site on Saturday morning for the Second Annual Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, Presented by Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Close to 400 high school kids from the tri-county area and a total of 46 small colleges from around the country (Division II, III and NAIA) converged on Nova Southeastern for the six-hour event that began early in the morning.
“It’s a real tribute to the Orange Bowl Committee and their vision,” said David Shula, one of the event organizers who currently runs the Shula’s Steakhouse chain of restaurants. “It’s right in the sweet spot of what the mission of the Orange Bowl Committee is all about, which is giving back to the community and providing, in this particular case, hundreds of student athletes to go on and continue their college education and chase their dream of continuing to play football.”
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Players were put through numerous drills before eventually participating in seven-on-seven drills, with numerous former Dolphins including John Offerdahl and Channing Crowder leading the way.
“Something like this is just tremendous,” said Hialeah Gardens football coach Greg Magner, who took over the program last year after 25 years at Archbishop Curley. “You’re actually combining the combine aspect with the seven-on-seven aspect, and the coaches are not only able to see the academics and the transcripts, but they’re able to visualize the kids and their skill level in addition to their highlights. Just a great opportunity for both the kids and these small colleges.”
To be eligible to participate student-athletes had to be graduating high school seniors who have not accepted a scholarship offer from a Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision program. In addition, they had to meet specific academic qualifications.
“This is a great thing happening today,” said Nathaniel Altman, a wide receiver and quarterback at Nova who only needed to cross the street to attend. “It’s a great opportunity for us to continue our education and continue to play football on some kind of level. We know that there is a lot of talent down here and in South Florida, a lot of pretty good players slipping through the cracks and hopefully guys can get a few looks.”
▪ District 13-9A final — North Miami 66, Hialeah Gardens 53: Laurent 16, Hart 10, Monestime 10. Rebounds: Hart 8. Steals: Hart 3.
▪ District 15-5A final — Gulliver Prep 75, Booker T Washington 61: GP: Mashburn 25, LaMonica 16, Sanders 12, Taylor 10, Howard 6, McWhorter 6. BTW: Dixon 15, Brooks 14, Bailey 11, Noel 9, Harris 9, Thompson 4 Three pointers: Howard 2, Mashburn, Taylor, Bailey, Noel, Dixon. Rebounds: LaMonica 10, Assists: Taylor 10
▪ District 13-9A semifinal — Hialeah Gardens 56, American 37: HG (19-6): Lopez 14, Galezo 11, Suarez 10, Duncan 10, Borrell 9, Acosta 2. AM (10-14): Hall 17, Noel 6, Diaz Brian 6, Dalencour 4, Enriquez 2, Diaz Brandon 2. Rebounds: Borrell 8. Assits: Suarez 7. Steals: Galezo. Three pointers: Galezo 3
▪ South Miami 57, Southwest 46: Half: 20-20. SM: T. Dean 22, Flenor 15, Cerphy 10, Bujuan 3, Hill 3, Menendez 2, Damon 2. SW: Murray 20, Pratt 9, Hernandez 7, Grullon 7, Ramirez 3. Rebounds: T. Dean 12. Assists: T. Dean 6. Steals: Cerphy 2. Blocks: Flenor 3
▪ Westminster Christian 83, Key West 71: WC: Montavlo 34, McCormick 16, Hernandez 13, Henderson 6 , Lopez 6, Lezcano 5, Cruz 2, Taylor 1. KW: Woods 38, Conn 7, Matthews 6, Keane 5, Brown 4, Hummel 4. Three pointers: Montavlo 3, Mc Cormick, Lezcano, Hernandez, Lopez. Rebounds: Henderson 8. Assists: Montalvo 5. Half: WC 48-27.
▪ Region 4-9A quarterfinal — Krop 71, Miramar 58: Francois, Weingard 18, Hornstein 10, Walker, 9, Knowles 4, Mills 4. Rebounds: Francois 12. Steals: Weingard 4, Francois 4, Walker 4. Assists: Weingard 3. Three pointers: Hornstein 2. Half: KR 38-34.
▪ Ransom Everglades 11, Everglades Prep 1: WP Gaby Jadotte, 11 Ks. Gaby Jadotte 3-3, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, Abby Sekoff 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB. Tiffany McBrayer 3-3, 1 RBI, 3 R.