Larry Blustein: Undefeated Hallandale stocked with young talent

10/04/2013 12:01 AM

10/04/2013 1:09 AM

In five games this season, Hallandale has outscored its opposition 258-70. The Chargers, who are undefeated, are second in the state (only behind Apopka) scoring 51.6 points per game.

For all the positive accolades head coach Dameon Jones and his team have achieved, this program is not getting the respect that it should after breezing through the first five games.

Moving up to 6A this year, Hallandale’s district got a bit easier — with only Fort Lauderdale Dillard and Boynton Beach as teams standing in the way. The region is another issue. Potential playoff opponents range from Miami Central to Miami Northwestern, Carol City, Norland or Homestead.

Even though Hallandale has not a challenging schedule, this is a program that has a lot of talent — while not starting the year out with a lot of experience.

The Chargers start just four seniors — one is LSU-bound safety John Battle IV, who has been everything a preseason all-state performer should be.

“John is the kind of senior you need on a team like ours,” Jones said. “He combines athleticism and football skills with a person who leads — on and off of the field.”

In addition to Battle, Hallandale features linebacker Joshua Robinson and running backs Paul Anderson and Treyvon Rolle to a young but very talented group.

The junior class is stacked with defensive stars such as linemen Michael Clarke, Sammy Jeanclaude and Jarves Hall and linebackers Dana Levine and Sh’mar Kilby-Lane. There is also secondary standouts Jalin Leandre and Shawn Parker. Kilby-Lane could emerge as the best linebacker in the Class of 2015.

On offense, big-time running back Taj McGowan, Booker T. Washington transfer (receiver) Richie Cooper, and linemen Keyon Hodges and 6-5, 280-pound Deondre Tyler are also valuable to this success of the program.

“While our senior class has been huge for this team, it’s the athletic ability that we have in our juniors that has everyone here feeling confident,” Jones said. “That, and a core of sophomores that have enormous potential.”

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley is one of the best in South Florida. Receivers Neru Nshaka, Joshua Hammond and Chris Cotto, defensive back Jaelyn Faulk and kicker Ivan Gutierrez give this program talented depth for years to come.

ALL-STAR GAME

The 19th Miami-Dade versus South Florida Football challenge will take place on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Ansin Park in Mira-

mar.

More than 100 of the best football players from south and southwest Florida will take part in this game — with Fort Myers, Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Vero, Fort Pierce, Naples, Pahokee, Belle Glade, Immokalee and Broward sending players to compete against a Miami-Dade team that is stacked with talent.

If you thought that watching this many major college athletes was reserved for the Under Armour and Army All-American game, more than 45 future NFL players have participated in this event.

About Larry Blustein

Larry Blustein

@larryblustein

Miami Herald sports columnist on South Florida High School Sports and recruiting.

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