The Miami Dolphins’ eighth annual 7-on-7 tournament began Saturday at Plantation’s Central Park with 42 teams dwindling down to seven that will compete Sunday morning for a chance at the title.
Those teams advancing had some powers and some surprises. Booker T. Washington, Carol City, Coral Reef, Dillard, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar and Pahokee are the seven teams in the quarterfinals. One team will receive a bye into the semifinals.
In the past, the Dolphins would host the championships on the second day at Sun Life Stadium, but stadium renovations and construction will keep the tournament at Central Park.
One of the highlights of the afternoon involved Coral Reef upsetting Gulliver, against which it had lost earlier Saturday morning, to advance to Sunday and eliminate a talented Raiders team.
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With the score tied coming down to the final possessions, junior Colvin Alford caught the go-ahead touchdown. Gulliver then completed a pass on a slant route in the final seconds but was tagged short of the goal line as time expired.
The victory was a step in the right direction this offseason for the Barracudas in their first year under coach Javi Valdes after a 2-8 season.
“All of us were happy because of all the achievements we accomplished in such a short period of time,” said Randy Shannon Jr., who had the game-clinching tag.
Carol City quarterback Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert was impressive with his passes in leading the Chiefs to the quarterfinals. He threw one 40-yard touchdown pass perfectly to hit a diving Steve Newbold down the sideline in the end zone.
Several UM commitments were present at the tournament, including Dionte Mullins and Joseph Jackson of Gulliver, Ahmmon Richards of Wellington and Al Blades Jr. of University School. McArthur Burnett, who recently withdrew his commitment from UM, also was at the tournament for Pahokee.
The event began Friday with a symposium focusing on character development and specific skill training, and had NFL players and coaches as guest speakers.
The tournament also had a youth portion, which ran for ages 8-14 and is down to its semifinals heading into Sunday.