Perhaps not sure why their head coach, Roger Harriott, had called a team meeting following the school bell on Tuesday afternoon, members of the St. Thomas Aquinas football team didn’t have to wait long to find out.
That’s when a large collective roar went out from the school gymnasium when Harriott announced the Raiders would be traveling to Las Vegas to take on defending national champion Bishop Gorman High School.
The game will be played on Sept. 30 at Fertitta Stadium on the Gorman campus and be televised nationally on one of the ESPN networks. It will also mark the first ever meeting between the two football powers.
“We’re extremely grateful that we have a competitive schedule and Bishop Gorman is an exceptional football program,” said Harriott.
“They obviously have a phenomenal coaching staff and substantial amount of support with tremendous talent so it will be a big challenge for us. But right now, we’ll stay focused on our season opener against Dillard [Preseason Classic Aug. 19] and go from there.”
Featuring quarterback Tate Martell, a Texas A&M commit, the Gaels are coming off back-to-back 15-0 seasons and won five straight Nevada state titles from 2009-13 before going independent two years ago. Cocoa High School will also make the trip west for a game on Sept. 2.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us but right now we understand that we have to stay focused on Dillard and all of the opponents in front of them before the trip,” said St. Thomas quarterback and Florida commit Jake Allen.
“It will be really special [playing on national TV] because we played in an ESPN game last year against Booker T. and it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had. It’s an opportunity that we’ll get to have again, to show the country what we can do and we’re looking forward to going out there and showing everyone.”
Aquinas won’t be the first South Florida team to make the Vegas trip. Booker T. Washington played Gorman back in 2013 when both teams were ranked in the top five in the country. Booker T. won the contest 28-12, and Gorman hasn’t lost a game since.
“We actually started talking about another out-of-town game when we first hired coach [Harriott] last March,” said Aquinas athletic director George Smith.
“Last season marked the first time since ’08 that we didn’t have one and then when we saw what they [Bishop Gorman] did last season we starting talking to them at the national coaches convention in San Antonio in January and everything took off from there.”
It wasn’t the only scheduling tweak for the Raiders. Smith also announced that Cypress Bay had dropped St. Thomas from the schedule. The Raiders filled in the gap by picking up Boyd Anderson. The Raiders and Cobras will square off at St. Thomas on Oct. 21.
WHITE COMMITS TO NOTRE DAME
There will be no drama next season as to where St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Drew White is going.
White, who will be a senior in the fall, announced on Tuesday that he will take his football talents on the next level to Notre Dame.
“When I visited there, it really felt like home,” said White. “The campus was beautiful and I toured all of the facilities. I got to meet with every coach and I just really felt like I would fit in well in every aspect. It was the total package between football and academics it really was a no-brainer.”
▪ Southwest 3, Columbus 1: Jason Graña 3 H, 7 K’s, R. Pablo Mendez 2B. Brett Mantrana 2B.
▪ Belen 9, Western 3: Gabe Gonzalez CG, 9K’s. Christian DelCastillo 4-4, 3B, 4 RBI. CJ Vazquez 1-1, 2 R, RBI. Erick Wilson 3 R, 1-2. BEL 8-8.
▪ Somerset Academy 10, Mosley 3: Derek Cartaya (1-0), 2 IP, H, 0 BB, 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI. Ryan Cabarcas 4.2 IP, ER, 3 K. Mark Bejar 2-3, BB, 2 RBI, R.
▪ Coral Park 3, Mourning 0: Luis Vitier (1-0), CG, 2H, 4 K’s. Brandon Gomis 3-3, R, RBI. Eric Estevez 1-3, RBI. Paul Castillo 1-3, RBI. CP 10-5.
▪ Late Monday — University School 6, Piper 2: Buddy Hayward CG, 9 K’s, 1-3, 2 RBI. US 12-5.
▪ Late Friday — Miami Country Day 14, Archbishop Curley 0: Jorden Gross (4-3), 4 IP, H, 5 K’s. Austin Pollak 4-6, 4 RBI. Connor Goodman 3-6, 4 RBI, 4 R. Griffin Sennett 3-5, 4 RBI, 6 R. MCD 7-10.
▪ Calvary Christian 6, Westminster Academy 4: WP: Crump. Carcioppolo 2-4, 2 RBI, 2R. CC 13-8.
▪ Archbishop Carroll 15, Greater Miami 0: Justine Cinalli (6-7), 3-3, H, 2 2B, 3 RBI. Valentina Hoyos 3-3, H, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI. Nicole Kozak 3-3, 3 H, 3 RBI. Lauren Loyal 3-3, 2 H, 2B, 2 RBI. AC 6-7.
▪ Miami Country Day 7, Divine Savior 0: Celina Lindemann 8-0. Sasha Bass 8-3. Janna Sayfie 8-2.
▪ Pine Crest 7, Cardinal Gibbons 0: Stephanie Taylor (PC) 8-5. Carly Feldman (PC) 8-0. Amanda Rabin (PC) 8-2. Dani Shecter (PC) 8-1. Abigail Tartell (PC) 8-3. Doubles: Stephanie Taylor/Demi Snyder (PC) 8-1. Lauren James/Sophia Marchetta (PC) 8-0.
▪ Miami Country Day 7, Divine Christian: 1. Milan Bass 8-0. 2. Evan Meisleman 8-2. Doubles: Doubles: Harrison Breslow/Alejandro Wills 8-3.
▪ Pine Crest 6, Cardinal Gibbons 1: Elliot Seckler (PC) 8-1. Sam Dern (PC) 8-1. Chris Kotite (PC) 8-0. Parsa Hoghooghi (PC) 8-1. Tyler Shevin (PC) 8-1. Doubles: Jose Colell/ Jeremy Suam (CG) 8-4. Chris Kotite/Parsa Hoghooghi (PC) 8-1.
▪ Archbishop McCarthy d. Cardinal Gibbons (25-14, 25-16, 25-14): AM (9-1): Michael Moreiras 18 points, 2 aces, 10 kills , 12 digs. Luis Vazquez 11 points, 36 assists. Leo DeQuadros 12 points, 2 aces, 8 kills, 13 digs. CG: Ryan Tilbrook 7 digs, 3 points. Jt Martin 7 kills, 2 blocks.
TRACK AND FIELD
▪ Belen 131, La Salle 72, Doral 28, Columbus 20: Discus: Kevin Valdes (BEL) 157'2. Shot Put: Kevin Valdes 45'10. 800 M: Bruno Zayas (BEL) 2:07.16. 1600 M: Bruno Zayas (BEL) 4:45.71. 110 Hurdles: Daniel Mejia (BEL) 14.96. 300 Hurdles: Daniel Mejia (BEL) 40.51. 100: Cameron Ryals (LS) 11.33. 200: Cameron Ryals (LS) 23.35.
▪ Pine Crest 19, University School 2: Sydney Soltau 19 saves. Madison Kaplan goal. Emma Roberts goal.
Archbishop Curley at Archbishop Coleman, 1
Kings Academy at Dade Christian, 3:30
St. Brendan at American Heritage Delray, 7
Miami Country Day at Archbishop Curley, 4
Coral Shores at St. Brendan, 6:30