Broward High Schools

Fort Lauderdale now a soccer power

Fredlin Miami Herald staff

With a history dating to 1899, Fort Lauderdale is the oldest continuously functioning high school in Broward County.

But when it comes to boys’ soccer, it is as if Fort Lauderdale’s history began in 2013.

Before that, the school had never won a regional playoff game.

Since then?

The Flying L’s are 5-2 in the state playoffs, reaching the Class 4A state semifinals in 2013 and the regional finals last season. Last season’s regional-final loss snapped a 14-match win streak.

Of those five playoff wins over two years, four of them were by one goal, including two on penalty kicks and one in overtime.

Fort Lauderdale’s awakening as a soccer power started under coach Benito Clerveaux in 2012-2013 and has continued since last season under current leader Andre Reynolds.

“What we did last season was amazing,” said Reynolds, 30, who began coaching as a college student in Jamaica in 2006. “Winning 14 straight games is difficult.”

Fort Lauderdale led last season’s regional final against Delray Beach Atlantic 1-0 with 20 minutes to left when it fell apart, losing 4-1.

That loss, Reynolds said, drives the current team, which returns seven starters, including senior midfielder Fredlin Mompremier, who had 16 goals and 11 assists last season.

Reynolds said Mompremier, who plays for the Haitian youth national team, is getting scholarship interest from FIU and other colleges.

Still, the coach preaches team play over individual brilliance. Fort Lauderdale likes to play wide and score off crossing passes to the middle.

Reynolds experimented with different lineups in the preseason, losing 2-0 to Coconut Creek and tying Flanagan 1-1.

The coach said he is getting excellent support from his administration, including the school principal, Priscilla Ribeiro, a soccer-loving Brazilian.

Sponsors have helped the team get new equipment, although there is a problem finding enough practice time — the team shares the school’s one field with football, girls’ soccer and the band.

“The fan base has improved a lot,” Reynolds said. “People like to associate with winners. If we continue to win, it will only get better.

“I’m quietly confident that we will do well.”


There are interesting coaching changes at Pines Charter and Cypress Bay.

Alvin James, who was the coach at American Heritage-Delray the past nine years and led the team to three state titles, takes over at Pines Charter, a team that did not make the playoffs last season.

Yet James, who took over last week, is confident he can quickly turn around the fortunes of Pines Charter.

“I think we will make the final four [in Class 4A], if not win it all,” James said.

At Class 5A Cypress Bay, Colin Ilgner takes over for John Ramos, who was tremendously successful for the past decade.

Cypress Bay won three consecutive state titles from 2011 to 2013 before getting knocked off in the regional finals last season.

Ramos, who will remain as the director of coaching and player development at Plantation Football Club, said working both high school and club got to be too much.

But Ramos is confident Ilgner will carry on the tradition at Cypress Bay.

“He was the coach at Somerset, and I think he will be a nice fit,” Ramos said. “It may take a little bit of an adjustment, but there are a lot of families with soccer backgrounds in the Cypress Bay area.

“In time, [Ilgner] will manage to win state titles just like we did.”

Team outlooks

AMERICAN HERITAGE: Coach: Todd Goodman; Last season: Class 3A regional semifinals; Top players: Donovan Henry (Sr., MF); Devon Northard (Jr., D); Mikael Dasilva (Sr., F); Noteworthy: Lost 4-3 to McCarthy in playoffs and should be better this year.

ARCHBISHOP McCARTHY: Coach: Michael Martin; Last season: Class 3A state semifinals, lost 2-1 in overtime; Top players: Daniel Reese (Sr., F); Matthew McLennon (Sr., D); Diego Sanchez (Sr., D); Noteworthy: Six starters return, including Reese, who scored 25 goals in 14 games.

CALVARY CHRISTIAN: Coach: Bob Barnett; Last season: NA; Top players: Juan Fajardo (Sr., D); Josiah Goff (So., M); Santiago Fajardo (Jr., MF); Noteworthy: This team is strongest in the midfield but lacks experience and a proven goalie.

CARDINAL GIBBONS: Coach: Rafael Ferreiro; Last season: 17-6-4, Class 2A regional semifinals; Top players: Christian LeuYoung (Sr., F); Armando Marimon (Jr., D); Enrique DeSanctis (So., D); Noteworthy: Graduated 14 seniors from a team that outscored opponents 65-24 and eventually lost 3-2 in the playoffs to Delray American Heritage.

COCONUT CREEK: Coach: Concepcion Ledezma; Last season: 3-12-4; Top players: Denilson Ayapan (Jr., MF); Marc Andre Vincent (Sr., D); Djameslie Milford (Jr., MF); Noteworthy: The team is strongest on defense and in the midfield but lacks depth and a proven goalie.

CORAL SPRINGS: Coach: Robert Gofus; Last season: 4-14-4; Top players: Kevin Gomez (Sr., F); Brian Paul (Sr., D); Nikko Castillo (Sr., M); Noteworthy: Team returns nine starters and adds a strong freshmen class and some transfers to the mix.

CORAL SPRINGS CHRISTIAN: Coach: Howard Furman; Last season: NA; Top players: Brian Caldwell (Sr., D); Griffin Bloshinsky (Jr., M); Sander Bloshinksky (Jr., M); Noteworthy: Team graduated 14 of 21 players from last season but is relying on talented freshmen and sophomore classes.

CYPRESS BAY: Coach: Colin Ilgner; Last season: Class 5A regional finals; Top players: NA; Noteworthy: Team, which was upset in regional finals by eventual state champ Columbus, gets a new coach in Ilgner.

DEERFIELD BEACH: Coach: Frantz Edouard; Last season: Class 5A regional quarterfinals; Top players: NA; Noteworthy: Lost to Boca Raton 3-0 in the playoffs.

DOUGLAS: Coach: Phil Lamarre; Last season: 14-4-7, Class 5A regional semifinals; Top players: Raheem Small (Sr., F); Rodrigo Torres (Sr., MF); Santi Neira (Sr., MF); Noteworthy: Seven starters return from a team that should contend again for postseason.

ELY: Coach: Umberto Corsini; Last season: 11-6-2; Top players: Kervens Surpris (Jr., MF); Nithson Blaise (Sr., F); Kivens Joseph (Sr., MF); Noteworthy: New coach will rely on six returning seniors, including the speedy Blaise and the versatile Joseph.

EVERGLADES: Coach: Boomer Bray; Last season: 9-6-7; Top players: Alex Alexis (Sr., F); Juan Sanchez (Sr., MF); Hakeem Duncan (Sr., F); Noteworthy: Five starters return from last season; Bray is keeping 40 players on its roster.

FLANAGAN: Coach: Jeff Uchin; Last season: Class 5A regional quarterfinals; Top players: NA; Noteworthy: Lost 5-0 to Aquinas in the playoffs.

FORT LAUDERDALE: Coach: Andre Reynolds; Last season: 22-3, Class 4A regional finals; Top players: Fredlin Mompremier (Sr., MF); Buvenel Fertile (Sr., MF); Givens Amazon (Sr., D); Noteworthy: Mompremier is a member of Haiti’s Under-22 team.

HIGHLANDS CHRISTIAN: Coach: Darryl Mauro; Last season: 13-5, Class 1A regional semifinals; Top players: Elijah Kerr (Jr., D); Evan Henderson (Jr., D); Brendly Martina (Sr., F); Noteworthy: Its season ended with 4-0 playoff loss to Sagemont.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS: Coach: Dirk Hilyard; Last season: 2-12-4; Top players: Dahn Do (Sr., MF); Victor Bravo (Jr., MF); Abdias Montelus (Sr., MF); Noteworthy: Team hasn’t won district since 2010 and is looking for a proven goalie and striker.

McARTHUR: Coach: Denys Valenzuela; Last season: 6-8-3; Top players: Jorge Rojas (Jr., D); Jiro Chavez (Jr., MF); Oscar Lopez (Sr., F); Noteworthy: Four starters return and some seniors transferred in on a team that is strongest on defense.

MIRAMAR: Coach: Chris Francis; Last season: 10-3-4, Class 5A regional quarterfinals; Top players: Jean Orvile (Sr., F); Jamoi Wesley (Sr., D); Jason Chavarro (Sr., MF); Noteworthy: Eight starters return from a team that took a 6-0 playoff loss against Cypress Bay last season.

MONARCH: Coach: Stephen Lorenc; Last season: 10-8-2; Top players: Jordano Chea (Sr., F); Rodrigo Silva (Sr., F); Aroldo de Andrade (Jr., D); Noteworthy: Chea, a former youth national team player in Peru, was averaging one goal and one assist last season before an ACL knee injury.

NORTH BROWARD PREP: Coach: Diego Cardona; Last season: Class 2A regional quarterfinals; Top players: NA; Noteworthy: Team has reached regional playoffs in 10 of 11 years under Cardona, including last season, which ended on a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Delray American Heritage.

NORTHEAST: Coach: Rayon Gayle; Last season: 9-3-3; Top players: Eduardo Diaz (Fr., MF); Roberto Lujian (So., F); Christopher Nobles (So., MF); Noteworthy: Eight starters return, but at least one key starter is not on the team because of poor grades, Gayle said.

PINES CHARTER: Coach: Alvin James; Last season: Did not make it out of districts; Top players: Jason Issaacs (Sr., MF); L.J. Lemmers (So., MF); Michael Martinez (Sr., G); Noteworthy: James comes over after nine years as the coach at Delray American Heritage, where he won three state titles.

PIPER: Coach: Fernando Ramirez; Last season: 12-4-4; Top players: Ricardo Palacio (Sr., D); Warwick Sterling (Sr., M); Marcos Santana (Sr., MF); Noteworthy: Just two starters return on a young team.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Coach: John Walsh; Last season: Class 5A regional semifinals; Top players: Giani Serio (Jr., MF); Carlos Aguerrezere (Jr., MF); Minas Myrtidis; Noteworthy: Four starters return from a team that lost 2-1 in the playoffs to Cypress Bay.

WEST BROWARD: Coach: Daniel Radice; Last season: Did not make it out of districts; Top players: Nicholas Velez (Sr., MF); Juan Valencia (Jr., MF); Bruno Cardozo (Jr., F); Noteworthy: Radice is a first-year coach but is doing double-duty as assistant at Johnson & Wales University.

WESTERN: Coach: Bill Hawley; Last season: 7-7-5; Top players: Ethan Elalouf (Jr., F); Marco Romano (Jr., G); Carlos Camey (Sr., D); Noteworthy: Elalouf had eight goals and six assists in less than half a season before being sidelined with a wrist injury.

WESTMINSTER ACADEMY: Coach: Diego Phillips; Last season: Class 1A regional quarterfinals; Top players: NA; Noteworthy: Eliminated 2-0 by Sagemont in last year’s playoffs.

Walter Villa