Larry Blustein

Patriots on fast track to elite status

Before the 2013 season began, Miramar football coach Damon Cogdell talked about the youth his program had coming into the season.

While many felt that the Patriots had the talent to win the district, this was a program that appeared to be a year away from being a player in the state championship race. It looks like this team arrived early.

From the shutouts to the huge wings over rival St. Thomas Aquinas and Flanagan, the Patriots have answered every call. Not viewed as an 8A title contender by some, many never rated them at the start of the year.

To ever sell a Cogdell-coached Miramar team short is really not knowing how much of an impact this former Patriot has made at his alma mater. His year-round efforts in being among the nation’s best has never gotten in the way of showcasing some of the elite players.

While this year’s team is young, it has been the core group of seniors that have played together since the successful and undefeated junior varsity campaign. Players like linebackers Ryan Samuels, David Lee and other 12th-graders have been the glue to this team.

“The senior class has been together for so long, we knew that it would be up to us to lead the way for the younger players,’’ Samuels said. “There was a feeling that this was going to be a special year.’’

Big-play athletes such as quarterbacks Nick Jeanty and Gernald Hawkins, running backs Eric Pittman and Cameron Rigby, receiver Kwasim West, defensive back Andre Godfrey, defensive lineman Diamone Thompson, and linebackers Alexander Trotman and Kaywon Davis have been the reason this team sat at No. 2 in Florida after seven weeks.

But as much of an influence the seniors have had on this program, some of the elite prospects on the team are underclassmen — and making a huge impact.

Athletes such as defensive backs Tyrek Cole and Josmar Diaz-Martinez, running back Alex Anderson, linebacker Jeffrey Lee, wide receivers Kevin Purlett and Kahlil Lewis, defensive lineman Kalil Roan, defensive end Bryton Die Ujuste and offensive lineman Leeward Brown — to name a few of the many contributors to this program.

The Patriots have long been a major player when it came to producing quality defensive players for the vaunted “Dark Side,’’ but the offense has really shown that it has the potential to explode as well.

With Travis Johnson coming in from Boyd Anderson to run the offense, this is a program that can score a lot of points in many ways. It was Johnson who came up with several key calls in Miramar’s third consecutive win over St. Thomas.

We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. All you have to do is send a You Tube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein at Floridakids1@aol.com.

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