BY LARRY BLUSTEIN
Miami Jackson was able to withstand the South Florida heat, defeating Cardinal Newman 52-28 to win the 4th Annual Miami Dolphins Academy 7 on 7 High School Tournament Presented by Under Armour, AT&T and the National Guard. By winning the championship, Miami Jackson will represent South Florida and the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 HSPD National Championships in Cleveland Ohio, July 7-10.
“Life is about opportunities. We had a chance and took advantage of the opportunity,” said Antonio Brown, Miami Jackson Head Football Coach. “We plan to represent our school, Miami-Dade and Broward County, the Dolphins and South Florida well in the national tournament.”
The two day event began on Friday, June 17 with a symposium focusing on character development and specific skill training. The character development portion included speeches from Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano and CEO Mike Dee and members of the Florida National Guard. The high school players were taught practical life lessons and preparation for standardized tests, along with discussions on life after high school, personal development and community service. The team took those skills to the field today. Members of the Miami Dolphins Special Teams program were also on hand to help manage the tournament.
“The event went very well,” said Twan Russell, Miami Dolphins Director of Youth Programs. “To have all of the hard work come together and see the kids impacted over the last two days was a wonderful experience. We had over 1,000 kids participate and we are the stewards of the game in South Florida. To have a program of this magnitude that impact students in such a positive way is unbelievable.”
High school teams from Tri-county area that participated in the tournament included American Heritage, American Senior High School, Archbishop Curley, Barbara Goleman, Boca Raton HS, Boyd Anderson, Cardinal Newman, Carol City A, Carol City B, Christopher Columbus, Coral Springs Charter, Coral Springs High, Douglas HS, Dr. Michael Krop, Estero, Flanagan, Fort Pierce Central, G. Holmes Braddock, Glades Central, Hollywood Hills, Immokalee High School, JP Taravella, Jupiter Christian, Jupiter HS, Leonard, McArthur High School, Miami Jackson, Miami Palmetto, Miami Springs, Miramar, Miramar II, Norland, North Broward Prep, North Miami, Pahokee Middle Senior High, Palm Beach Lakes, Piper high School, Pompano, South Broward, South Ridge, Stranahan, University School, Village Academy, Western HS, Westminster Academy and Westminster Christian.
“These things are fun to do,” said Steve Walsh, Cardinal Newman Head Coach and former NFL quarterback. “Our kids competed and that’s what you like to see from these events.”
Including MVP, Class of 2014 prospect quarterback Quinton Flowers, who will be one of the most productive run/pass quarterbacks nationally, the Generals also included Nathaniel Flowers, Keano Calixte, Christopher Hall, Willie Quinn, Devondre Powell, Deandre Jasper, Brandon Phillips, Laqwan Scott, Edson Jean-Baptiste, Tyron Gernett, Demetrius Rice, Antwan Jenkins, James Alexander and Canard Brown.