SPRING SPOTLIGHT: Doral Academy Improves On Last Year’s Success

Larry Blustein
May 15, 2018 - 11:23 am

Larry Blustein

Something great happened for Doral Academy’s football team this past season.

For the first time in school history, the Firebirds advanced to the state playoffs and won two games. But head coach Jase Stewart and his team want more.

Losing to St. Thomas Aquinas in the third round only fueled this program – and all offseason, the objective remains the same – take it one step further than last year.

Whether this program has the overall talent to overtake an established program like the Raiders have, is something that only time will reveal. What the Firebirds can do once again in 2018, is win every game they play – and give themselves an opportunity to meet head coach Roger Harriott and the Raiders in a potential rematch.

What this team did in the offseason was add players. Not just prospects to add depth, but certainly the kind of athletes you win games with.

The offense should once again be explosive in 2018. With some new faces, mixing in with those standouts who are returning from the 10-2 season.

A pair of Class of 2019 prospects will give the quarterback position some spark and experience with Hialeah transfer JuZion Wade and Sedrick Lawrence Jr.

With the departure of Shemar Paul to Miami Central, the Firebirds will count on Class of 2019 performer Shawn Hampton, Jr. and promising Class of 2020 athlete Julian Henry.

With rising senior Brieon Fuller leading the way, the receiving corps will be impressive and solid.

In addition to Fuller, Class of 2019 features Renato Fernandez and Myles Smith – and Class of future star Baron Grant.

Up front, the Class of 2019 offers up Andre Chavero (C), Marlon Johnson (T), Brandon McCartney (G) and gifted Norland tackle transfer Wardrick Wilson.

There are also rising Class of 2020 standouts Jose Fernandez (G), Reginald Wimberly (T) and guard Micheal Lopez.

DEFENSE WILL BE TALENTED AND VERSATILE

Make no mistake, when talking about this 2018 football team, the defense needs to be mentioned – and we start in the secondary with a group who has already been turning heads.

Prospects such as gifted Wendol Philord, who can lineup anywhere, and Fuller, who has shown that he is a premier player, is what will get this team going.

There is also Kevin Arcia, Paul Galeano and JoJo Nunez.

The underclassmen are also tremendous with Class of 2020 difference makers Harry Henderson and Nicholas Polo, Class of 2021 playmaker Timothy Burns, Jr., another prospect you can play anywhere.

There is an extremely talented group of linebackers the Firebirds will send out in 2018.

Class of 2019 performers include Oscar Garcia (MLB), Edgar Harris (OLB), Andres Lehrmann (OLB), Max Murillo (MLB), Zamareeh Odoms (MLB), Myles Smith (OLB), Gio Cabrera (LB) and Mathew Sharp (LB).

The future is also very bright with Class of 2020 standouts Karleon Gray-Johnson (OLB) and Jethro Joseph (MLB).

To complete the front seven, the Firebirds have some quality linemen to get after the passer and stop the run.

Leading the way in the 2019 class includes University of Miami commit Denzel Daxon (DT), Chris Hernandez (DT), Michael Lopez (DT/G) and Andres Lehrmann (DE/OLB).

Class of 2020 will be extremely competitive with University of Miami commitment Samuel Anaele (DE), Devanno Whitfield (DT), Reginald Wimberly (DE) and Class of 2021 defensive end Alexander Balladares.

Class of 2021 kicker Joshua Lopes is one of the best in Florida – and among the best young special teams player nationally.

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