SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: 6A Central Ready To Make A Run In the ‘SEC’

Larry Blustein
August 01, 2018 - 10:29 am

Larry Blustein

If you are a high school football fan is south Florida, you know all about District 16-6A.

Often referred to as the “SEC” of high school football districts, there is more talent on the rosters of the five teams than anywhere in the country. Not even up for discussion. 

With the exception of Hialeah-Miami Lakes - Norland, Carol City and Northwestern have all won state titles within the past 10 years - and all have shown they can stand toe-to-toe against anyone. 

The one team that started it all – in this impressive district – has been the forgotten program of late. After winning four straight times and five in six years, head coach Roland Smith and his Central Rockets believe that it’s their time once again.

With a number of prospects who have joined this program over the past few years, the Rockets are indeed ready to contend.

“The players in this program have worked hard to put themselves in a position of getting back to Orlando,” said Smith. “We just need everyone to continue to do their part and we will be fine.”

Over the years, the Rockets have earned the reputation of never backing down against top-flight competition – and this year’s schedule will certainly back that up.

In addition to lining up against their quality district foes, this season will see this team compete against 5A power Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons, 7A national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, nationally-rated St. Johns of Washington D.C  - as well as traditional local teams Booker T. Washington, Miami Edison and 7A Pompano Beach Blanche Ely. They even travel to play at defending 8A state runner up Delray Atlantic in the kickoff classic.

With a high national ranking – many are believing that this is a team that could talk national championship with key wins over the non-district foes and victories over those “SEC” teams.

DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY

Every year, this program always sends out some of the most talented football players on the defensive side of the ball. This year will be no exception.

Starting this year up front with UCF-bound end Tatum Bethune. He is joined in the senior class by Andre Aguste (DE), Kyndel Farrington (DE), Kaelon Mazelin, Michael Powell and Dorion Bolden.

Champagnat Catholic defensive end transfer Jesus Machado is nationally rate and is a huge force. So are fellow juniors Trevon Allen (DE) and Zay Dixon, and freshman Don Smith.

With a number of key linebackers moving on from the 2017 team, the Rockets will rely on seniors Justin King and Shawn Orr for experience.

Juniors Hernedy Janvier, Came’ron Robinson, Reginald Slocum, Kamren Valentine and Derrick Williams are solid. So is sophomore Rudy Jean Luis and incoming freshman Wesley Bissairthe.

The Rockets are always solid in the secondary, and there are several seniors who will play a key role this season.

Among those prospects include Miami High transfer Andrew Bloodsaw, Jr., Devenson Cadet, Darius Conley, James Donaldson, David Green, Jaylen Johnson and versatile Lamarus King. 

Nationally recruited Miramar transfer Henry Gray is as good as you get. But fellow juniors Elijah Abreau, Jalen Harrell and Terry Smith - as well as sophomore Elijah Vaughn and incoming freshman Zaylan Reese will be impressive.

Central has had a good run of kickers - with incoming freshman Jayden John getting his chance right away.

OFFENSE HAS SOME EXPERIENCE

There is no doubt the firepower this program has on the offensive side of the ball.

With some key returners from last year – coupled with newcomers and this unit will score some points.

Senior Maurice Underwood returns to lead this team - with backups Keith Moore (2021) and junior Armando Posse.

The strength of the offense is certainly with a running game that starts with senior Lexington Joseph, but also include highly-touted juniors Kejon Owens and Doral Academy transfer Shemar Paul.

The Rockets are also very high on sophomores Demon Brown and Stephon Warren.

If there was a question on this team, it was at receiver, but good things have happened in the off season, and seniors Anthony Colonel (Miami Springs), Caleb Desir, Anthony Frederick (Hallandale), Cedric Gernard, Matthew Harvey, Geovonni Ribalta, Nigel Taylor and quality Hallandale transfer Jaylin Young are all going to make things happen.

Big things are expected from juniors Antwan Davis, Johnathan Hill, Josue Ultima and Shamar Zaragoza to make a contribution.

In the past, the this unit has had success, it usually comes from up front - and 2018 will be no exception.

Led by recent Boston College commit Maurice Smith, this is a unit that will get better as the year moves along. Fellow seniors Carlos Boothe, Ronnie Dunn, Skylar Richardson and Travon Taylor are also solid.

Junior Demerius Murrow and gifted sophomores Kwame McNair and “Big Baby” Laurence Seymore  are going to be special.

This list of our Spring/Summer Spotlight will continue right through as part of our 2018 Countdown To Kickoff.

American Heritage (Plantation) Patriots. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-streaki...

Belen Jesuit (Miami) Wolverines. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/spring-spotlight-belen-jesuit-working-to...

Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) Chiefs. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/summer-spotlight-could-f...

Carol City (Miami) Chiefs. https://wqam.radio.com/categories/south-florida-high-school-sports?page=2

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) Lions. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-chamina...

Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) Lions. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-champag...

Christopher Columbus (Miami) Explorers. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-columbu...

Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) Panthers. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/summer-spotlight-dillard-working-hard-su...

Deerfield Beach Bucks. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-deerfie...

Miramar Patriots. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-miramar...

Norland (Miami) Vikings. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/summer-spotlight-never-c...

North Miami Pioneers. https://wqam.radio.com/categories/south-florida-high-school-sports?page=5

Northwestern (Miami) Bulls. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-northwe...

Palmetto (Miami) Panthers. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-miami-p...

Plantation Colonels. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/summer-spotlight-plantat...

Southridge Spartans. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/summer-spotlight-southridge-back-contend

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) Raiders. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/spring-spotlight-st-thom...

University School (Fort Lauderdale) Sharks. https://wqam.radio.com/search/node/University%20School/

West Broward (Pembroke Pines) Bobcats. https://wqam.radio.com/categories/south-florida-high-school-sports?page=1

Western (Davie) Wildcats. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/summer-spotlight-western...

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Saturday morning (10-11) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 11 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!