SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: Never Count Norland Out of The Mix

Larry Blustein
July 02, 2018 - 10:02 am

Larry Blustein

Just the mention of District 16-6A on the football field brings serious looks from those in the know.

Perhaps the most prospects rich district in the nation – and it may not be close – is often referred to as the “SEC” of high school football in the always competitive and talented south Forida area.

What this district features is Hialeah Miami Lakes and Norland, but also boasts nationally rated Miami Central, Miami Carol City and defending state champion, Miami Northwestern.

This district is impressive that four of the teams made the playoffs last year – including the Norland Vikings.

While veteran head coach Daryle Heidelburg downplays the talent throughout the district, he knows that to compete with those programs, you have to be committed to the sport and understand that every game will be a war.

With as many prospects as any team in the district each year, the Vikings come into 2018 with talent. Maybe not enough to be considered as the favorite to win it all, but definitely athletes who will put them in a position to get back to the first round – like they did last year at Daytona Beach Mainland.

The Vikings are always stacked on the defensive side of the ball. Playmakers who have the talent to turn heads.

Among those up front include seniors Jonathan Carter and defensive end Michae’l Wilmot. There is also junior defensive end Terrance Tate.

With quality seniors Larry “LJ” Smith and Darius Williams, the linebackers are indeed first rate. So is junior Shykeim Gloster, who made some major strides in the spring.

As usual, the Vikings will be amazingly talented in the secondary – with seniors Patrick Bonner, Rodney Bordes, Will Bradford, Jr., Jalen Jinks and Trayon Russell.

The junior class is one of those fast-rising groups with Ricardo Hudson, Jr., Isaiah Pierre, James Scruggs and David Sylvestre. There is also sophomore quality secondary performer Tyrone Cobbins.

OFFENSE MAKING MAJOR STRIDES

In a district that does not score a lot of points because of the quick and athletic players that are the defensive units, look for the Vikings to roll out some playmakers – starting at quarterback with senior 

Deon Jones and sophomore Tayari Sherwood. Jones had a huge offseason – as he waited for his chance to lead the offense.

The running game will go as far as senior Michael “Pop” Harris and junior O.T. Dulcio will carry them.

When they have to throw the ball, look for senior receivers Tyrese Cooper, Daryle Riggins and Jason Louis – as well as tight end Tyrant Miller.

Juniors Robert Charles, Kenneth Roberts and Anthony Johnson, Jr., and standout sophomores Robert McMinn and Jahron Momplaisir are also impressive and getting better all the time.

How far Coach Heidelburg’s team can go on offense may depend on what happens up front. There were some big losses in this unit.

With senior linemen Joshua Blanchard , Shawn Cassy and Kacey Prospere, this is a good group. Add in  juniors Marvin Villarson and Isaiah Walker (T), as well as sophomore Michael Marshall and things get interesting.

The Vikings usually have a kicker who can make things happen – and this year, senior Javez Johnson, could be that secret weapon.

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!