FRIDAY FOCUS: McArthur Changes Direction In Just One Year

Larry Blustein
September 14, 2018 - 9:45 am

Larry Blustein

A year ago, just winning a game was something that McArthur High’s football team would have been more than satisfied with. Not this season!

On Thursday night, using the running of junior Jaylen Taylor and the passing of senior T.J. Smith, and a smothering defense, the Mustangs moved to 4-0 with a convincing 35-6 district win over South Broward.

What first year head coach Pierre Senatus and his football team have been able to do in a short period of time is add players and bring confidence back to a program that has always been in the mix.

With the infusion of some off-season talent, this is now a team that will figure in the playoff mix among 7A schools - where nationally rated St. Thomas Aquinas is at the head of the class.

Whether it was the spring game against Miami Killian - or the wins over Flanagan (27-6), Hallandale (31-28) or defending district champion West Broward (25-14), this program has certainly started to turn the corner.

Senatus, who coached at Hialeah and Miramar the past few seasons, has surrounded himself with quality coaches who know talent and how to put them in the right position.

Learning from south Florida coaching icon Tim “Ice” Harris, the things that he absorbed through the years has helped to put him in this position.

“What we have here at McArthur is a program that is certainly on the rise,” Senatus explained. “As any you team that is growing, there are always mistakes that will be made. When we start limiting those mistakes, we feel we can lineup with anyone.”


2020 - Horace Atkins, QB

2021 - Isaiah Finnie, LB

2019 - Jermaine Hart, WR

2019 - Marlon Johnson, OL

2019 - Gerald Jones, LB

2019 - Kamary Joseph, WR

2019 - Billy Pierre, WR

2020 - Jerrold Pough, CB

2019 - Damion Powell, OL/DL

2020 - Demar Richards, LB

2019 - Kelvin Taylor, WR/CB

2019 - Devanno Whitfield, DE


2021 - Max Balthazar, RB

2020 - Quadric Bullard, DB/WR

2020 - Jamaris Coleman, DE/P

2020 - Travis Dixon, RB/LB

2021 - De’Mon Henry, WR

2021 - Xavier Johnson, DE

2021 - Tykwon Owens, DB

2020 - Jadakis Thomas, LB

2021 - Kahleeb Wiggins, QB


Heading into Thursday night’s games in south Florida, there were a few programs that have not received early season publicity.

One of the teams certainly on the rise - and after the first four weeks of the season, may have put themselves in control to win a district when Hialeah mowed down American, 28-0.

The T-Breds have a young team, loaded with quality athletes under first year head coach Gary Sanchez. Losing only to Naples Gulf Coast, this is a team that control its own destiny - with Hialeah Gardens, Monsignor Pace, North Miami Beach and Dr. Krop coming up in the next few weeks.

In addition to the T-Breds, other programs on the rise are Coach Charles Hafley’s Taravella Trojans moved to 3-1 with a huge 35-28 win over Monarch in a district matchup.

Also, Belen Jesuit looks to be back on track after a district win over Ferguson, 31-0, on Thursday.

Here is a look at some of the other local games from Thursday:  

Archbishop McCarthy (SW Ranches) 21, Boynton Beach 8 

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) 48, Northeast 0

Coral Gables 35, Miami High 0

Coral Reef (Miami) 42, Varela 21

Doral Academy 37, Sunset 6

Northwestern (Miami) 48, Hialeah-Miami Lakes 0

FRIDAY (Today)

Braddock at Southwest Miami, 3:30

Dr. Krop at Hialeah Gardens, 3:30

Mourning at South Miami (Tropical), 3:30

Palm Glades at Florida Christian (Coral Reef Park), 3:30

Miami Christian at Somerset Academy, 4

N. Palm Beach Benjamin at Gulliver Prep, 4

Ransom Everglades at Palmer Trinity, 4

Reagan at Goleman, 4

No. 5 American Heritage at Coconut Creek,7

Coral Springs Charter at Coral Glades, 7

Fort Lauderdale at Vero Beach, 7

Hollywood Hills at Cooper City, 7

No. 15 Jackson (Miami) at No. 14 Cardinal Gibbons, 7.

Key West at Calvary Christian, 7

Miramar at No. 10 Plantation (PAL), 7

North Broward Prep at Fort Pierce John Carroll, 7

Pines Charter at Cypress Bay, 7

Somerset Canyons at Westminster Academy, 7

No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas at Stranahan (South Plantation), 7

South Plantation at Flanagan, 7

Suncoast (Riviera Beach) at Pompano Beach, 7

Village Academy at No. 12 University School (AutoNation Stadium), 7

Western at Everglades, 7

West Broward at Nova, 7

No. 7 Christopher Columbus at No. 15 Booker T. Washington (Curtis Park), 7:30 

Homestead vs. No. 9 Homestead South Dade (Harris Field), 7:30

King’s Academy at LaSalle, 7:30

Mater Academy at Miami Springs (Hendricks), 7:30

Norland at No. 1 Carol City (Traz Powell), 7:30 

No. 11 Southridge at Killian (Tropical Park), 7:30

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