SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: Southridge Is Back To Contend

Larry Blustein
July 16, 2018 - 10:29 am

Larry Blustein

From the time Miami Southridge opened its doors in the late 1970’s, football has always been a center piece of the program.

While there were some lean times throughout the past 20 years, there have always been athletes that fueled the Spartans – and when veteran head coach Billy Rolle came in and won an 8A state title two years ago, the ball was rolling once again.

Top-flight prospects have headed to South Miami Heights over the past few years, keeping this team in the conversation for a title, and even though Rolle moved on after the 2017 season – coaching at Florida A&M – there is reason to believe that this program will be in the mix this season.

The return of one-time Southridge standout running back Sedrick Irvin as the head coach only added to what this school has been doing – advancing to the playoffs the past four seasons.

While Irvin’s track record as a player is well documented, his ability to coach has also been impressive – with playoffs the past two coaching stops at Miami High and Miami Westminster Christian.

What the Spartans bring into the 2018 season are athletes, quality coaching and plenty of tradition.

While this program has long been recognized for the physical defenses it produces, this year could see the return of an offensive unit capable of putting up points.

With junior Jaylin Willis II, a Virginia transfer, and senior Antwan Anderson, the quarterback position will be competitive.

Speaking of competitive, senior running backs Courtney Reese and Willie Spivey are solid. So are juniors Dana Edwards and Miami High transfer George Young.

Reese committed to attend UNLV last month.

When the Spartans throw the ball, look for nationally-rated junior receiver Marcus Fleming to make a major impact. Regarded as one of the best in Florida, the Miami High transfer is joined by fellow juniors Jerry Jaheim and Roscoe Parrish III. Senior Kaleb Girtman will also be valuable.

If this team is to score points this season, it will all start up front with a large senior class, headed by Derrick Herron, Joshua Johnson, Joshua Torres, Marcus Strong and Marvin Strong. Juniors Latrell Allen and Logan Alvarez are also solid.

DEFENSE, DEFENSE!

No matter if they are a contender or not, Southridge always has solid defensive players. It has become the trademark of the program.

Up front, while replacing some key players will be tough, there are a number of quality football players – such as senior Lionel Long (DE), juniors Emmanuel Belgrave (DE) and Leonard Taylor, and junior Derrick Reese.

The group of linebackers the Spartans feature will be impressive – with seniors Diamonte Howard, Da’Shawn Bostic, Xavier Johnson II and Kirk Williams, and impressive junior Naquon Fagan.

Through the years, the secondary has always boasted elite prospects – and the 2018 version of Southridge football will certainly have its share of big time players.

Leading the way in the secondary is nationally-rated safety Tyrique Stevenson. The South Dade transfer is considered the best in the country, and with dozens and dozens of elite offers, he will certainly help make this unit go.

But as good as Stevenson is – and he is elite - there are others who will make it tough to throw on this team.

Fellow seniors Darren Glover, Dameko Labon, John Lee, Moses Prophete, Kewanaqui Smith, Jeffrey Williams and three-year starter Christopher McDonald, Jr., and junior Jaquae Williams are all quality prospects.

Senior Kimo Roach will handle the kicking duties this season.

KEEPING TRACK OF THE TEAMS
From the time National Signing Day took place back in February, we have been promoting some of the programs across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

From the defending state champions to those who were close – and those teams who figure to be in the mix in 2018 -  we have had the chance to follow.

Even though athletes continue to change schools, we will still bring you every prospect – several times – no matter where they are.

This list of our spring/summer 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...

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. spring-spotlight-northwestern-ready-defend-6a-state-crown

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...

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!