Larry Blustein

FRIDAY FOCUS: Public vs. Private Game Is Still A Classic

Larry Blustein
January 11, 2019 - 9:09 am

When the Public vs. Private post season all-star game began, it was with plenty of high hopes of giving athletes yet another chance to get film for college coaches to see.

Here we are some 10 years later – and that first game played at Monsignor Pace High – with a wind chill in the 40’s – started a tradition that continues to get stronger.

On Saturday afternoon (4:00), the Tru FoundationPublic vs. Private All-Star Football game will take place at centrally located Ives Park (right off I-95 and Ives Dairy Road) in Northeast Miami-Dade.

“When we began this – there were a lot of things that we wanted to add to this game that other post season all-star events did not have,” said founder and game organizer Mario Smith. “We had a combine the first year and then added to that. But the one thing that has not been eliminated is the solid GPA you need to participate in this event. If you are NOT eligible, you do not play!”

While this game lacks the spotlight that others in the area have, it does reward so many quality football players from Miami-Dade, Broward and Pam Beach Counties. That kind of thinking has given this event much prestige from those who coached and played in it.

“We had such a great time and were treated in a first class manner by Mario and his tremendous staff last year and the year before,” said Carol City head coach Benedict Hyppolite. The game was tremendous and we all had memories. Plus the kids who were playing needed that kind of exposure.”

As this year’s coaches prepare for the annual event, it has been a unique challenge for Dillard’s Toriano Morgan, who also headed up the BCAA North-South showdown. 

For Private School Team coach David Simmons, getting everything done with the holidays and the New Year has also been very tough, but being around the game and knowing how things work, it’s been a labor of love for he and his coaches.


Every year – from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade, there are some impressive football prospects who have made the grade in the classroom and now are hoping that they get the opportunity to play and receive and education at the next level.

Some of the defensive players to look forward to are defensive backs Kamryn Giles (American Heritage Plantation), Demonte Wright (American Heritage Delray), Darryl Richardson (Champagnat Catholic), Cesar Mackey (Miami Westminster Christian) and Antonio Ladler (Glades Central) are just a few of the many taking part. 

Linebackers Robert Gavin (Miami Westminster Christian), Jordan Martinez (Christopher Columbus) and Aramis Castano (Belen Jesuit) are still trying to turn heads.

Linemen Bryan Reinstrom (Champagnat Catholic), Jose Oliva (Somerset Silver Palms), Jayden Royal (St Thomas Aquinas) and Chris Hernandez (Doral Academy) will be on display as well.

On offense, look for Christopher Columbus quarterbacks Armando Parra, David Richard (Glades Central) and Champagnat Catholic’s Christopher Vidal.

Running backs Dallis Small (American Heritage Delray), Daniel Esteban (Belen Jesuit) and Charles Philias (Somerset Silver Palms) will be tough to stop.

The receiving corps is solid with Tyler March (American Heritage Plantation), Tyler Carmona (Monsignor Pace), versatile Mater Academy prospect John Cooper and St. Thomas Aquinas standout Matthew Akuchie.

The offensive line has size and plenty of experience. Prospects such as Khiry Stubbs (American Heritage Plantation), Dalvin Montes (Miami Christian) Michael Malone (St. Thomas Aquinas) to name a few.


With the Private team rolling out some impressive players on both side of the ball, do not count out what the Public squad features.

Coach Morgan and his team have worked hard to get ready for this matchup.

Defensive standouts include Miami Southridge linebackers Malique Newberry, Matthew Moulton and Kirk Williams, defensive lineman Lionel Long and defensive backs Jeffery William and Xavier Johnson. 

There is also Dillard defensive back Darrion Harris, Miramar defensive linemen Javon Johnson and Evan Turner, and Hallandale linebacker Damion Santos will showcase their skills along with other quality south Florida seniors.

On offense, running backs William Spivey and Alejandro Andino (Cypress Bay), receiver Kevin Fielder, Jr. (Everglades), lineman Joshua Johnson (Southridge), John De La Cruz, Samuel Kemp and Tremaine Hutchinson (Miramar), Boyd Anderson quarterback Tyrese McConn, Dillard running back Sky Louis and Piper receiver Kingsley Grissett are just a few of what you will be watching on Saturday. 

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