Larry Blustein

SPRING SPOTLIGHT – Can Chaminade-Madonna Make It 3 Straight?

Larry Blustein
April 02, 2019 - 12:58 pm

Football has become so competitive in the state of Florida, just reaching the state finals is an amazing effort in itself.

But if you happen to be head coach Dameon Jones and his Chaminade-Madonna Lions, Orlando has certainly been like a second home the past three years.

After losing to Jacksonville Trinity Christian in their first trip to the 3A championship game in 2016, they bounced back with a thrilling win over Oxbridge Academy in 2017 – and then last year turned it on in the second half and beat West Palm Beach King’s Academy.

As this team heads toward the spring, all the talk is certainly around a fourth straight trip to Orlando – and with Jacksonville Trinity Christian back in the picture – there is more on the line this year to get back for the fourth straight time – and of course – win a third straight title.

NEW LOOK, SAME RESULTS!

This is a football program that simply reloads. As quality talent returns on the defensive side of the ball, there are a number of prospects that will be making an impact for the first time.

Under Jones, the Lions have been one of the elite defensive units in south Florida – and that may not change in 2019.

The secondary, which lost a number of quality prospects from last year, will have that championship look with some gifted football talent leading the way.

Among those prospects include: 2020 performer Quadric Bullard (CB) and Benjamin Onwuzo (CB). Both have plenty of experience and talent. Bullard comes from South Broward – while Onwuzo has been watching, playing and learning at Chaminade-Madonna.

Miramar transfer Torrie Cox, Jr. (CB) leads the way for 2021 prospects – along with Michael Edwards (S), Tykwon Owens (CB) and safety Mehki Simmons.

Class of 2022 athletes Jaylin Marshall (CB) and Ryan Turner (CB) are not only the future, but the present as well.

The linebackers will also be difference makers with Class of 2020 standouts Marc Christie and Brandon Trueba.

Up front, this could be the strength of the unit – with 2020 standouts Kijuan Reid-Jacques (DE), Piper transfer Claude Larkins (DE) and University of Miami commitment Willie Moise (DT).

Underclassmen will also step up on the defensive line – with Class of 2021 performers Byron Hall (DE) and Allan Haye Jr. (DT) – and Class of 2022 emerging standouts Kenyatta Jackson Jr. (DE), Jamaal Johnson (DE) and Kalunj Matthew (DE).

The Lions will also have two of the best kickers in the state of Florida – and perhaps the entire country in 2021 special teams stars Andres Borregales and Carter Davis.

OFFENSE TAKES ON NEW LOOK

While several of the key players who guided this team to a pair of state titles last year – and the year before – are no longer around – there is plenty of talent on this roster.

After leading the Lions to a pair of state titles, quarterback Daelan Menard is moving on, leaving the position to Class of 2021 athletes Ryle Aguila and Alexander Law.

The running game will also be impressive with University of Miami commitment Thaddeus Franklin (2021), Germanuel Tanelus (2022) and Derek Geffrard (2021).

Losing a few key receivers was tough, but the Lions are loaded up – with 2020 players Rony Bourdeau, Elijah Canion, Jordan Cash and Donovan Desir. There is also a solid 2021 group that includes Bralon Brown, De’Mon Henry and Joshua Jenkins. The Lions also have a very gifted 2023 standout in Brain Dilworth.

Usually the difference for smaller schools is the size on the offensive line. That is where the Lions have had the advantage the past few years – and this coming year – it is an overwhelming difference.

Class of 2020 standouts Joseph Habinowski (T), Jeremiah Mawali (G) and Kris Pollas (C) join a more than solid 2021 group that features Jabez Adderson (G), River Brazil (T), Chris Giganti (C), Jaimari Herbert (T) and versatile David Richardson (C/LS). There is also 2023 rising standout Nico Flores.

We began our series, looking at state championship game teams from 2018 with 2A Champagnat Catholic. After this week’s look at Chaminade-Madonna (3A), we will spotlight Cardinal Gibbons (5A), Miami Northwestern (6A), St. Thomas Aquinas (7A) and Christopher Columbus (8A). We will also continue to take a look at the contenders in south Florida through the spring and summer.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Monday/Tuesday night (8-9) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 12 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!