Larry Blustein

SPRING SPOTLIGHT: Miami Central Will Be In The Middle of The 6A Title Mix

Larry Blustein
May 22, 2019 - 9:22 am

Talk to anyone at Miami Central and all will tell you that the moral victories are no longer accepted on 95th Street.

The once powerhouse Rockets, who have been away from the state title mix for a few years, will no longer accept being second best, and that is a feeling shared by every coach and player.

The Rockets finished the spring with an impressive 28-7 win over North Miami – and the feeling around this campus is this is indeed one of the nation’s strongest programs.

With a more than competitive schedule every year, veteran head coach Roland Smith and his team look at the 2019 season as one that this program will be back on the map and very much in the national title hunt.

Look at any position on the field and you will see elite talent – combined with one of the country’s best coaching staffs.

As the Rockets stay in 6A, leaving behind longtime district foes Miami Carol City and two-time defending state champion Northwestern, those close to programs still remain on a schedule that compares to any in the country.

While national powers continue to roll out more than competitive programs, loaded with elite talent every year, many of those teams are private schools – and that’s what makes Central such a tremendous success story.

Whether people understand it or not – the fact is this program is a public school – and no matter how you slice it – public is public, and in the landscape of athletics these days – public schools are still very much up against a wall when competing against those national powerhouses.

What this team has, heading into the summer is plenty of talent – and with a mix of young prospects along with athletes who have already been established – most regard the Rockets as the team to beat in 6A.


It must be a Miami-Dade County thing when it comes to the powerhouses. The theme has long been smothering defenses that feature some of the nation’s elite football programs.

This year will certainly be no exception – as talent flows from the line into a secondary that continues to make news during the off season.

As new prospects will emerge and others may come in over the next few months, the Rockets leave spring with big time talent that everyone has been talking about.

With several key linemen gone from last year, the depth has uncovered some impressive athletes – such as 2020 prospects Tre’von Allen (DE), Charles Dorsey (offensive lineman as well) – as well as Stefan Young-Rolle.

The Rockets graduated some quality playmakers at the linebacker position, but with Class of 2020 standouts Jesus Machado, who is going into his fifth year at the varsity level along with Hernedy Janvier. Add in Class of 2021 rising standouts Rhoody Jean-Louis and Derrick Williams – and 2022 rising prospect Carlton Brownlee, things really look promising.

We know that the secondary has always been key to this program, and this year will certainly be no exception – with Class of 2020 stars Henry Gray, Jalen Harrell and Chaminade-Madonna transfer Deidrick Stanley II.

Other 2020 prospects include: Elijah Abreu, Terry Smith and Devin West.

The special teams will be solid with Class of 2022 kicker Jayden John and 2020 punter Erick Martinez.


The offense a year ago could put some numbers up with solid players all over the place. This year, while there are new faces, you can expect the same.

American High transfer quarterback Katravis Marsh is already heavily recruited and a great addition to the offense.

The running game will be one of the best with the return of Class of 2021 standout Amari Daniels – along with gifted Class of 2020 standouts Kejon Owens and Jaquavious Woods.

Other prospects in the Class of 2021 will be Demon Brown (also a receiver) and Stephen Warren.

The receiving corps will be very solid. Class of 2020 standouts Geovanni Ribalta, Josue Ultima and Shamar Zaragoza return – with quality pass catchers Edward Boone, Antwan Davis, transfer Baron Grant, and Iverson Jean-Jacques – and Class of 2021 rising prospect Valonsky Jeanty.

The key to the Rockets’ offense has long been the line – and in 2019, you can expect much of the same success – with University of Miami 2021 commit Laurence Seymour – as well as Class of 2020 athletes Omar Dukes and Demetrius Morrow – along with 2021 rising standouts Kwami’ McNair and Jeron "Puda’’Scharoun Jr.


We began our series, looking at state championship game teams from 2018 with 2A state runner Champagnat Catholic, two-time defending champ Chaminade-Madonna (3A) defending state champion Cardinal Gibbons (5A), two-time defending state champion Miami Northwestern (6A), state runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas (7A), and new coach Dave Dunn and state runner-up Christopher Columbus (8A).

Last week, we took a look at the 8A Deerfield Beach Bucks and the week before, it was the 4A Fort Lauderdale University School Sharks - and this week with the Rockets, we will continue to spotlight the contenders in south Florida.

Click on the link to check them all out!

2A – Hialeah Champagnat Lions.

3A – Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions.

4A - Fort Lauderdale University School Sharks.

5A – Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs.

6A – Miami Northwestern Bulls.

7A – Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

8A – Deerfield Beach Bucks.

8A – Miami Christopher Columbus Explorers.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Monday night (7-8) on WQAM (560AM - 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!