Larry Blustein

SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: 8A – Monarch Could Be That Surprise Team In 2019

As the 2019 season is set to begin, many who follow high school football in south Florida have their favorites to make a push for a state title in December.

As some are fixed on Broward County’s stacked teams such as Western and Deerfield Beach – as well as emerging Miami-Dade powers Columbus, South Dade and Palmetto, there are a few programs in Class 8A that are starting to make some noise as well.

With the addition of coaches and players since the end of the 2018 season, the Monarch Knights, under the direction of head coach Dante Lombardi, may not be the team that everyone is watching, but that could change – quickly!

Remember, Monarch has had a history with winning football – and with the right pieces over the next few years – they can easily be right back in the mix again.

If spring games against Miami Norland and Fort Lauderdale taught this program anything, it was that if you execute and cut down on mistakes, you can play with anyone – and that is certainly the plan moving forward.


Coming into the season, there is a lot of optimism about this growing team – and the playmakers on the defensive side of the ball have already given this program some notoriety.

Staring with senior linebacker Bobby McLaughlin, who led al tacklers in the state of Florida – and he is back for more as he showed in the spring – with over 20 tackles in halves against Norland and Fort Lauderdale.

Also, fellow senior Ben Anderson, and loaded group of junior that include Leandre Jones, Tyrique McKenzie, Anthony Rizzo and Patrice Desroisers.

Up front, a group of seniors who figure to keep this program in the spotlight – which include Solomon Acevedo, Daryl Bellamy (DE), Shanard Lo-Ray (DE), Trevor Connelly, Ben Anderson, Tyrell Geddis and Donovan Eugene (DE).

Juniors Thiago Carabajal and Derek Peres, and sophomores Semmaj Taylor (DE) and Joshua Joseph (DE) are promising prospects.

The Knights’ secondary showed in the spring that has the talent. Seniors Tyson James, Edwin LeBron, Amarii Scarlett and Louise Rolle will lead the way.

Following will be a very impressive junior class that features Marquis Gant, Nathan Lebrun, Adam Musa, Jordan Julmus and Garood Macombe.


While there is plenty of talent and experience on the defensive side of the ball, this program will need to step things up on offense – where sophomore quarterback Peter Zamora brings an outstanding youth career and one junior varsity season at Cardinal Gibbons to this program.

He did show in the spring that he is ready to lead this team, but he needs to get it done in the regular season to gain confidence.

Junior Tydarius Geddis is also ready to help this team win games in 2019.

The running game will be solid – with seniors Isaiah Harris and Messiah Johnson, and sophomores Tyrese Carey and Jerrell Mash.

With talented junior Jaden Alexis leading the way, the receiving corps could be very competitive.

Fellow juniors Antoine Mondesir, Luis Vaca, Noah Williams and Travon Zanders will help lead this unit along with seniors Brady Brauner, Nicholas Ruggieri, Travai Keitt, Louis Rolle and Tydarius Geddis.

There is also freshman Lionel Alcira.

With the schedule this team has this season, the line will certainly tell a lot about what kind of success the Knights will have.

Seniors Jonathan Hyppolite, Jake Johnson and Tyrece Geddis will lead the way for juniors Eddie Acevedo, Kyle Georgi and Mateusz Robaszkieewicz.

There are also sophomores Jake Palacio and Dylan Spaeden.

Monarch will have some solid special teams with juniors Ethan Boulanger and David Sanchez.


It’s all about promoting the best talent in the country – and right up until the start of the 2019 season, we will spotlight south Florida football teams that figure to be in the mix for a state title this coming season.

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).

Click on the link to check them all out!

2A – Hialeah Champagnat Lions.

3A – Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions.

4A - Fort Lauderdale University School Sharks.

4A – Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs.

4A – Miami Booker T. Washington Tornadoes.

4A – Miami Carol City Chiefs.

4A – Miami Gulliver Prep Raiders.

4A – Miami Monsignor Pace Spartans.

5A – Coconut Creek Cougars.

5A – Hallandale Chargers.

5A – Plantation American Heritage Patriots.

5A – Miami Northwestern Bulls.

6A – Fort Lauderdale Dillard Panthers.

6A – Miami Belen Jesuit.

6A – Miami Central Rockets.

6A – South Miami Cobras.

7A – Doral Academy Firebirds.

7A – Fort Lauderdale Flying Ls.

7A – Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

7A – Hialeah Thoroughbreds.

7A – Hollywood McArthur Mustangs.

7A – Miramar Patriots.

7A - Plantation Colonels.

8A – Davie Western Wildcats.

8A – Deerfield Beach Bucks.

8A – Homestead South Dade Bucs.

8A – Miami Christopher Columbus Explorers.

8A - Miami Palmetto Panthers.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Monday night (8-10) in the summer on WQAM (560AM - For the past 13 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting! Also Follow us on Facebook (Larry Blustein- SFHSports) and Twitter (@SFHSSports -  @larryblustein).