Sunday, September 9, 2007
South Florida's Greatest High School Football Teams
Great high school teams from the past and present: Pictured top to bottom: 1970 Edison Red Raiders, 1929 Miami High Stingarees, 2006 Northwestern Bulls
Today the Miami Herald had an article on the greatest football teams in the history of South Florida (Dade and Broward Counties). The main theme centered around this year's Miami Northwestern High team and how they compare with the great teams of all time. There's no doubt this year's Northwestern Bulls are a great team--one of the best in Dade history. But I don't think they're as good as last year's Northwestern team. Why? The 2007 Bulls don't have a dominating running back.
Although he has a notorious off-field reputation, Antwain Easterling was one of the best running backs in Dade history. Right now Northwestern is using Daquan Hargrett and Tyresse Jones. Both are very fast. But neither is nearly as good or physical as Easterling. There's a reason why Roland Smith and Principal Bernard didn't suspend Easterling for last year's state championship game. I think Easterling will be missed when the Bulls travel to Texas and play Southlake Carroll. Also, this year's Bulls secondary is weaker than last year.
Ten Best South Florida Teams of All Time:
#1 2006 Miami Northwestern Bulls: Featured Dade County's most prolific quarterback (Jacory Harris), receiver (Aldarius Johnson) and a 2,000 yard rusher (Antwain Easterling). The defense had 7 consecutive shutouts.
#2 1967 Coral Gables Cavaliers: Legendary Gables coach Nick Kotys called this group the best team he ever coached. The '67 Cavaliers shut out an amazing 9 opponents and won the mythical national title. They were led by All State QB Craig Curry, who later became an All Big Ten quarterback at Minnesota and was drafted by the Dolphins in 1972. The defense was led by All South linebacker Paul Johnstone and former Dade County Athlete of the Year Roger Peace. Running back Gerald Tinker went on to win an Olympic gold medal on the USA 4 x 100 relay team in the 1972 Munich Games.
#3 1993 Miami Southridge Spartans: The backfield of Troy and Darren Davis along with fullback Sedrick Irvin was the finest in Dade history. Linebacker Lamont Green was the most heavily recruited defensive player to perhaps ever come out of Dade County. The Spartans destroyed Bradenton Manatee in the state championship game.
#4 1977 Carol City Chiefs: Before Walt Frazier became coach at Carol City, Jerry Anderson established Carol City as a powerhouse in the late 1970s. The 1977 Chiefs had the greatest defensive line in South Florida history (Lester Williams, Johnnie Lewis and James Gilbert). The entire defensive line went on to play major college football and two went on to the NFL. Running back Terry Daniels was a high school All American and played DB at Tennessee and in the USFL.
#5 1942 Miami High Stingarees: Yes, they wore leather helmets. But they were amazing. The Stingarees beat teams from 6 different states, including the state champs from Georgia and North Carolina. They were so dominant they had to leave the state to find decent competition. The backfield featured Arnold Tucker, who later became an All American at Army and won the prestigous Sullivan Award as the nation's best amateur athlete. Backfield mates Bruce Smith and Pete Williams went on to star for Navy.
#6 1992 St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders: Head coach George Smith's first state championship team and perhaps his best. The backfield featured Keith Wilkerson and Daryl Porter.
#7 1973 Hollywood Hills Spartans: The first Broward County team to win an official state title. Head coach Dick Saltrick's Spartans won 26 consecutive games from 1973-74.
#8 1998 Northwestern Bulls: This team went undefeated while playing a tremendous schedule--beating Jackson twice, Southridge, Carol City, Miami High, Plantation and Bradenton Southeast in the state championship game. The 98 Bulls featured three current NFL players Vernon Carey, Antonio Bryant and Torrie Cox.
#9 1996-97 Carol City Chiefs: Coach Walt Frazier's boys won back to back titles with all-purpose QB Ethenic Sands. Those teams featured greats like Santana Moss, Stanford Samuels, Robert Sanford, Octavis Jackson, Bradley Jennings and Moses Washington.
#10 1970 Edison Red Raiders: You can't mention great South Florida teams without mentioning the Edison Red Raiders. Edison was led by All-Dade QB Kary Baker, who later became the first African-American quarterback in UM history. Fullback Alan Reynaud and center Wilmore Ritchie were All-State and team captains. Edison won all 13 games including a huge win over Coral Gables in the Orange Bowl. Gables featured 4 future NFL players Neal Colzie, Ralph Ortega, Glenn Cameron and Gary Dunn.
1956 Coral Gables Cavaliers
1959 Edison Red Raiders
1989 Dillard Panthers
1965 Miami High Stingarees
1964 Coral Gables Cavaliers
1975 Hialeah-Miami Lakes Trojans
2003 Carol City Chiefs
2002 Blanche Ely Tigers
2003 Chaminade-Madonna Lions
1956 Coral Gables Cavaliers
1929 Miami High Stingarees