South Plantation defense shines in win against Plantation November 13th, 2012
South Plantation coach Doug Gatewood admitted Friday night he wasn’t sure how his defense would match up against a high-powered Plantation offense.
Turns out, the Paladins were more than fine.
South Plantation forced two turnovers and kept Plantation out of an offensive rhythm all night, helping the Paladins earn a 10-0 win over their cross-town rivals.
Plantation quarterback Chris Lammon was chased down by defenders all night, was sacked twice for big losses, and finished with 10 carries for 18 yards. It wasn’t until late in the game that he even moved into positive territory. He was also held to just 67 passing yards.
More than just the solid defensive effort on Lammon was the shutout posted by the Paladin defense. Plantation came into Friday night’s matchup averaging 37 points per game.
“When we looked at this team, we looked offensively. John Franklin, Alex [Collins], but if you really go through our season, the defense is really the one that’s been holding us in the right position a lot of times,” Paladins coach Doug Gatewood said. “There’s not a big name. There are a lot of names. We don’t have a nickname for them. They just go out there and play hard. That’s all I can tell you.”
Friday night’s District 11-8A matchup between South Plantation and Deerfield Beach had plenty of major playoff implications.
It was also a showdown between two of Broward County’s top running backs: South Plantation’s Alex Collins and Deerfield’s Brandon Powell. Neither of them disappointed.
Collins, the reigning Sun Sentinel Player of the Year, a Miami commit and one of the nation’s most recruited prospects, had 24 carries for 154 yards. He scored the Paladins’ lone touchdown and scored on a two-point conversion. Meanwhile, Powell, a junior, finished with 21 carries for 147 yards and scored all three of the Bucks touchdowns.
Ultimately, it was a defensive play from Powell that helped make the difference in Deerfield Beach’s 21-14 win over South Plantation. With South Plantation driving late in the fourth quarter of a tie game, the Buck defense forced a Collins fumble. Powell came up with the loose ball and later, scored the eventual game-winning touchdown.
For Deerfield Beach, the win meant forcing a 3-way tiebreaker on Monday between the Bucks, Paladins and Taravella (which beat Coral Springs on Friday). For South Plant, it was a missed opportunity. The Paladins could have clinched the district title and a playoff berth with a win.
Here’s what Powell had to say about his team’s big win, and matching up against Collins–who he believes is the top running back in the nation:
Cooper City runs over South Broward October 19th, 2012
COOPER CITY — Cooper City lost Zach Tasse for the rest of the season last week when Tasse suffered a broken collarbone on his first carry against Western.
And Jarrett Morgan sat out much of the second half Thursday night against South Broward — he finished with 55 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries — after aggravating a previous shoulder injury.
It didn’t matter.
Not with the way Lemond Johnson, and anyone else that took a handoff for the Cowboys, carried the ball.
Johnson racked up 126 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, Jesse Colon pounded out 45 yards and a touchdown on six carries and Michael Keys piled up 30 yards on five carries.
South Plantation QB Erin DiMeglio makes ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top 10 September 3rd, 2012
South Plantation quarterback Erin DiMeglio has earned plenty of national attention this week in her quest to become what is believed to be the first girl to play QB in a regular-season high school football game.
She accomplished the feat on Friday night in South Plantation’s win over Nova. And that means one of sports’ biggest names had to give her her due.
This morning, DiMeglio–a senior–was included in ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10. The network showed WSVN video footage of her and her history-making handoff.
DiMeglio wasn’t the only notable Broward County name mentioned during Saturday morning’s ESPN coverage. The network also profiled Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, a former Deerfield Beach star.
Robinson and his eighth-ranked Wolverines take on No. 2 Alabama on Saturday night.
Last Friday night, South Plantation quarterback Erin DiMeglio moved one step closer to possibly making state history when she took a series of snaps in a preseason game against Seminole Ridge.
I had the chance to chat with DiMeglio and her family about that night and her potential date with destiny. Needless to say, it’s a story that has captured lots of local attention.
Turns out the rest of the country is keeping an eye on DiMeglio too. According to her mom, Kathleen, the family has been contacted by the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the New York Times and a host of other media outlets.
But better than all of that? The family also heard from a college scout at Quinnipiac University about a potential college scholarship…in women’s rugby. How’s that for an opportunity?
So how is DiMeglio handling all of the attention? Her mom says surprisingly well.
“She’s a regular, normal kid and she’s handling it well,” Kathleen DiMeglio said. “She came home last night and had a ton of homework to do, so we worked on that. She babysits in her spare time. And she still has to unload the dishwasher and do her chores.”
So there you have it. No star treatment for one of South Florida’s most well-known football players.
South Plantation opens its season Friday night against Nova.
In early August, it’s not uncommon to see high school football teams taking to the practice fields before the sun comes up. Some squads are eager to get out there and start working. Others see 5 and 6 a.m. practices as practical. After all, it’s one way to avoid those almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms South Floridians know all too well.
But while making the rounds today and chatting with a few coaches, one topic came up more than once: Midnight Madness. And no, those coaches weren’t talking about that NCAA basketball tradition. They were talking about late-night practices for high school football teams.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, at least two area schools–Lincoln and Chiles–began practice at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Do a quick search on Google or Twitter and you’ll discover Midnight Madness practices are pretty common across the country (Not surprisingly, they’re a fan favorite in Texas). And an Instagram photo I came across showed Miami’s Christopher Columbus was out in the rain after midnight.
So is it time to bring Midnight Madness practices to Broward and Palm Beach counties? Maybe. At least one coach thought the idea sounded like a fun way to get fans and players excited about the upcoming season. Will a midnight practice give teams any kind of competitive advantage? Not likely. After all, how many games are played at midnight? And whether you take the field at 12:01 a.m., 6 a.m., or 4 p.m., the FHSAA limits how long practices can be and how many hours are allowed per week.
But could Midnight Madness practices give fans reasons to cheer? Will they generate interest from the community? I think so. High school football fans are passionate here. They’d love the opportunity to come out, show their teams some support and be part of creating a new tradition.
I have a feeling this could be a concept that takes root and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if come one Sunday night next August, I’ll be on campus somewhere, watching a new South Florida phenomenon.
So how ’bout it? If your high school had an open Midnight Madness practice, would you go? Or is the entire concept overkill? Share your thoughts…
Every time a major story breaks–whether it’s in news, entertainment or sports–there usually seems to be a South Florida connection.
The biggest story in college baseball is no different.
A week after emerging as the winner of the Coral Gables regional and stunning the hometown Hurricanes in the process, Stony Brook traveled to Baton Rouge and upset LSU in a three-game Super Regional to earn a berth in the College World Series.
One of the players headed to Omaha? Pitcher and Coral Glades alum Evan Stecko-Haley. Stecko-Haley enters the CWS with a 7-3 record, a 3.47 ERA, and a staff-high 63 strikeouts for the Seawolves.
Monday, Stecko-Haley’s high school coach, Joe Giummule, talked about how exciting it’s been to watch his former player’s run to college baseball’s biggest stage.
“I was watching ESPN [Sunday] night and I saw him jumping around in the dugout with his teammates,” said Giummule, who now coaches at South Broward. “He was a decently-recruited player out of high school, and he chose a school that would give him the opportunity to play right away. It’s great to see him succeeding. He was a great kid, a hard worker and I thought he had talent even out of high school.”
While Stony Brook’s success has surprised college baseball fans across the country, Giummule said it’s something he expected after watching the Seawolves recruit in South Florida.
“I met the head recruiter when he came down here and they went outside the box,” Giummule said. “They came to South Florida and they did a great job of stealing a kid from Miami, FIU and FAU’s back yard. They took some kids from Miami, and those kids stepped right in and became four-year starters. They got program players, players that play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. Now they’re reaching their plan.”
Mansfield Legacy’s Shelbi Vaughan and South Grand Prairie’s Abraham Hall are Gatorade’s National Track and Field Athletes of the Year.
The two athletes are being presented the awards today in Fort Worth.
Vaughan, who has signed with Texas A&M for track and field and volleyball, won the 5A shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 1 1/4 inches at the state meet. She also won the discus with a throw of 187-10 that broke the state meet by 24 feet. She also set a national record in the discus (191-6) at the Texas Relays.
Hall won the 5A titles in the 100 and 200 meters with blistering times. Hall posted the fastest time in the nation in the 100 (10.19 seconds). It was just .04 off the state record set by Greenville’s Henry Neal in 1990.
Hall’s time in the 200 (20.58) was also the fastest non-wind-aided time by a high school athlete this year. He’s headed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Just before the start of the high school baseball season, a number of teams from Broward and Palm Beach counties found themselves ranked in the pre-season ESPNHS Powerade Fab 50.
Six weeks into the season, just two remain.
Coming off a solid showing in the Titan Classic, Nova has moved into the top 10 of the most recent Powerade Fab 50. The Titans (12-0) are now ranked No. 7 in the country and are the highest ranked Florida team.
Palm Beach Central, which was unranked last week, is now No. 37.
For a complete look at the most recent ESPNHS Powerade Fab 50, follow this link.
It’s been a big week for Auburn pitcher Lauren Schmalz, a former Everglades High standout.
Schmalz, who is the daughter of Cooper City softball coach Phil Schmalz, was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week after helping lead the Tigers to victories over No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 23 Georgia Tech.
The senior is currently has a 4-0 record with a 0.36 ERA. In 19.1 innings, she has struck out 25 and allowed just five walks.
Just days after being honored by the SEC, Schmalz will be returning to South Florida as Auburn takes part in FAU’s Strike Out Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton this weekend.
The Tigers, ranked No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Softball top 25, will play five games in the tournament–two Friday, two Saturda and one on Sunday. Their opponents will include FAMU, FAU, Michigan State, FIU and Loyola Marymount.