Posted: 2:42 pm Friday, July 24th, 2009

Glades Central wins NFL 7-on-7 national title 

By Jason Lieser

The Glades Central football team represented South Florida in the NFL’s national 7-on-7 high school football contest and won the tournament.

Here is the official press release, courtesy of the Miami Dolphins:

The Glades Central Raiders represented the Miami Dolphins and South Florida in exemplary fashion, claiming the title of 2009 NFL HSPD National Champions. Their impressive combination of size and speed proved to be a major advantage as they went undefeated in the national tournament.

“Winning this really meant a lot to these kids,” said Twan Russell, Director of the Miami Dolphins Youth and Community Programs who was on hand to witness Glades Central’s performance. “They worked very hard at our tournament and here at Nationals to get where they are now. They also did an excellent job of representing South Florida and the Dolphins. Hopefully they will take what they’ve learned both on the field and in the NFL’s High School Development Program, apply it in their lives and become successful student-athletes and members of their community.”

Though many of their games in pool play and later in the single-elimination round were close at halftime, Glades showed an uncanny ability to make big plays and shut the door on opposing teams in the second half. The team used its discipline and athleticism to get big second half scoring drives and played solid defense to secure victories.

“We felt very strongly that the team that came out of our tournament would do very well at the national level competing against this level of competition, because South Florida as we all know is a hotbed of high school football talent,” said Russell.

Glades Central punched their ticket to the National tournament with a dominant performance in the Dolphins Academy 7 on 7 Tournament, beating out 31 other high schools in the tri-county area including Boyd Anderson, Miami Edison and Miami Jackson on June 8-9. In addition to a rigorous football schedule, Glades Central also completed an important life skills clinic through the NFL’s High School Player Development Program as they went through both the Dolphins Academy 7 on 7 Tournament and the NFL National Tournament shortly thereafter.

The HSPD program consisted of two specific elements: Character development and on-field football development, which allowed the participants to not only receive skill training by position in football but also training that would help them become successful collegiate student-athletes. Specific skills that were taught through the HSPD curriculum included: Study skills, time management, anger management, decision-making, and transferable skills that they can use in football and ultimately life such as responsibility, teamwork, goal-setting, communication, dedication and discipline.