Posted: 10:23 am Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Glades Central’s Kelvin Benjamin, Clive Walford sidelined 

By Jason Lieser

Two of Glades Central’s top players are sitting out non-mandatory summer workouts, but coach Jessie Hester expects both to be ready for the Raiders’ season opener at Dwyer.

Senior Clive Walford, who is expected to play tight end and defensive end, had surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Hester said Walford will be limited in August and is unlikely to play in the Raiders’ pre-season game against Miami-Carol City.

“We’re going to be cautious,” Hester said. “We’ll probably keep him out of the kickoff classic game, but it’s not serious. He’s fine.”

Walford, one of the county’s best basketball players, is preparing for his first season of varsity football. He has already committed to play football for Miami.

Walford said he is walking around without pain and plans to practice this month.

“It feels much better,” he said. “There’s no pain, really. It just feels a little tight.

Kelvin Benjamin, a junior wide receiver who should be the Raiders’ No. 1 option this season, has fluid buildup in his right knee and is wearing a brace. Benjamin’s injury did not require surgery and he plans to be back at full speed in two weeks, meaning he could miss the first week of official practices.

Benjamin (6-6, 210) started six games as a sophomore but became a national recruit during the off-season by shining in 7-on-7 tournaments and camps. He now has 10 offers, including Florida, Tennessee and Central Florida. Hester said he believes Benjamin might be the best player in the county this season.

Hester also said junior offensive lineman Travis Salter, senior DL/LB Michael Smith and junior wide receiver Rashard Darrisaw are out, too, but none are expected to miss significant time once official practices begin Aug. 10.

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