Posted: 9:04 am Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Football: Glades Central, Dwyer earn preseason top 25 status from MaxPreps 

By Matt Porter

MaxPreps.com’s preseason national team rankings are out, and two Palm Beach County teams are on the list.

After spring football, Glades Central is ranked No. 14 in the site’s top 25, while Dwyer comes in at No. 17. It’s a guarantee those rankings will change after the two teams play each other in Week 1 (Sept. 2 in Belle Glade; mark your calendars).

Here’s what MaxPreps had to say about both teams:

No. 14 Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.)
Strengths: What would a Glades Central team be without tremendous speed? Not only does this Muck Bowl participant boast its usual share of burners, but the 2011 Raiders are an experienced squad, with numerous key players returning from last year’s 12-2 squad that claimed victories over Skyline and American Heritage. Cre’von Leblanc, Jamie Wilson, Dominique Gibson and William Likley give Glades Central some of the best returning skill players in the country.

Question marks: For as well-established as the team’s skill positions are, Glades Central’s line play may be just as unsettled, as new head coach Roosevelt Blackmon will have to rebuild large parts of both the offensive and defensive lines. How the team will mesh in Blackmon’s first season, particularly with transfer quarterback Tanner Redish at the helm of the offense, still remains to be seen.

Outlook: Assuming the likes of Tavious Bridges and Brandon Rodriguez help construct a formidable defensive line, the real x-factor could be quarterback play. Glades Central will face a stiff season-opening test against Dwyer, a program the Raiders have found success against lately. This is a small program with big expectations, and will be among the state’s and country’s best.

No. 17 Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
Strengths: Dwyer should have excellent receivers this season, which will be a bonus for quarterbacks Faton Bauta and Bobby Puyol, who are battling for the starting job. Bauta, a transfer from Poly Prep, is talented enough to find playing time at a number of positions. The offensive line will see some new faces, but returning tackle Patrick Miller, a major recruit, is a great returning piece to build on. The Panthers’ sophomore class, which features Clint Stephens, Johnnie Dixon, Shaun Boone and Eric Roginsky, has coach Jack Daniels excited for the future.

Question marks: With the departure of Jacoby Brissett, Curt Maggitt and Nick O’Leary, Dwyer will have to replace a tremendous amount of production on both sides of the ball. The Panthers received several key transfers who will be skilled yet inexperienced in Daniels’ system. The team looked commendable in its spring game, but it will need to play as a fully cohesive unit when it opens up the season with Glades Central.

Outlook: More than anything, last year’s 12-2 season proved that Dwyer is fully capable of reloading, as the Panthers excelled despite losing Matt Elam, Robert Clark and Gerald Christian from the 2009 squad. Transfers Bauta, Dixon, linebacker Gage Batten and defensive end Malik Brown will have Dwyer performing up to the level of expectations that Daniels sets for his program: state championship or bust.

There are two other Florida teams in MaxPreps’ preseason top 25: Fort Lauderdale power St. Thomas Aquinas at No. 4 and Armwood, the Seffner school which edged Dwyer in last season’s Class 4A state semifinal, at No. 2 nationally.

Click here to see the rest of the list.