Posted: 2:28 pm Friday, July 15th, 2011
By Jeff Greer
This is a new feature I want to try this fall: a stock report each week detailing the rising, falling or maintaining of teams, players and other topics. With so much going on in the offseason, from team camps and combines to 7-on-7 tournaments and spring games, why don’t we take stock of some big names and teams?
These are teams and players whose stock has risen this summer because of impressive performances.
Atlantic: The Eagles put on an impressive defensive performance in an otherwise sloppy spring game against highly talented Glades Central. They followed that up with an impressive run in the Brandon Flowers 7-on-7 tournament this past weekend. There are still areas with plenty of room for improvement, mainly the offensive line and quarterbacks, but Atlantic has the talent to be very dangerous this fall.
Tyler Cameron: The Jupiter quarterback has been followed by hype everywhere he’s gone since he was a freshman, but a season-ending throwing-shoulder injury has healed and he’s impressed enough college coaches to rack up close to 20 verbal scholarship offers this offseason.
John I. Leonard: The Lancers were 5-6 last year and made the playoffs, thanks in large part to bruising running back Marlin Joseph. Having lost its three backfield starters from last fall, including Joseph, Leonard looked like it would be headed back to the drawing board with a young team. Instead, Leonard topped Centennial 21-7 in the spring game, impressed observers at the Dolphins 7-on-7 and built on that with an appearance in the finals of the Brandon Flowers 7-on-7.
Also up: Village Academy receiver Devonte Robinson, who committed to WVU this week, and Cardinal Newman, which made a surprise run all the way to the finals of the Dolphins 7-on-7 tournament. Suncoast has had an impressive few months under new coach Jessie Hester.
This is a group that just keeps doing what it’s doing.
Seminole Ridge: There’s no question the Hawks have become one of the model programs in the area. They win every season, they’re well coached and they’ve got a development program producing young talent regularly each season. They impressed at the UCF team camp and blew out what should be a very athletic Treasure Coast team in the spring game. But none of this should surprise anyone.
Dwyer: It’s a similar situation to Seminole Ridge, though Dwyer has done it for a while longer. The Panthers appear to have reloaded after losing a handful of Division I players after last season. Young athlete Clinton Stephens has burst onto the recruiting scene, and two of the Panthers’ top rising seniors, Bobby Puyol and Julian Whigham, each committed to BCS schools this week (UConn and Syracuse, respectively). Just par for the course.
Also cruising: Glades Day and Jupiter Christian appear to have all the tools and talent necessary to, well, keep doing what they do: win games and beat each other up in the postseason. In terms of players, the county’s new “Big 3” seems to have taken shape, with Gardens’ Avery Young, Boynton’s Jessamen Dunker and Palm Beach Central’s Angelo Jean-Louis consistently being ranked among the top prospects in the nation. No shockers there.
This is a spot where we’ll discuss teams struggling a little bit.
Glades Central: The Raiders entered the offseason as the early favorites for the 2011 season, but the transition to a new quarterback and coaching staff hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d hoped. The Raiders struggled in the second day of the Dolphins 7-on-7 tournament, losing to Immokalee. That followed their spring-game loss to Atlantic, where their offensive line looked porous.
American Heritage: With a roster as talented as any in the county — with as many athletes as the Stallions have — there’ve been some disappointing performances in 7-on-7 action. Not that the glorified scrimmages give us a ton of insight into how a team will be with its pads on, but Heritage has so much talent that you just feel like the Stallions should dominate. And they haven’t. But like Glades Central, the idea that Heritage is “dropping” comes from the high expectations we have for them.
Also dropping: Gardens lost its spring game 56-7 against Fort Pierce Central, a shocking result for a team that has quality talent at several positions. After making the playoffs last year, Wellington appears to be in for a long season after a 48-7 drubbing this spring at the hands of King’s Academy.