Posted: 3:27 pm Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
By Anthony Chiang
Everybody ready to watch fireworks?
Well, in this week’s installment of the mailbag, we took the time to compare a couple of Palm Beach County high school football teams to fireworks. Seems fitting, right?
If that’s not enough, we also looked at Glades Central’s chances to get back to its winning ways next season and District 13-7A.
If you weren’t able to ask a question this week, you still have a chance to have your questions answered. Send your questions for next week via Twitter, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the comment section here.
Let’s do it.
@jbrezzy261: Is Glades Central going to be back to winning this year?
Anthony Chiang: Yes … is the short answer. Here’s the long answer …
Glades Central finished with its first losing record (5-6) in two decades last season. The Raiders were also eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last season.
Obviously, it was a year the program would like to forget. With a coaching change and new schemes, Glades Central hopes to do just that. New head coach Rick Casko is installing an up-tempo spread offense that players seem excited about. But the Raiders are still looking for their starting quarterback. Casko is considering three candidates — junior Giovanni Lugo, junior Andre Tommie and super freshman James Blackman. I’m hearing Lugo is the favorite to get the job based on the experience he brings.
On defense, there is talent all over the field and former Palm Beach Central head coach Rod Harris is calling the shots. Harris was hired to be the Raider’s defensive coordinator in April and he has been impressed with the talent he has seen so far. 6-foot-2 defensive lineman Steven Leggett and linebacker Antonio Brown will be standouts on Glades Central’s speedy defense this season.
How will the Raiders fare in 2014? They will finish with a winning record and make the playoffs in a weak district. But Glades Central better find a way to win the district to avoid another first-round matchup with Miami-Washington, which is No. 9 in MaxPreps’ national preseason rankings. A tough early season schedule with games against Dwyer, Palm Beach Central and American Heritage should help the Raiders in the long run.
wildcat guy: Do you think West Boca Raton can be as good this year since their star quarterback is gone? Also, do you think Royal Palm Beach actually has a chance of beating Dwyer this year?
Anthony Chiang: Naturally, West Boca will likely take a step back after losing quarterback Paul Columbo to graduation. Columbo was a key ingredient to the Bulls’ success in 2013. But don’t underestimate head coach Alphonso Moran. West Boca brings back stud WR/WB Antonio Cartagena and the Bulls could surprise people again this year.
As for your second question, I believe Royal Palm has a chance. Dwyer will have the home-field advantage against the Wildcats this year. So, the Panthers will still be the favorites, but Royal Palm has the potential to pull off the upset. The matchup between Dwyer QB Daniel Parr and Royal Palm QB Toddy Centeio should be fun to watch. Centeio is next in line.
Scott: Compare Palm Beach County football teams to fireworks.
Anthony Chiang: That’s not a question. It’s a demand. But OK.
Boynton Beach is the Roman candle of Palm Beach County high school football. A Roman candle is a firework that ejects one or more stars. When the flame reaches the top star, the star is ignited. With the star fitting loosely in the tube, the fire spreads around it and initiates the lift charge.
Now, think Lamar Jackson. The dual-threat quarterback is the star that makes Boynton Beach go. He’s the man that makes the no-huddle pistol offense so effective. When he’s on, the Tigers are hard to contain like the Roman candle.
Dwyer is the flare of Palm Beach County high school football. A flare produces brilliant light and intense heat without an explosion.
This is what Dwyer has become. The Panthers are so consistently awesome that nobody blinks when they pull off an undefeated regular season. Every game is an example of brilliance — there’s that word again. But it isn’t a big deal because this is what outsiders have come to expect from the Panthers. So stop waiting for that explosion!
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.