Moments after head coach Mike Smith and his Plantation American Heritage Patriots lost to Miami Central in the 2M state finals, the realization that 15 starting seniors were gone.
Fifteen prospects who lifted this team over the past four years were playing for the last time, a and while it was tough to face, this program was also returning nine key starters from the 13-2 team.
With Central and other programs in 2M starting to reload for the 2023 season, the Patriots, despite losing so many impressive and quality performers may have been ahead of several teams with the players they had coming back.
Like any other team in the state – especially in south Florida – the off-season usually signals players coming and going, and this program is certainly no exception.
If they are to compete like this past season, new faces will blend in with the already highly talented roster they have.
With key returning rising seniors like Bowen Drewes (LB, 6-2, 205), Leviev Kinlock (DE/OLB, 6-2, 230), Alon Kochav (P/K, 6-0, 180), Timothy Burroughs-Love (OG/DT, 6-2, 280), Sherrod Pearce (CB, 5-9, 165), Cayden Trent (G/T, 6-3, 300) and offensive tackle Jimmy Williams III (6-5, 280), a foundation has been set.
The rising junior class is also something to be very excited about – with Dayen Marouf Araibi (OT, 6-3, 265), Ben Diaz (OC, 6-0, 270), Mekhi Hicks (CB, 5-10, 165), Byron Louis (RB, 5-11, 195) and cornerback Jordan Rich (5-9, 160) already proving what they can bring to the table.
The class also boasts Gabriel Cline (WR, 6-2, 185), Peter Grady (OG, 6-1, 265), Freddie King (DT, 5-11, 265), Fletcher Lavoie (DE, 6-2, 250), Jordan Louis (S, 5-9, 160), Sean Murphy (RB, 5-9, 175), Judah Stubbs (WR, 5-11, 170), Gregory Thomas (WR/CB, 6-3, 190) and offensive lineman Evan Wallace (6-1, 260) as well.
WAIT – THERE’S MORE
The Patriots also set the future with rising sophomores Dia Bell (QB, 6-0, 170), Elijah Balkman (LB, 5-10, 165), Brandon Bennett (WR, 6-0, 170), Christien Moreau (DL, 6-0, 270), Jeffar Jean-Noel (WR, 5-10, 170) and All-American receiver Malachi Toney (5-10, 165). Keep an eye on rising freshman athlete Marcus Smith (5-6, 130) as well.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOREBOOK LIVE FLORIDA