If you are a football fan, nobody needs to tell you how important special teams are to any program.
Last weekend, the premier high school event was held at the new Paradise Sports Complex in Naples, and by the end of the two-day Kornblue Fab 50 Special Teams Showcase, three south Floridians were among the best.
For senior kicker/punter Noah Botsford from St. Thomas Aquinas, senior Miami Christopher Columbus long snapper Francisco Castro and junior Miami Gulliver Prep kicker/punter Will Bettridge, it was an event that thrust these standouts into elite national company.
All three were named Fab 50 5 Stars for this competitive gathering of special teams performers who came from Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana. From south Florida and throughout the Sunshine State.
For Botsford, a member of the Raiders’ undefeated 7A state champions, this was a weekend to remember. Whether it was punting or kicking, he was definitely on top of his game, and everyone noticed.
Castro, who was a vital member of the Explorers’ run to the school’s first state (8A) football title, was indeed impressive and accurate as a long snapper. Sparked by the news that he was headed to the University of Miami as a preferred walk-on, this showcase was truly special.
Bettridge was a show stealer, and for this highly rated junior, it was about time that the nation shared what so many realized all along. He was indeed as good as you get.
He has become a specialist that everyone is watching, and for good reason. He gets it done for the Raiders on the football field, as a pitcher/outfielder on the baseball team and in the classroom.
“You look at all three of these young men – Noah, Francisco and Will and they had a big time weekend at our showcase,” said Brandon Kornblue, a former University of Michigan standout, who runs amazing events – as well as being regarded as a tremendous instructor. “They all three showed why they are among the best in this country. No doubt about it.”
In addition to those three standouts, other Fab 50 5 Star standouts included: seniors Adam Mihalek (K, Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch), Rex Robich (LS, Palm Coast Matanzas) and Massillon, Ohio’s punter/kicker and starting linebacker Magnus Haines.
LOCAL NAMES STANDOUT IN NAPLES
Beside this trio of locals, there were other prospects who dazzled this past weekend.
University of Miami-bound Andres “Andy” Borregales (Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna) had a monster weekend with his coach Oscar Castaneda (OKC Kicking) looking on. So did several others.
Here is a look at those who attended:
2022 – GianCarlo Abbate, K/P, Miami Christian
2022 – Thomas Abood, K, Naples Community School
2022 – Matt Ahmed, K/P, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian Academy
2023 – Rowe Allen, K, Miami Christopher Columbus
2022 – Zach Alvarez, K, Miami Monsignor Pace
2024 – Quinn Anderson, K/P, Sarasota Riverview
2023 – Aiden Arias, LS, Plantation American Heritage
2023 – Samir Atassi, K/P, Plantation American Heritage
2021 – Brooks Bak, LS, Tampa Plant
2020 – Victor Barbosa, K/P, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy
2021 – Jackson Beebe, K/P, Naples Gulf Coast
2021 – Ben Bergfeld, LS, Davenport North, Iowa
2022 – Alejo Beteta, K, Miami Belen Jesuit
2022 – Aaron Bickerton, K/P, Naples Gulf Coast
2021 – Matt Bosset, LS, Daytona Beach Seabreeze
2021 – Ethan Boulanger, K/P, Coconut Creek Monarch
2022 – Colin Boyd, K/P, Bradenton Braden River
2022 – Brandon Bush, K, North Fort Myers
2022 – Matthew Campbell, K, Naples Barron Collier
2022 – Caleb Carlson, K, Miami Ransom Everglades
2022 – Colton Castillo, K, Naples
2022 – Chris Cayton, K/P, Fort Myers Cypress Lake
2023 – Braeden Covan, LS, Spartanburg Dorman, South Carolina
2023 – Alex Davis, K/P, Orlando Timber Creek
2021 – Jake Delaney, LS, Naples Gulf Coast
2023 – Dominic Diaz, LS, Weston Cypress Bay
2022 – Allesandro Di Clemente, K, Parkland Douglas
2022 – Everest Ferrell, K/P, Delray American Heritage
2021 – Destin Fillmore, LS, Naples Barron Collier
2021 – Gavin Galloway, LS, Ooltewah East Hamilton, Tennessee
2021 – Jose Garcia, K, Belle Glade Glades Central
2022 – Peyton Giersbrook, K, Boca Raton
2022 – Dean Gordon, K/P, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest
2023 – Jeffrey Hernandez, PK, Coconut Creek
2024 – Kristian Hobbs, K, Sunrise Millennium Middle School
2022 – Carson Holmer, K/P, Avon, Indiana
2021 – Jack Howes, K/P, Orlando Edgewater
2022 – Jayden John, K/P, Miami Central
2023 – Kirill Kotov, K, Venice
2021 – Max Larsen, K/P, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2025 – Vaughn Lennon, K/P, Fort Myers Cypress Middle School
2021 – Dylan Liska, K, Jupiter
2021 – Joshua Lopes, K/P, Doral Academy
2021 – Carlos Mar, K/P, Fort Myers Riverdale
2021 – Christopher Maron, P/K, Plantation American Heritage
2022 – Brandon Matson, K/P, Apopka
2021 – Hector Molero, K, Pembroke Pines Flanagan
2022 – Ethan Moncada, K, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic
2022 – Mason Motto, K/P, Daytona Beach Seabreeze
2022 – Javier Novoa, K, Miami Christopher Columbus
2022 - Brendan O’Connell, LS, Bonita Springs
2022 – Luis Palenzuela, K, Miami Christopher Columbus
2021 – Andrew Piercy, K/P, Warrenton Kettle Run, Virginia
2021 – Alejandro Prado, K/P, Miami Christopher Columbus
2022 – Sebastian Pucher, K, Greenwood Village Arapahoe, Colorado
2022 – Bailey Russell, K/P, Fort Myers
2022 – Tony Sabella, LS, Orlando Bishop Moore
2024 – Carlos Saladrgas, K, Miami Christopher Columbus
2024 – Cosme Salas K, Miami Gulliver Prep
2023 – George Shannon, LS, Gainesville Buchholz
2022 – Steve Shore, K/P, Lake Worth Park Vista
2023 – Jason Slicker, P, Englewood Lemon Bay
2022 – Trey Stephens, K/P, Acworth North Cobb, Georgia
2021 – Drake Tabor, K, Birmingham Spain Park, Alabama
2020 – William Schade, K, Sunrise Piper
2023 – Jonathan Walker, K/P, Melbourne
2021 – Kade Wehby, LS, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2021 – Luke Wheatley, K/P, Venice
2021 – Carson Wilt, K/P, Delray Atlantic
2022 – Grant Woodfin, K, Galena Worthington Christian, Oklahoma
2023 – Colin Young, K, Lutz Steinbrenner
2024 – Jonathan Zarut, LS, Miami Somerset Academy
2021 – Leo Zuazo, K, Miami Northwestern