Moments after his team dropped the 3A state title game in Tallahassee, 25-22, to Jacksonville Trinity Christian, Chaminade-Madonna head football coach Dameon Jones started to go over what needed to be done to get this program back on track.
After winning three consecutive 3A state titles, the loss to Trinity Christian was the second in the Lions’ fifth consecutive trip to the title game.
While this team had one of the best defensive units in Florida, the adjustment period on offense took time – with key injuries and newcomers having to step up.
The Class of 2022 (rising seniors) will be counted on for experience and production – as well as the talent that they have.
Prospects such as highly recruited Brian Dilworth (DB, 6-0, 185 – 2.7 GPA), Norland transfer Jordan Graham (OL, 6-3, 280), versatile Brett Hoffman (DE, 6-2, 250 – 3.3 GPA), Riley Ingram (OL, 6-4, 277 – 3.4 GPA), TRU Prep Academy transfer Cahlede Jackson (DT, 6-0, 285 – 3.3 GPA) and nationally-rated defensive end Kenyatta Jackson Jr. (6-4, 240 – 2.8 GPA) are all major talents with colleges across the country watching their every move.
While wins over 2A power Champagnat Catholic (27-14), Fort Myers Bishop Verot (21-6), Clearwater Academy International (44-34) and North Palm Beach Benjamin (41-7) in the regular season – and Somerset Academy Silver Palms (52-0), Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian (38-6), Miami Edison (28-0) and Tampa Berkeley Prep (23-21) were important and vital, it was those losses – to 5A state champion Plantation American Heritage (7-3) and the state title game that will be a huge learning experience.
With championship experience under their collective belts, rising seniors Jamaal Johnson (DE, 6-2, 250 – 2.7 GPA), Brock Lopez (WR, 5-11, 180 – 4.5 GPA), Kalun-J Matthew (DT/FB, 6-1, 250), Jeremiah McGill (DB, 6-0, 190 – 2.9 GPA) and game-changing defensive backs Ryan Turner (6-0, 180 – 2.8 GPA) will be ready to answer the bell.
UNDERCLASSMEN ARE MONG THE BEST AROUND
When looking at the future of this program, keep in mind that while there was graduation and a few other players that left for other schools, this program is loaded. Young talent in every direction.
The Class of 2023 (rising juniors) will be stacked – with Monarch transfer Will Bankston (WR, 6-0, 170 – 3.5 GPA), state-rated linemen Deandre Duffus (6-5, 300 – 3.4 GPA), Elvin Harris (6-6, 290) and William Larkins (6-4, 280 – 2.9 GPA), standout running back Jonathon Harris (5-9, 175 – 2.7 GPA), receivers Edwin Joseph (6-0, 185) and Carol City transfer Duane Thomas (5-9, 170 – 3.3 GPA), defensive backs Jeno Junius (5-11, 185) and D’Angelo Ponds (5-9, 160), and exciting Wayne Peart (TE/DT, 6-3, 250).
The reason why the Lions are not anywhere near done is the underclassmen that Jones and this program continue to churn out. The Class of 2024 is loaded with five difference makers.
Promising Cedric Bailey (QB, 6-4, 190), dominating Davion Gause (RB, 5-11, 210 – 2.7 GPA), play-making defensive back Curtis Janvier (5-11, 175 – 2.9 GPA), solid and gifted Denzel Johnson (LB, 5-11, 185 – 2.8 GPA) and Zaquan Patterson (DB, 6-1, 200 – 2.8 GPA), who has already been receiving enormous attention for a young man who is just a freshman!