The Dwyer Panthers (Palm Beach Gardens) rolled their way to a 7A state title last fall. They didn't allow over 20 points in a single game until the state quarterfinals. They defeated Boyd Anderson, Blanche Ely, St. Thomas Aquinas, East Lake, and Niceville to win the state title.
The start of the 2014 season is slowly approaching, and the Panthers hope to build on their major success in 2013. FlaVarsity.com spoke with Dwyer offensive line coach Joseph Molina in this edition of the Spring Spotlight.
How does the Dwyer coaching staff approach spring football?
"We treat is mostly as a teaching period," Molina answered. "Our primary focus is to teach our players the proper techniques needed to be successful at their respective positions. We also install our scheme and are very strict on learning assignments and proper techniques. We feel this time is extremely helpful because we are not focused on scheming an opponent, this time is strictly teaching and learning the basics of the game."
Dwyer sent five football athletes to division one schools - most notably Rivals250 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon who signed with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Panthers still have a lot of returning talent.
"We have had several players step up this spring. Chase Yearty, a returning offensive lineman, has really embraced the role as a leader for the team. Chase is not only a vocal leader, he leads by example. His play has been exemplary and great things are expected from him this season as he anchors the offensive and defensive Lines. Nick Martinsen, another returning starter from last years team has continued his role as a great receiver, and is now adding great blocking techniques to his arsenal. Nick has stepped up this spring, and his expectations are high.
"Stephen Velazquez is another returning player who has stepped up this spring. Stephen played running back last season, and this spring has been playing outside linebacker as well. Stephen's attention to detail and want to be coached has brought him to be a key asset for our team. Cornelius Smith, another returning player at the running back position has really turned some heads when he runs the football. His speed, size, strength, and vision has made him a very versatile player. Jarrius Adams, a defensive back has also made some great strides this spring. Jarrius has really improved his ball skills and is focused on becoming one of the top corners."
Senior-to-be quarterback Daniel Parr had a solid 2013 campaign which has led him to earn four scholarship offers, including Miami. He committed to FAU on Friday.
"Daniel has been our leader on the offensive side of the football since last season. Daniel is a student of the game, and always asking question on how he can improve. He has improved his reading of a defense and has also added the ability to change protections to his arsenal."