MIAMI- We continue our 30 stops in 30 days with a quick trip to Dade County to get a check-up on last season's #1 team in the state of Florida with the Booker T. Tornadoes.
The Tornadoes were successful in not only proving that they would redeem themselves by winning the Class 4A state championship, but the way that they did it as they scored over 30 points in all their games except one, and held seven opponents to under 10 points including the title clinching victory over Jacksonville Bolles 35-7.
Booker T. Washington is loaded with talent, and are also very confident - which sets them apart from the rest of the elite teams in this state.
Dating back to the 2004 season, Tim "Ice" Harris is 73-6 in his past 6 seasons at the helm of the Tornadoes, and doesn't expect the team to be slowing down any time soon.
Miami Booker T. will enter the new season in the 4A Classification that features Palm Beach County power Glades Central, and newly crowned 3A state champion University School.
Ask the Tornadoes if they're up to the challenge, and they're probably tell you that those teams should be the ones weary about entering a new classification with the defending state champion.
Add that to an upcoming regular season schedule that includes national matchups from Norcross, and Bishop Gorman with the usual tough teams in Dade with Northwestern, and Miami Central, and you have the possibility of ending the season atop the hill in the nation.
The graduating losses of such players as Matthew Thomas, Michael Johnson, and Denver Kirkland will sting, but only for a bit when it comes to a producing program much like Booker T. who will return with the services of their quarterback Treon Harris.
Booker T. will be working with a balance of returning juniors, and seniors as they seek to continue their dominating fashion of scoring at a rapid pace such as last season when they blazed through their opponents averaging 49 points in 14 games.
The Tornadoes will have plenty of offensive firepower to help Harris in receivers Lamar Parker, Terrawn McPhee, Deltron Hopkins, and running backs Krondis Larry, and upcoming sophomore Mark Walton.
The defense will be led by Chad Thomas who is seeking to have a breakout season, and Nigel Patten who had a big game in last year's 4A title game against Bolles, and looks to improve his stock this upcoming fall.
The Tornadoes are a heavy favorite to make it back to the Citrus Bowl to defend their state championship, but spring as always allows teams to do some tweaking, and see what holes can be filled by the time August comes around, and Booker T. will get the chance to do their evaluating when they prepare for Lakewood on May 31st.
It's a good chance that you'll see some rust on the Tornadoes' part, but expect the weapons to be there with offensive fireworks as well.