Booker T. Washington defeated Miami Southridge, 41-24, in a dominating performance that featured two of Miami-Dade County’s premier teams to win the 7th annual Miami Dolphins Academy 7-on-7 High School Football Tournament Presented by Under Armour and the National Guard at Sun Life Stadium. This marked the second time in the past three years that Booker T. Washington has won the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 and advanced to the National Championship. In 2012, they defeated the team representing the Detroit Lions to win the National Championship.
“Winning this game means a lot. We've got some great guys out there and they deserve this win,” Booker T. Washington coach Tim “Ice” Harris Jr. said. "We've grown stronger as a team. We've worked hard and it's great to see that hard work pay off.”
Booker T. Washington came out on top from a field of nearly 50 schools from the tri-county area that participated in the three-day event. Booker T. Washington advanced to the championship game after defeating Gulliver Prep, 27-21, in overtime in the semifinals. It was the second overtime game that Booker T. Washington won in the playoffs. They also defeated Champagnat Catholic, 27-21, in the round of 16 to make it the quarterfinals on Sunday.
The three-day event began with the HSPD Symposium on Friday, June 13, which focused on character development and life skills training. A variety of guest speakers, including Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Community Affairs Twan Russell, Dolphins defensive tackle
“It is important for us to get these High School kids involved in events that are put on by the HSPD,” Miami Dolphins Manager of Youth and Community Programs Troy Drayton said. “The NFL does a great job of hosting events that will make these kids successful in the future and we are happy to be part of that process. Now we can get them on the field and see who represents us in Indianapolis.”
The tournament got underway on Saturday, June 14 with round robin games and the first round of the playoffs. The final six teams competed on Sunday, June 15, ultimately ending with a Booker T. Washington victory. The weekend also included youth tournaments in three different age groups. In the ten-and-under division, the Gwen Cherry Bulls defeated the Pop Warner Mighty Dolphins, 13-6, in the championship game. Gwen Cherry also avenged their only loss in pool play by defeating Miramar in the semifinals.
"I just told them to go out and have fun,” Gwen Cherry coach O.J. Miller said. “Just another stepping stone because we're trying to get to Disney in POP Warner, so it's a learning experience getting the kids on one unit. So, down the line this will help us.”
The 12-and-under age group was the largest in the youth tournament. The day started out with 16 teams and ended with Lauderhill defeating Carol City, 34-14. The win capped a perfect 5-0 day for Lauderhill who outscored its opponents 136-40 in the most dominating performance in the tournament.
"It feels great knowing that every day we're out there Monday through Thursday just working and the kids are coming out there putting in the work, and the coaches coming out and doing what they're supposed to do, just preparing. It’s a good feeling, especially having success at the end of the day,” Lauderhill coach Willie Davis said. "Just another step in trying to get prepared for the upcoming season and just making it work for us.”
The oldest group in the youth tournament was 14-and-under and that title was claimed by Adrenaline Rush. They defeated the Washington Park Buccaneers, 34-14, to win their pool and then defeated Red Zone Elite, 24-17, to win the championship.
“It was great, these boys have all grown up together. So they’ll see each other in high school and it’ll be fun,” Adrenaline Rush Jerry Scalzo said. “We prepare to win and we really don’t accept failure easy. So we work very hard and it shows on the field.”