J.P Taravella’s Head Football Coach Charles Hafley and his staff are on a quest to improve from last year with a record of 3-7. Last season was Hafley’s first after Dan Marguriet made his retirement after eight season’s as head football coach. (Marguriet decided to come out of retirement and is now the Offensive Line’s coach for Cardinal Gibbons.)
Coach Halfey made huge improvements in year one as the previous season, they finished with an abysmal record of 2-8. Last year they improved their record by one win which in some cases is good for a team that is in the process of rebuilding.
They had question’s on offense all year averaging only 13.1 points per game. With their highest scoring game coming during week nine versus Coral Springs but fell short in the end losing by two scores.
With questions as to who will be the starting Quarterback this fall, Senior Malik Beckford and Junior Logan Rubin will battle it out for the starting position as both took snaps vs. Cardinal Gibbons. Beckford ran for 11 yards on 3 carries and went 1 for 3 only throwing for two yards and one touchdown early in the 2nd quarter.
Rubin entered during the 2nd quarter only attempting two throws with both resulting with an incompletion.
Senior Wide Receiver/Defensive Back Jordan Walsh made a key interception late in the first after Cardinal Gibbons Quarterback Nik Scalzo made a bad read to his Receiver on an open screen as Walsh took advantage and lead the Trojans to their only points in the ball game.
The Trojans may have been defeated in a dominant fashion. They in some ways, feel like they only lost by a score or two. The offense finally have options at both the Quarterback and Receiver positions and with a stacked Offensive Line, do not be surprise if they put up more than 20 points per game which is seven more than last season.
Center Dylan Young, who was a part of the talented group of seniors last year, will be heading to Robert Morris University. Three of the five staring Offensive Linemen from last season will be returning this year that will include Seniors Brock Perry and Adam Scoggins to anchor the Offensive Line.
During the summer, teams from other schools compete in 7 on 7 competitions, which are composed of seven offensive and seven defensive skilled players. In the three tournaments they have competed so far during the summer, they have won with a combined record of 12-4.
The Trojans’ summer workouts began on June 12, with all practices mandatory for all student athletes with both the coaches and players looking towards the ultimate goal of becoming the first Trojans team in history to finish the regular season 10-0.
They begin the 2017-2018 season at home vs. Ft. Lauderdale in their first and only pre-season game. Week one begins with a match up from last season going on the road against South Plantation. Taravella played a near to almost perfect game allowing zero points and defeating the Paladins 20-0. Taravella has an advantage over South Plantation.
Prediction: 28-10 Winner: Taravella
Weeks two and three are against Coral Springs Charter and Nova which Taravella have not played in almost four years. Charter had a roster filled of seniors as for Nova they go in with a young but experienced group. Expect a dominant performance by the Trojans against Charter but do not rule out Nova out as it should be a low scoring but entertaining match up.
Prediction (Charter): 17-7 Winner: Taravella
Prediction (Nova): 14-7 Winner: Taravella
After week three the Trojans enter their first slate of district games against Monarch and Deerfield Beach, as Taravella both lost to last year. Monarch has been on a rebuild similar to Taravella ever since their 2014 District title season. As for Deerfield, they have been hitting the ground running winning two consecutive District titles and are looking for their third.
Monarch should be a close game but don’t expect the unexpected from them. And for Deerfield, Taravella must enter as if is the last game of the year and be confident in their ability’s because anyone such as Deerfield is beatable.
Prediction (Monarch): 24-14 Winner: Taravella
Prediction (Deerfield) : 35-17 Winner: Deerfield
Week six is against Coral Glades at home in the 14th annual swamp bowl. Last year was indeed a close one as Taravella won in overtime 20-14. With most of their starters from last year either transferring or graduating, the Jaguars look like they will enter the same position they always have been and that is another year when their principle gets dumped with that nasty swamp water. Expect Taravella to come out dominant.
Prediction: 35-10 Winner: Taravella (For the 14th year in a row)
Weeks seven, eight, and nine are the last slate of district games of the season. They face Piper, Douglas, and Coral Springs. Piper is coming off a 9-1 season led by Sophomore Quarterback Duron King. They start off the season going against Norland, St. Thomas, Boyd Anderson and Chaminade-Madonna. Piper now has to prove if they are the real deal or if they were just a total fluke.
Douglas has a mixture of competition on their schedule. They have a young team around Head Coach Willis May but the question they are going to have to answer is. Who will be Corey Gaynor’s replacement? Right now it is his younger cousin Gage who has potential to take the helm of that offensive line which is considered the best. But with Jack Fris going to American Heritage, we are going to have to wait and see.
And for Coral Springs, they are now back to where they were at two seasons ago. They are unknown meaning they can be a sleeper team that can take over the district or they can be the team that can be the districts whipping boy.
Prediction (Piper): 10-3 Winner: Taravella
Prediction (Douglas): 21-20 Winner: Taravella (Upset for the Trojans)
Prediction (Coral Springs): 35-17 Winner: Taravella
And for the final game of the season, Taravella goes against Cypress Bay in a rematch from the previous season. It was a entertaining match up from the get go but the Trojans couldn’t keep up the Lightning. This game should be a close one till the end and should be a high scoring match up.
Prediction: 28-25 Winner: Cypress Bay
Taravella is on the rise with Coach Hafley at the helm. He has the experience to lead a team to the post season and beyond. And in year two Hafley and the Trojans will return to their original form and finish the year 7-3. The future is indeed bright and it’s something no one will want to miss.