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Ray Icaza

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Everything posted by Ray Icaza

  1. That is correct and she has actually qualified to compete in the AAU Club National Championship Meet in Jacksonville July 8th-13th where obviously the competition will be stiff.
  2. Currently driving to Jensen Beach, FL to meet some friends for lunch otherwise I could have stopped over there to meet. Our HC for football and track has a young daughter (Zyon Pinellas) that appears to have a bright future in track; she competes for that local team.
  3. Ours started on June 11 and they do three days a week with the week of July 4th completely off. I think giving them a couple of weeks off after completion of our Spring Jamboree vs Edgewater/Deland (05/23) is much appreciated by the players.
  4. Two complete weeks in the book and today's workout showed great consistency in the effort and participation level both by the players as well as the coaching staff. Going to be a fun bunch to follow in the fall given the work they are putting in and the middle of August is right around the corner. Many are also attending camps and have been top performers. Expectations are high as always.
  5. They don't call their HC "AirDiso" for nothing.
  6. We usually don't get a lot out of St. Cloud or Harmony who usually have well run/good programs with the primary factor of stability with their coaches. More so out of Poinciana, Liberty and Gateway. Most kids are deciding to move if they think it will benefit them but regardless it is always a crapshoot. Last year one of our top basketball duos (cousins) transferred to St. Cloud after playing at OHS their freshmen and sophomore years. One of them, Alex Springs who is one of the most explosive athletes in our area who also plays football as a WR led them in catches, yardage and had almost twice the number of TD's as any other member of that squad so they got great benefit in getting him. Apparently, there was friction between the HC on the basketball team and the father/uncle of these players thus he transferred them. Those two players led St. Cloud to the best basketball record they have had in decades as well. From what I read Alex had a terrific 7x7 at the UCF camp which surprised alot of people as he was a bit of an unknown at receiver. He did perform well for us as a sophomore in the spring game against Edgewater May of '23 prior to the transfer, so he could have definitely helped us last year. The Jenkins kid moving to Jones as a WR looks like he has alot to think about not only competing against Vernell "Trey" Brown and others, but now the top WR from West Orange Larry Miles has just transferred to Jones thus I see all this as a crapshoot for many players. Another player we just lost is Isaiah Brutus who we got from Dr. Phillips a couple of years ago as a WR. He is a very good athlete, so we felt he could get on the field more as a DB which benefitted him tons as that produced multiple offers from even D1 schools for him. However, Toho throws the ball much more and he went there to be a 2 way player as it seems to an outsider he prefers offense. Shall be an interesting summer.
  7. BREAKING NEWS!! New Osceola lineman Connor Howes commits to Arkansas (orlandosentinel.com)
  8. Absolutely, but they are a private school that seem to have more wiggle room in this illegality.
  9. Rivals has Jayvan Boggs rated as a 4 Star now. Do you really believe based on production against topflight competition this guy is better than Boggs? That is my only point.
  10. Actually a 4 star recruit by 247 and 3 star by On3 who have been guilty of overrating players at times especially if they haven't put up the numbers proving their worth on the field of play. He doesn't appear to have done that.
  11. Two upcoming Juniors to TFA (likely starters) were Blaze Jones 6'2" 225(DE/OLB) and Gerard Gearity 6'5" 280 (OL). Neither makes any sense to me, but I think Blaze wanted more opportunities at LB where we are pretty stacked and it appears they are providing that. Another upcoming Junior starter, Alijah "Flash" Jenkins 5'8" 160 slot receiver and kick returner to Jones where they have a top rated QB hence maybe more receiving opportunities although competing for that spot vs Vernell "Trey" Brown III; quite a task so wonder how that shakes out over the summer. Another upcoming Junior Zion Matthews 5'11" 190 (RB) to Dr. Phillips where he does have a good shot at starting, whereas it was impossible with Taevion on our roster. Tre Warren 5'10" 170 (DB), another upcoming Junior went back to Pahokee where he most certainly will start and that wasn't as guaranteed on our roster; his Dad is a faculty member at OHS so he returned to live with his Mom. Javonte Simpson Lee, another Junior 6'5" 190 (WR) to Poinciana who we spent a ton of time working with last year to hopefully get some production out of this year. Again, we are a run first team so likely thought he may play a bigger role there. I probably have missed another couple players but as you can see several left for other high profile programs in the area. The players we have gotten that will have an impact are obviously Connor Howes 6'6" 280 senior (OL) out of St. Cloud. He will bookend with our other offensive tackle Marcus Ferrer 6'6" 300 (Jr.) who both have multiple D1 offers. Connor's Dad has been talking about transferring him to OHS for the past couple of years and finally pulled the trigger. Senior QB Izaiah Prime out of Oak Ridge will compete for the starting job with Cam West (another Junior) who started most of last year. Junior LB Louis Figueroa 5'11" 190 out of Toho HS will challenge another couple of Juniors that have been with our program for that 3rd starting job. Lastly, Adrian Gonzalez a kicker out of St. Cloud HS. Rumor mill always has other prospects that talk, but as they say talk is cheap. As you can see we are talking about a handful that go either way in our program (TFA has gotten about 20 from surrounding schools and word is they aren't done, simply took their foot off the gas during the FHSAA investigation until summer arrived). They as well as others have made advances to our 2 stud senior LB's and please don't ask me for proof as the Dad's word are good enough for me.
  12. This article just appeared in today's Sentinel sports page featuring two kids that moved into Kissimmee during the spring of their freshmen year and began attending OHS. It is also important to hold on to the best talent you have as speaking to several dads, many local high schools have tried unsuccessfully to get them both to transfer. These two seniors along with a few others are what I value as leadership by example. Melendez is being pushed hard by Michigan, OU, Ole Miss, Auburn and others to flip him away from Miami. He did only play one half of a regular season game last year but racked up 7 tackles against Treasure Coast in that half and had about a dozen in the KOC against Apopka the week before. Robert Lee chose FAU over Kentucky, UCF and several others as they were after him early in his sophomore year. The injury bug to several top players didn't help last year but they are back for their senior years and hope they remain healthy. Below is the link for the article featuring these two. Osceola LBs Elijah Melendez, Robert Lee also best friends (orlandosentinel.com)
  13. I know the focus on building a top tier team seems to rely heavily on the transfer/recruiting piece during the spring and summer. However, the work effort put in during the 2 summer months before fall are a very important component for success in the upcoming season. It will be here before you know it and the participation level, especially by your seniors, leaders, star players, etc... are key in setting the right example. At Osceola, our voluntary summer workouts began yesterday so I made it a point to check them out today and as usual the team is out in force which I think contributes to our success rather than depending on mass (a dozen or more) transfers to bolster the program. Again, we probably have as many good players transfer out as opposed to transferring in but based on what we do have we should be a playoff team once again; this was evident in our Spring Jamboree last month. Hard work along with a great attitude is a winning formula and we certainly have a history of that. GO KOWBOYS!!
  14. Don't like the double elimination and byes and only 8 teams. As I previously stated, I think that 16 teams would be my vote with 4 rounds, lose and you are done. There are about a dozen teams each year that have the ability to compete with the top elite so 16 would cover the margin of error you properly point out for the 9th, 10th, etc... ranked team being left out. I don't believe we have 32 teams in our state that would all be competitive at this level. Just my take but it would certainly crown the best team in the state each year. My gut tells me the very top elite teams won't like this open division as they prefer to just kick the little guys ass. Hope they prove me wrong.
  15. Looks like the FHSAA board of directors did vote earlier this week (12 for vs 1 against) to enact the open or championship division based on the season end rankings of the top 8 teams. That is great news to stick all the powerhouses regardless of class enrollment into that championship bracket. I would like to see this expanded to the top 16 teams in the upcoming years to include more of the schools that "Attract Talent". Maybe Dr. D can expand more on this developing story but it surely will relieve many of the lopsided scores witnessed in previous championship games.
  16. The biggest beneficiaries will be the "PRIVATES" (as if they didn't have enough advantages already) as they have the wealthy donners to pay HC's as well as their many assistants, build facilities, provide meals and now even pay players. Yes, a few publics in larger/wealthier counties will also benefit but this puts most at an even bigger disadvantage. Unfortunately, this only feeds the broken system even more as I finally am seeing more coaches at traditionally good public programs call for a separate league for private schools and public schools which I have strongly supported for years. Several states throughout the country have this system and it looks like more are looking at adopting it.
  17. They managed to move the ball fairly well against both teams as the QB made good decisions with his feet and his arm but errors cost them. In the Edgewater game with the score 7-0 Deland moved the ball right down the field and the QB hit a wide open receiver in stride from about 20 yards out and he dropped it for which should have been a sure score. They had some other miscues against both teams that would have probably put points on the board, just wasn't their night. I think our defense has a chance to be extremely good again this year despite losing a half dozen very good players to area teams like Jones, DP, The First Academy and even Poinciana. We did manage an excellent transfer from St. Cloud HS that will be a great addition to our O-line, 6'6" 290 lbs. Connor Howes who is eligible starting on June 1. Wouldn't read too much into the scores as this was a Jamboree and the work over the next 3 months will tell the story.
  18. Each team played a full half against each other for a total of 3 halves so obviously a long night. Rules did include no kickoff or punt returns and my guess is each team was missing a few key players. I know we were down 3 D-lineman and 3 Linebackers including two starters but we do have a little depth although young and inexperienced. All in all, teams looked pretty good and should be of playoff quality. We started off with Edgewater for the first half and they moved the ball very effectively against our defense but could not complete those two early drives for points. After that we were pretty dialed in to what they were running and were able to pitch a shutout for the half. We started slow offensively, but managed to improve as the half went on. Finally, got about a 50 yard run from Taevion Swint which was the difference maker in that half......7-0 OHS Kowboys. In the second half between Edgewater and Deland the Eagles came right out of the gate with a monster run for a touchdown on the very first play. Both teams showed some good things but Deland hurt themselves with self inflicted errors ........ dropped pass for TD, INT, fumble, etc.. so was unable to put up points the entire half despite good QB play. Edgewater managed another TD and FG to end that half victorious .......16-0. In the final half between Deland and OHS, the Bulldogs showed some good things but turnovers, self inflicted errors cost them again. OHS managed two scores on great long runs from Taevion Swint who had a monster night. Final score was OHS 14-0. Final thought was that our local media has really been building up the Edgewater star Semaj Fleming and he is an excellent player. But those who sat in those stands tonight could see that Taevion is back and he is definitely the better player. Everyone have a great summer and look forward to the upcoming season.
  19. Florida is still a "Right to Work" state. You can be fired for any reason or even no reason and you can choose to end employment by those same rules.
  20. Consequently, Lake Minneola has just announced it has cancelled spring football. What goes around comes around.
  21. Thanks for admitting that you do not know why they transferred or the several others that mysteriously transferred to that school (not a known powerhouse). Thanks for also agreeing you specifically have to ask all the kids that left for seemingly inexplicable reasons why. That happened as a matter of fact which raises suspicion thus the launch of an investigation by the FHSAA who hopefully will ask YOUR question as well as many more to get to the bottom of it. Any fair-minded person should readily support this investigation. If you don't support and admitted you don't know the facts, you are basically guilty of what some are accusing you of. I would hope you would like to know the TRUTH as opposed to simply attacking the messengers.
  22. Flawed reasons you sight for leaving when you look at the two players we lost. They both played at OHS their freshmen and sophomore seasons with significant varsity playing time as sophomores and were projected starters for next season. Our school is not "FAILING THEM" academically, athletically or any other measure as we sent about a dozen seniors from the 2023 class to further their education thru football. This list included 5 going to D1 schools like Florida, FSU, UCF, Oklahoma and Rutgers. I ask you specifically like you ask others to tell me exactly why they left since I just debunked your stated reasons. The answer is you have no idea but turning a blind eye to the "Possibility" of rule breaking is wrong. By the way, losing those 2 will not ruin our upcoming season as we have others capable of stepping up in their place and so my concern isn't that.
  23. Thank you and that integrity included his wife that happened to be the principal at said school also deciding to leave.
  24. Sentinel sportswriter JC Carnahan wrote an article on April 8th on this subject matter. It clearly states that the FHSAA is definitely investigating "Allegations" against The First Academy for rules violations by its football program and even points out their winning varsity baseball HC (Groves) has recently resigned because he doesn't want the rule breaking that is blatantly happening at that school will reflect negatively on him. He has expressed his frustration with the school administrators to no avail. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the transfers they have gotten include the following schools: Boone, Timber Creek, Leesburg, Lake Minneola and my school Osceola. The two players we lost left for inexplicable reasons and were both sophomores that would be projected starters next year. Something Smells!!!
  25. Never blamed teacher unions for lack of coaches pay, simply quoted articles written by others regarding the specific effort currently under way to raise their "Minimum Wage". Those articles speculated that teachers would oppose raises without them being first in line. My position with unions in any public/government employment is crystal clear, so the clown is the one spinning it to fit his narrative.
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