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High standards at Ely (Taz, CJ, McFadden and Holton)



High standards at Ely

By Steve Gorten
Staff Writer
Posted September 2 2004

Pompano Beach · Only two have rings. Quarterback Carlton Jackson Jr. and offensive lineman Ronnie Wilson Jr. are the holdovers from Ely's Class 5A state championship team two years ago. The rest of the players, Wilson said, don't know what it's like.

But the Tigers are well aware of the standard they're expected to attain -- and the disappointing end to last season for which they must atone.

"We had a mishap and didn't go as far as we should have," Wilson said. "This year we're so determined."

The Tigers were ranked third in the Class 6A poll when Palm Beach Lakes beat them in the regional quarterfinals. Their only regular-season loss came against St. Thomas Aquinas. A state contender during Steve Davis' final five seasons, they now have Willie Snead as head coach.

"They have a tradition of winning," Snead said. "So do I."

Snead, who played at Glades Central and the University of Florida, inherits a roster with several highly regarded players.

Walter McFadden may be Broward County's best cover cornerback and tight end Michael Holton, though not established in part because of Ely's run-oriented past, is rated the Southeast's 51st-best player in Sporting News/School Sports' national preseason publication. He caught three passes for 36 yards and one touchdown during the regular season last year.

Jackson will start for the third consecutive year, and the Tigers plan to rotate several running backs behind him, notably Devon James and Laron Graham. Snead said he has been most surprised by receiver Ed McIntosh, whom he called polished and a hard worker. McIntosh had four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown last season.

Jackson, who passed for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns with eight interceptions last season, is the centerpiece of an offense Snead has reworked. So far, he has picked up the new schemes well, Snead said.

"Carlton is very important," he said. "He's a big part of our offense and how it's going to run."

Ely used the run-based wing-T in recent years, largely because of Tyrone Moss, but spent this preseason working on "plays that confuse you," Wilson said. "So many fakes, it's going to surprise some people."

Snead said considering the load he has given players to digest, he has kept things simple so far. The defending District 7-6A champs are favorites to repeat, with a game against Deerfield Beach likely to decide their fate.

"I strongly believe we're going back to state," Wilson said. "We have a lot of talent on this team."
another article on Ely and Thomas Matthews alma mater Dillard

Posted on Thu, Sep. 02, 2004


Still in contention

The stories football tradition at Ely and Dillard helped pave the way for both schools to hire top coaches to replac Steve David and Ken Scott


[email protected]

When Steve Davis announced he intended to step down as the head football coach at Ely following the 2003 season, many predicted the Tigers' run in Broward's upper echelon would soon come to an end.

But the job proved to be attractive, and Ely was able to hang onto its solid returning corps. The school's principal, Clinton Wright, then reached back into his past and hired his University of Florida roommate, Willie Snead.

''They're very young,'' Snead said of his team. ``It is talented. We have a lot of leadership. Everything is centered around some of our key players, like Carlton Jackson and Ronnie Wilson. We have some young backs that are very talented. I see this team being good for a long time.''


Snead, who was a wide receiver in Steve Spurrier's ''Fun 'N Gun'' offense, reached the game's highest plateau after he was drafted into the NFL by the New York Jets and played for the Houston Oilers, the World League and Canadian Football League.

That experience has helped Snead connect with his players much easier.

''We bring a lot of experience, both professionally and collegiately,'' said Snead, whose brother, Nakia Jenkins, also played in the NFL and is on the staff. ``. . . It's just a lot of experience and tradition for winning, which I think it goes well with the Blanche Ely program.''

Snead subscribes to a different philosophy than Davis. He preferred a grind-it-out ground game, Snead plans to open up the passing game.

''That's really been a positive adjustment,'' Snead said. ``I know with Coach Davis, they were more of a Wing-T team. We're total opposite. We come with one back. We throw the ball. We spread people out.''


Ely is not the lone school to change its established coach. Deerfield Beach's Joe Redmond, Dillard's Ken Scott and McArthur's Keith Franklin also were on the move. Franklin, who drew heavy interest from several schools, ultimately wound up at Dillard.

''I was happy at McArthur with my kids, and I pretty much liked the staff and all,'' Franklin said. ``Taking a job like Dillard, you've got talent year to year. It's a community school. They're very supportive of their athletic program, whether it's football, basketball or track. I think it's a great challenge right now. McArthur helped me out a great deal to prepare for a day like this to take on a program like Dillard.''

Franklin knew he had made the right decision when he traveled with several camps this summer, from Rutgers to Florida State.

''A job like Dillard, that's pretty much one of the high profile jobs in the state of Florida.'' Franklin said.
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another ELY tidbit

2. Who are some of the county's top non-Super 11 players?

Ely cornerback Walter McFadden, respected for his cover skills, speed and instincts, and tight end Michael Holton barely missed the cut. So did North Broward Prep quarterback Dexter Davidson and top receiver Mike Moore, Plantation running back Dennis Campbell, South Plantation corner Brandon Williams and Miramar defensive end/linebacker Artis Warthen. Ely quarterback Carlton Jackson also lands in this group.
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