BY GENE NARDI
Spring football is here, and the Royal Palm Beach High School squad has kicked off its spring camp with high hopes garnered from motivation carried over from last season.
The Wildcats finished last season as District 7A runner-up and fell short in postseason play, facing perennial power St. Thomas Aquinas High School in the first round of the regional playoffs and finishing at 6-6.
The postseason is not something that is foreign to Royal Palm Beach, and the team looks to build on an intensity that was evident when the Town-Crier visited the football camp.
“We carried the momentum into the winter; our workouts were good,” said head coach Will Bueno, now in his sixth year at the helm. “We had really good participation, and our kids got stronger. We have a good group coming back who were key contributors last year.”
The Wildcats look to fill a few voids on both sides of the ball left from this year’s graduation. Cornerback Da’Von Brown will be playing at Florida Atlantic University in the fall, and cornerback MiQuez Cox will be suiting up at Pikeville College. Linebacker/receiver Marlon Eugene will be playing for Southeast Missouri State.
For the offense, the Wildcats will have to replace quarterback Josh Carr, who signed with Harding University. There are three players competing for the job this spring. Adarius Dent, Michael Moreland. and Sean Hoff are all seeing time under center.
Royal Palm Beach will lean on 6-foot-1, 200-pound Jerry Griffin to take the reins in the backfield. “He’ll fill our loss of Telvis Lawler, who graduates,” Bueno said. “Jerry is big and has good ball skills.”
The Wildcats also have Brandon Adams and Da’Qwan Hamilton returning in the backfield on offense.
For the line, Bueno said that there are approximately 10 players competing for starting positions on both the offensive and defensive lines. “They’re getting better every day,” he said. “In high school, the line is what makes the difference.”
Royal Palm Beach is gearing up for its spring game, and will host Park Vista High School on Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. “It will be a good ballgame,” Bueno said.
As far as the outlook for the fall, Bueno is confident that if the Wildcats remain healthy, they will be competitive and contend for a postseason position once again.
ABOVE: Royal Palm Beach head coach Willie Bueno closes out the practice with the team.