By Gene Nardi
High school football practice has started, and the Palm Beach Central High School Broncos are busy preparing for the fall season.
The Broncos do not have an easy schedule, with a season opener against Royal Palm Beach, then traveling to Glades Central. Mid-season, the Broncos face Seminole Ridge, then close out regular-season play with district nemesis Park Vista and then Palm Beach Gardens.
Last season, the Broncos did not jump out of the gate in impressive style, starting 1-2 with tough loses to Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Both teams were able to limit the Broncos to just 6 points.
However, Palm Beach Central then turned red hot, winning the next six games, averaging 35 points a game. “The seniors just got hungry after a not-so-great start last year. We had to get back at it after the second loss,” University of Miami commit K.C. McDermott told the Town-Crier.
The 6-foot, 6-inch, 285-pound standout maintains the very discipline that took the Broncos into the regional semifinal game against Seminole Ridge by leading workouts and training himself. “We have the discipline, skill and toughness to get there and make a run at a state title this year,” he said.
Palm Beach Central received a minor hit in the backfield with the graduation of Lloyd Howard (now at Georgia Prep Sports Academy), but the Broncos have every bit of confidence in returning running back Thomas McDonald. The 5-foot, 10-inch, 190-pound senior should be a major player on the squad.
“Tommy is the best running back in Palm Beach County,” Bronco receiver Rudolph Saint Germain said.
Saint Germain, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 190-pound receiver, is slated to possibly play free safety as well this season. “It’s all about commitment, with us,” he said. “Last year’s seniors stepped it up for us, and this year we’ll maintain that.”
Saint Germain has attended camps this summer to improve his skills and receive the ball more this year.
The Broncos may go to the air more this season to balance their attack. With several returning players, Palm Beach Central should be the frontrunner for the District 10-8A title this season, but will have to knock out tough foes such as Park Vista and John I. Leonard to accomplish that. Should the Broncos win the district, they could face rematches with Palm Beach Gardens and Seminole Ridge in regional play.
The Broncos’ kickoff classic is slated for Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m., with the team hosting Miami Northwestern. The regular season opens Friday, Aug. 30 with the Broncos hosting Royal Palm Beach at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Palm Beach Central running back Thomas McDonald runs for a big gain in the teams first practice with pads.