Auburn, Ala.--While many of the teams were new, it was an old hand that came away with the first-place prize as Glades Central High from Belle Glades, Fla. won the championship by defeating Harrison High from Kennesaw, Ga. in the finals game.
Led by the strong passing of quarterback Bryan Mann and the play of dual safeties Johnny Dixon and Damien Berry, the Raiders rolled through the two days undefeated. The victory was even more surprising for Central because of who wasn't in attendance. At home taking a test this weekend, wide receiver Deonte Thompson didn't make the trip. That forced several young players to step up his absence. Mann says that coming away with the victory under the circumstances is huge for his team.
"It feels good," Mann says. "A lot of our team's players aren't here because they were taking the ACT. We came up with some of the second-team guys and still won it. Last year we had two teams in the tournament and we lost to our JV team so we weren't going to lose this time around."
Marlon Walls is a 6-3, 215 junior linebacker that could be one of the country's best for 2008.
In the semi-finals the Raiders had perhaps their toughest challenge against Wooddale High from Memphis, Tenn. Featuring one of the South's top receivers in Roderick Davis as well as a monster junior linebacker Marlon Walls, Wooddale gave Glades Central a run early in the contest, but in the end the speed and athleticism of the Raiders was too much to handle. While his team didn't come away with the championship Davis was easily the camp's most impressive offensive player and made several highlight-reel catches in the two days.
While their team didn't perform as well as it would have liked, several prospects from Dr. Phillips High in Orlando showed up over the course of the camp. Cornerback Marty Carr was outstanding at times and showed a knack for making a play with the ball in the air. Linebacker Ricky Booker also did some nice things when playing the position but is expected to be moved to defensive end this season. The best player of the weekend for Dr. Phillips was junior wide receiver Damien Allen, who made play after play in the passing game from fellow junior quarterback Chris Wilkes.
Other standout players from the passing camp were cornerback/wide receiver Mark LeGree from Pacelli, defensive end Tymon Hudson from Rome (Ga.) High and quarterback Jeremy Perry from Wooddale. Along with Dixon and Berry, LeGree was the class of the defensive players in attendance.
The passing camp is the first of two Auburn will have this summer along with two Senior Camps. Next up for the coaching staff is a 4-12th grade camp that begins Sunday and lasts through Wednesday.