CHAMINADE: Getting Ready For Tyler Lee!

In one month, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna will fly to Tyler, Texas to open the 2005 season against one of the nation's elite teams. While the Lions and head coach Mark Guandolo respect and admire Lee, they also believe that they have something to prove as TEXAS & FLORIDA – the two best high school football hotbeds in the nation – clash before a sellout crowd!

HOLLYWOOD - Mark Guandolo Jr. remembers the ride back from Immokalee like it happened yesterday. He must have gone over the loss to the eventual 2A state champions 100 times on the way back from the south region final.

As he thought about the 21-0 setback to the Indians, Guandolo, the son of Chaminade-Madonna head coach Mark Guandolo, quickly started to think about his senior season. Reflecting too much on the past wasn‘t healthy.

"You lose your only game of the season and it really hurt," the younger Guandolo remembered. "You ask yourself what you could have done to change things, and then you begin to work on those things."

That loss, which nobody ever predicted would happen, was a wakeup call for a program that has been regarded as one of the best in the state, and among the top 20 in the nation over the past three years. It also set into motion an off season filled with workouts as well as attending camps and combines to get better.


Mark Guandolo, Jr., QUARTERBACK
As Guandolo headed off to a quarterback camp in the Tampa area to improve on his technique and gain strength in his throwing arm, other members of the team also looked for an edge in the off season.

With a fall jamboree against South Plantation coming just one week before the much anticipated trip to play Texas powerhouse Tyler Lee on Aug. 27, this is a program that has once again put the priorities in motion.

"It's tough to figure how we lost focus in that Immokalee game," said senior defensive back Jordan Delegal, who has emerged as the Lions' top Division 1A prospect this season.

"Coach Guandolo expected more of this team, and I think we let him down. That won't happen this year."

Delegal, a 6-0 185-pounder, is one of the athletes who has brought the major colleges back to the Hollywood campus this year.


Jordan Delegal, SAFETY
After impressive performances at the Miami Nike Combine and the Perfect Competition/FloridaKids.us Camp in Davie as a safety/cornerback, he has made major strides this summer with workouts that have enhanced his overall play.

As schools such as North Carolina State, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Auburn, Colorado State and Mississippi continue to sell their respective programs, Delegal, who begins his third season at Chaminade after coming over from Dillard, continues to run, lift weights and learn more about his position.

"Being in the best condition possible is what makes football the sport it is," said Delegal. "If you work hard and give the maximum effort, it comes back to you in a very positive way."

While Guandolo Jr. and Delegal are two seniors who have become leaders, the Lions will once again be directly in the spotlight over the next two years with a pair of juniors. Receiver Kamar Aiken and running back/linebacker Xavier Stinson are already regarded as top 10 players in the state and among the best in the nation.

Both made major contributions to this team as sophomores, and both have made the most of their summer workouts to impress the coaching staff.


Kamar Aiken, WIDE RECEIVER
"When you have a pair of quality football players who are willing to do anything to get better, it's a nice situation to have," said Coach Guandolo. "We have had a number of tremendous football players in this program throughout the years and both of those young men have the chance to be as good as we've ever had."

The very fact that Aiken has found a balance between basketball and football is something that impresses the players and coaches on this team. At 6-2, 180-pounds, he has adjusted over the past year to a different lifestyle. Remember, he was a promising freshman basketball player at Miami Northwestern and then came to Hollywood last year for a better education and the chance to compete for programs on the rise.

"This has been a great experience for me," Aiken said. "I can see in just the past year what this has done for my life. Things are going great in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. That's the balance my family had wanted for me as well."

Aiken is becoming one of the state's top receivers. His quickness, athletic ability and knowledge of the game comes through in every drill he runs during practice.


Xavier Stinson, RUNNING BACK/LINEBACKER
The Lions have had more than their share of standout football players in the past three years with Jon Beason, Glenn Cook, Octavious Darby, John Dunlap, Gus Mustakas and others. But to figure that Stinson has the chance to be as good or better than all of them is something that makes every member of this team smile.

After moving to South Florida from the Space Coast (Melbourne Central Catholic) last year, Stinson amazed and became a football player who many predicted great things for.

Stinson, the 5-9, 220-pounder, will be used mostly at running back this coming year, but the Lions also want to plug him at linebacker.

"When I came here to attend Chaminade, the main thing was to make sure that I would get a quality education," Stinson said. "That was the most important thing. The football program had already sold itself because of Coach G. (Guandolo)."


Josh Corraliza, Senior LINEBACKER
While some programs use the summer to lift weights and to stay in shape, Chaminade has found a way to perfect the training sessions, getting the most of the entire team.

"On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we work on our speed and strength," said Guandolo. "Tuesdays and Thursdays get us on the football field to learn more about the game. But conditioning is the key to the success of any quality program."

And, what about the trip to Texas?

Guandolo has some thoughts. "This is a once in a lifetime experience for this football team," the coach said. "To play a program as storied as Lee in their place in front of a sellout crowd on a Saturday night, what else could you ask for. What an honor!"

Sun State Football Top Stories