(NAPLES) – The inaugural Battle At The Beach series, Presented by Momentum Sports of Naples and Sports Force Parks, will feature prominent high school football teams from around the country facing off under the lights of the new Paradise Coast Sports Complex.
The first-year group of teams, and talent that will be on display, is about as strong as it gets on the high school football scene. The series of games over three weekends will be played at the newly built state-of-the-art Paradise Coast Sports Complex, which seats just under 5,000. Looking ahead to future years, the Battle At The Beach could expand to up to ten weekends during the football season.
“This idea for a series of games in Naples came with building the new sports complex,” Steve Quinn said. “Part of our agreement with Collier County is that myself and Erik Richards (National Recruiting Director, All-American Bowl on NBC) will bring in more events for the county. “We have this incredible new venue, so what better way to use our networks in the football world to put together marquee games like these, in the brand-new stadium, and do it year after year.”
SEPTEMBER 4, 7:00 P.M. | Bishop Gorman High School Gaels vs. Miami Central High School
MaxPreps ranks this primetime matchup as one of the top ten must-watch games of the high school football season.
Miami Central (Miami, Fla.) are the reigning Class 6A champs, with a 46-0 victory in the title game last December which marks back-to-back championships and the program’s seventh title in the last eleven seasons. This year’s Rockets program is loaded defensively, and they have the talent and staff to compete with any team nationally. They enter 2021 as the No. 15 overall program in MaxPreps’ preseason rankings.
Four-star recruit Wesley Bissainthe is an elite outside linebacker ranked No. 121 overall, with 28 offers including Miami, Florida State, Penn State, Alabama, Florida, LSU, and USC. Anthony Rose is a three-star South Carolina commit who stands 6-foot-4. Three-star recruit Jaylin Marshall possesses 32 Division-1 offers and can play safety or corner. Another talented three-star, defensive back Edric Weldon, is a top-50 recruit in the state of Florida and can play anywhere in the secondary. On offense, tackle Daughtry Richardson is a 6-foot-3, 285-pound Florida State commit. In the 2023 class, defensive lineman Reuben Bain boasts 16 offers including Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, and Texas. Fellow 2023 recruit Lamar Seymore is a three-star Miami commit at wide receiver.
“We always try to get the team battle-tested throughout the season, so we play a daunting schedule year-in year-out,” said head coach Roland Smith. “[We’re] ready to show what South Florida football is about and what Miami Central Football is about. We’re a marquee name on the schedule for everybody because of what we’ve done in the past … that’s a testament to these kids and what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Notable Miami Central football alumni include Willis McGahee, Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, and Amari Daniels (FBU Freshman All-American, FBU National Championship Team South Florida).
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) has 17 Nevada state championships, and a three-peat of National Championships between 2014-2016. The Gaels only played two games in 2020 (during the spring) due to the pandemic. Their most recent season, 2019, saw them finish 11-2 with a loss in the state title. Bishop Gorman is the preseason No. 12 team in the nation. They are seeking their 12th state title since 2007.
Head Football Coach Brent Browner will get his first full season under his belt after leading Gorman during their two games this spring. He coached the defensive backs during Gorman’s two most recent state championships. Browner is a longtime Football University Coach, and has been part of All-American Bowl on NBC and FBU Freshman All-American Bowl coaching staffs.
“[I’m] gratefully excited about the opportunity to put my own stamp on this program,” Browner said of being named Gorman’s head coach. “We didn’t get as much time as we wanted [in the spring] because we only played two games, but we’re glad to have gotten what we did. We learned a lot about our young players, so we can see what the future might hold for them. “We’re really looking forward to this season getting started.”
Gorman’s talent is noteworthy - some are calling this the most talented Gorman team in years. Defensive end Cyrus Moss is the No. 25 recruit nationally with offers from 29 programs. Defensive back Zion Branch is ranked No. 49 nationally and possesses 43 Division-1 offers. Four-star Fabian Ross is a top-150 recruit nationally and is committed to USC. The offense features a pair of Division-1 running backs Jaydn Ott (Cal) and Cam Barfield (Coston College). Offensive tackle Jake Taylor is a four-star ranked No. 15 at his position, committed to play for Oklahoma. The talent in 2023 is just as notable. Wide receiver Zachariah Branch is a speedy 2023 four-star with 20 offers who ran a 10.3 100-meter this spring. Defensive back Justyn Rhett is a 2023 four-star with 17 offers including Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and USC. Each game will be streamed live through our national broadcast affiliate, FloSports. Tickets are open to the public.