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May 23, 2011



Laird Hamilton Just Smiles at Chuck Norris Jokes. Solar Zone Hit of The Week:


orange 'n green in the vein

Why is UM only listed with 29 ACC games to all others 30?


soup check this out when you get time


Staycations: South Florida’s best places to paddle

From the Keys to Palm Beach County, here are 14 favorite waterways for kayaks and canoes.

By Bonnie Gross
Special to The Miami Herald

Thirty years ago when we bought a house on Fort Lauderdale’s Middle River, we also bought a canoe to explore the waterway in our backyard. And we were pretty much alone in that.

People asked us if we had a boat. When we said, “Yes, a canoe!” I often detected a look of pity. Canoes weren’t boats — boats pulled water skiiers and made noise.

Today, a flotilla of kayaks passes my house every day. Somewhere over the years, the rest of the world discovered the joys of paddling. And now our river teems with stand-up paddleboards, too, the latest paddling craze.

Paddling was bound to catch on: It’s easy. It uses no fuel, except the calories you burn. It offers a serene and quiet experience where you are close to the water and wildlife and can hold a conversation with a paddling partner in little more than a whisper.

Over the years, my husband and I have taken our canoe to every nearby waterway we could find. (We’re still using the same yellow fiberglass canoe, repaired but leaky after a tree fell on it during a hurricane. Best $250 I ever spent.)

Within an hour of any spot in South Florida, there’s a place to paddle that will provide a memorable and authentic Florida experience.

Here are 14 of the best places to paddle in South Florida. Some are urban routes, with views of yachts and mansions. Others are true wilderness excursions, where we’ve come as close as anyone really should be to a 15-foot crocodile. At many of these places, you can rent a kayak (or canoe or paddle board), so the waterway makes a good introduction to paddling for first-timers.


Oleta River State Park, North Miami. You’ll find good kayaking in the middle of the bustling area here. Blue Moon Outdoor Center makes it easy for visitors to get on the water, with a variety of kayaks and canoes, instructions and maps. Paddlers can explore mangrove tunnels along the Oleta River and paddle out to two small islands in the Intracoastal. Every month, Blue Moon hosts a leisurely “Full Moon Paddle” in the park at night.

Biscayne Bay. Like kayaking off the beach, paddling in Biscayne Bay doesn’t require a trail. There are many appealing places to launch a kayak. We like the southern stretch of the bay because the shoreline is wild and undeveloped with active bird rookeries on some spoil islands off Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club. There are two places to put in kayaks or canoes: Matheson Hammock Park and a public boat dock just south of the Deering Estate. Both locations are entryways to a sparkling bay where you’ll see brown pelicans, osprey, great blue heron and possibly rays and nurse sharks in the shallow water. If you leave from near the Deering Estate, you can paddle out to Chicken Key, another bird rookery, about a mile and half northeast. The Deering Estate runs group trips to Chicken Key regularly.

Everglades National Park. The wildest place to kayak is an hour south of Miami — Everglades National Park. A canoe or kayak trail here is a perfect way to surround yourself with the sights, sounds and creatures of the Everglades. Even on the busiest weekend, you can be alone in the wild on these trails and hear nothing but the swish of the reeds against your boat. There are several canoe trails within the national park. We like Nine Mile Pond, where we spotted a 15-foot crocodile. It’s a 5-mile loop that will take four or five hours to paddle. There is absolutely no dry land on the trail, so you’ll be picnicking in your boat if you bring food. (We did and loved drifting in the sawgrass, absorbing the stillness.) You can
arrange to rent boats from the Flamingo Marina in the park

Other canoe and kayak trails in Everglades National Park include

• Bear Lake Canoe Trail: an out-and-back paddle along a straight man-made historic waterway through thick mangroves. We’ve done this one and enjoyed the mangrove tunnels and wildlife.

• Hell’s Bay Canoe Trail: Famously: “Hell to get into and hell to get out of.” Through mangrove creeks and ponds.

• Noble Hammock: a 1.9-mile loop through a maze of mangrove tunnels and small ponds.


John Lloyd State Park, Dania Beach. Broward’s best and most natural kayak trail is Whiskey Creek in this park. You can rent kayaks in the park or launch your own from the park’s marina. Whiskey Creek is a narrow, jungle-like tidal waterway lined with mangroves. It parallels the beach and the Intracoastal for about a mile and a half and the only visible signs of man are a few footbridges that provide beach access. What I love about kayaking Whiskey Creek is that it is shallow and sandy the whole way, with good visibility for fish and plenty of bird life. On a recent trip, we saw an osprey plus puffer, needle and other fish. On the return paddle, when we had the wind and tide going against us, I got out of the kayak and walked awhile, easily pulling the boat through waist-deep water. Walking Whiskey Creek, I found, literally immersed me in the experience.

Middle River, Fort Lauderdale. I’m lucky to live on the South Fork of the Middle River in Fort Lauderdale, an urban waterway that circles Wilton Manors. The Middle River is one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular kayak outings. While you’ll find a stretch or two of mangroves and undeveloped land, it’s largely a view of people’s pools and backyards with an occasional heron, manatee or iguana sighting. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards at the Richardson Historical Park dock in Wilton Manors or put in your own kayaks at Colohatchee Park.

New River and the canals in central Fort Lauderdale. The city’s most historic river is the New River, which runs through the heart of the city. The downtown section is popular with yachts and fast boats and thus not ideal for kayaks. But there are areas that make for better paddling. The canals along Las Olas Boulevard and on the south side of the New River, along Rio Vista and the Tarpon River, offer views of mansions, yachts and well-tended landscaping. You can put in at Victoria Park in Fort Lauderdale. Miles away, the western portions of the New River are calmer and make for interesting exploring, too. We’ve put our canoe in the water at a private marina and yachting center off of State Road 84 and paddled under I-595, then explored the waterway along Pond Apple Slough.


Loxahatchee River, Jupiter. I consider the kayak trail on the Loxahatchee River the best paddle in South Florida. What’s great about the Loxahatchee is that you kayak through one of Florida’s two federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. (The other is the Wekiva near Orlando.) The cypress trees and feathery ferns and air plants create a magical and peaceful environment. The three-hour highly scenic trip is a shady trail along a narrow, twisting river.

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Boynton Beach. The 5.5-mile kayak trail at the refuge takes you through wet prairies, sawgrass marshes and tree islands. It’s a sunny, open trail where you’re likely to see birds and to paddle near or even over alligators. (No worries, they won’t bother you as long as you don’t bother them.) The only time you can stretch your legs is at a floating dock halfway through the trip. You can rent canoes and kayaks from a private concession at the boat ramp. The company also runs full-moon night kayak trips monthly.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach. When you’re kayaking MacArthur, you’re never far from civilization, but the scenery and bird-life are spectacular. The salt-water marshes offer no shade, so even in winter, bring a hat, sunscreen and lots of water. You can kayak around the lagoon or venture into the broader, choppier Lake Worth. One popular destination in Lake Worth is about a one-mile paddle: Munyon Island, which offers sandy beaches, a boardwalk and picnic pavilions. Be very aware of tides, however. During low tide, the area around Munyon Island becomes a mud flat. While at MacArthur State Park, take time to walk the spectacular beach.

Peanut Island, Riviera Beach. Kayaking to Peanut Island is another destination in the MacArthur Park area. You can extend your outing from Munyon Island to Peanut Island by kayaking another mile. Be warned, though: You’ll be crossing an area heavily trafficked by large boats. An alternative is to put in your kayak at the Riviera Beach Marina, which is also home to a great tiki bar. Peanut Island is an interesting destination — it has outstanding snorkeling from its beach plus fascinating history, which includes the bunker built to protect then-President Kennedy in the event of an attack. (His winter home in Palm Beach is a short boat ride away.)


The Keys are kayak heaven, with unlimited places to put in your kayak and paddle through spectacular scenery. To get you started, here are four favorites:

Indian Key Historic State Park, Islamorada, may be my all-time favorite Florida kayaking destination. The historic island is fun to explore, plus it offers great snorkeling along its rocky shore. It is hard to believe, but in 1836, Indian Key was the county seat for all Dade County. It was home to a community of wreckers — folks who salvaged goods off the many ships that ran afoul of the nearby reefs. It had two-story houses, a hotel where John Audubon stayed, a post office, stores and warehouses. The community thrived until 1840, when Seminole Indians attacked. About 50 to 70 residents escaped, 13 were killed, including a well-known local, Dr. Henry Perrine, a medical doctor and botanist. The town never recovered. Its ruins are now overrun by foliage, and it is preserved as a state park. You can launch kayaks from a parking lot along U.S. 1 or rent kayaks from Robbie’s Marina.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, is famous for its snorkeling, but it also offers 2.5 miles of mangrove trails. In addition, the expansive and sheltered Largo Sound offers excellent open-water paddling. Late spring and summer provide more opportunity for calm seas. There are two kayak landings within the park, one near the campground and the other near the main concession building, where you can rent canoes and kayaks.

Big Pine Key/No Name Key is home to the endangered Key deer and a popular spot to kayak. A good put-in spot is the marina at Old Wooden Bridge Cabins, where Bill Keogh, nature guide and author of Florida Keys Paddling Guide, operates guided kayaking tours and rents kayaks. Keogh’s self-guided tours include an excellent map showing specific features and key sites around No Name Key. The paddle around the island takes about four hours. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of birds, possibly Key deer and creatures in the water, from sharks to rays. Keogh also offers tours at nearby White Heron National Wildlife Refuge.

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, is a popular starting point for kayaks, which can be rented at the park. Paddlers circumnavigate the island park, explore nearby islands and paddle under the historic “saddleback” bridge built by Henry Flagler. You can bring your own kayak or canoe and launch it from either Loggerhead parking lot on the ocean side or the boat ramp on the Gulf side.

Bonnie Gross writes about kayaking and other outdoor adventures for FloridaRambler.com.


Morning Soup, Solar, Canespacers,did some Clear Kayaking on the Reef at Roatan Thursday, all I can say is those clear Kayaks you see in the advertisement arent so clear after a few hundred tourist have sat in them. ha

Go Canes!!!



Golden still looking for Quarterbacks

Al Golden says he’s not through chasing quarterbacks for 2012 despite getting former Memphis starter Ryan Williams to transfer to Miami.

As it stands right now, the Hurricanes have three, maybe four, quarterbacks on board for 2012. Along with Williams and Stephen Morris, UM has a solid commitment from Clearwater Countryside’s Gray Crow, ranked as the nation’s 28th-best QB prospect by Scout.com. The Hurricanes have also invited Westminster Christian’s David Thompson, a UM baseball commitment, to play football, although it’s believed Thompson is leaning towards a career in pro baseball.

Ryan Williams

Golden said he’s hoping to sign at least one quarterback who can enroll at UM in January and participate in spring practice.

“If you’re a rising senior and you have an opportunity to compete against only two quarterbacks – Ryan and Stephen – come January, that’s the best deal going in college football,” Golden said. “On the first day, you’re getting reps with [the second-team offense] and if you’re doing good, you can get reps with the [first-team offense]. I think it’s an incredible opportunity for someone.

“Right now, we’re still not where we want to be. We need five or six quarterbacks. We’re looking. If you’re a talented recruit out there and you’re looking for a chance to impact a program, it’s still a great opportunity for you.”

A few more notes from my chat with Golden this week:

….Golden admits he became particularly intrigued with Ryan Williams after learning that Arkansas was also very interested in signing the former Memphis quarterback. “There was something there that a very good quarterback coach in [Razorbacks’ head coach] Bobby Petrino saw in him,” Golden said.



Rivals Come Knocking:

Ohio State offers UM verbal commit A.J. Leggett, 5'11'' and 175 lbs. He remains firmly committed to the Canes. 2012


Go Canes


Six - Deltona is playing in the 6A state semi final this morning. I mention this because I know you are from the area.

One of the kids on the team is a friend of my daughters and he has a offer from the Hurricanes....


So as the Y2K panic victims pry open their 11 year old cans of Vienna sausages and wash them down with newly purchased cases of bottled water, is Publix stockpiling a few billion pallets of potted meat product for the big October End All Sale to end all sales?

dj moonbat

Solarcane's article on canoeing reminds me of a fun pastime of my youth. My brother and I would canoe down the nearby canal, through the Biltmore golf course, and pick up golf balls out of the water and sell them to golfers who had just lost their own balls into the drink. Sometimes even sold them right back to the duffer himself.


Papa Cane - New Offer: Miami offers 4-Star WR Drae Bowles, 6'1'' and 205 lbs. He is considered one of Tennessee's top WRs: http://ow.ly/50E7Y

New Offer To FSU Verbal Commit: Miami offers 4-Star DE Dante Fowler Jr, 6'3'' and 236 lbs. Link to highlights: http://ow.ly/50DUv


"Miami's first game of the tournament will be played at 11 AM on Thursday against North Carolina."

Whew, at least they won't be playing at the same time as the closeout game 5 for the Heat.


dj, I remember a friend doing that water golf ball collection as well, and made some good money (relatively speaking), until the course realized they were sitting on a goldmine.

They got a maintenance man to do that, and kicked the kids off the course.

I know it was their right, but it still sucked.


Why is UM only listed with 29 ACC games to all others 30?

Posted by: orange 'n green in the vein | May 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

OGV, they had that cancelled game up in BC due to snow or some other northern calamity.

BC at 7-22, we likely would have won that game.


Solar...that is a very good article about places to kayak in SF. I have been to a few of them and some are definitely better than others. To me kayaking is more fun when you have to manuver and steer and when there are things to see like mangroves and wildlife.

The first time U are paddling in a sit-on-top kayak with your azz at water level and U come out of a mangrove tunnel and into a lagoon and a dolphin or manatee surfaces and swims along side you while mullet are jumping all around your kayak as an Osprey snatches one right in front of U, U are changed forever.

Paddling in the middle of Biscayne bay is good for exercise but not much else.


moonbat...I used to dive for golf balls in canals along golf courses in Kendall when in jr. high and sell them on the bank of the canal to golfers. We could make $20-40 in an hour or so of diving which was pretty good $$$ to a seventh grader back in the day.

That is until one day about a year into it that we were diving and a woman who owned a house along the canal came out and told us that a 10 foot gator was sunning himself on her property right next to where we diving just 10 minutes before we arrived.

That pretty much ended my golf ball diving experience.

Old Skool

Dang Native. I'm jealous. Hopefully you get a severe case of bluebird skies and crystal clear water.


Here is a good rule to follow -

"Not including the ocean, never go swiming an a body of water south of the GA / FL state line unless it's a pool or a roped off area of a lake"


The University of Miami and head football coach Al Golden have announced that six members of the 2011 Signing Class have enrolled in the Summer I session. The group began classes on campus on May 18.

“We are excited to have the group of young men on campus for summer session,” said Golden. “It is very advantageous to the guys who are here early. They get a feel for the ‘lay of the land’, get to know their teammates and not only do they get a leg up on conditioning, but they begin the adjustment process sooner.”

Quarterback transfer and Broward County native Ryan Williams is among the six who have enrolled for summer. Williams—6-6 and 220 pounds— joins the Hurricanes after spending the last year at the University of Memphis, starting 10 of the 13 contests a season ago. A second transfer, Michael Williams, is also on campus this summer. Williams, a 6-1, 170-pound defensive back, comes to the U by way of Wake Forest. Williams will add depth to the cornerback position and will be eligible to play immediately.

In addition to the Williams, UM welcomes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (5-9, 170), linebacker Gionni Paul (6-0, 230), wide receiver Rashawn Scott (6-2, 198) and defensive tackle Darius Smith (6-2, 345) this summer.


Nice write up on the baseball teaam! Was fun to watch The Heat last night - Chicago is a tough team.

Macjones - I heard the interview with Johnny V the jockey on Animal Kingdom - he said he didn't break very good from the date and because of that he was getting pelted in the face with dirt as opposed to the Derby where he was closer and the dirt hit him in the chest. Reminds me of when Silver Charm won the Preakness - Touch Gold stumbled to his knees out of the gate, got up still finished 4th and came back to win the Belmont.


^^from the gate





There will be more UM baseball on Wednesday and throughout the ACC tourney, the Regionals, Super Regionals and hopefully the CWS IF Miami makes it that far.

After Mid-June it's back to football primarily unless something happens with basketball or other sports at UM.

In July (22-24) we have the Wet Your Pants Tour (WYPT) Part Deux sponsored by Solarcane.

In August Fall practice starts so then it football FT.

macjones de Albuquerque

Macjones - I heard the interview with Johnny V the jockey on Animal Kingdom - he said he didn't break very good from the date and because of that he was getting pelted in the face with dirt as opposed to the Derby where he was closer and the dirt hit him in the chest. Reminds me of when Silver Charm won the Preakness - Touch Gold stumbled to his knees out of the gate, got up still finished 4th and came back to win the Belmont.

Posted by: CGNC | May 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Thank U, CGNC!

Bon jour

By the way, it's officialy mj de Albuquerque, now.

Because I'm going back to the Land of E-N-T-R-A-P-M-E-N-T, eh. lol I just hope I stay pUt this time!

Old Skool

How do floating ropes keep out alligators?

orange 'n green in the vein

Posted by: Ungar | May 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM

It knew it was going to be something like that or it was going to be an accounting error but thanks for filling me in on that.


mj de alb - LOL Canada, I presume?


CC - I watched the 2nd and 3rd periods of the San Jose game. 5 powerplays and 0 goals - been there, watched that! Canesteeler, Ohiocane - sound like another team we know and love?

I don't know if the sharks take the series, but I think they take the next game


CC - I watched the 2nd and 3rd periods of the San Jose game. 5 powerplays and 0 goals - been there, watched that! Canesteeler, Ohiocane - sound like another team we know and love?

I don't know if the sharks take the series, but I think they take the next game

Posted by: CGNC | May 23, 2011 at 01:10 PM

Umm, unfortunately, yes.

Sharks are done, imo. They look dead, and next game is in Vancouver.


Papa Cane - Even though UM recently offered 4-Star DE Dante Fowler Jr, I expect him to stay fully committed to FSU. He is actively recruiting for them.


Latonya Sadler - Six Canes from the 2011 Signing Class who r on campus 4 summer--M. Williams/Smith/Paul/Scott/Dorsett/R. Williams http://yfrog.com/h22s5jbj


How do floating ropes keep out alligators?

Posted by: Old Skool | May 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

LOL - They don't.....but seem to make swimmers feel better :-)


I was waiting for my daughter to get out of school (Palm Beach Central), and who walks by me going into the school? Aubrey Hill with all his gator gear on, I honked the horn and flashed the U, he smiled and kept going.

DallasTX Cane

Laird Hamilton Just Smiles at Chuck Norris Jokes. Solar Zone Hit of The Week:


Posted by: SOUP | May 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Nice site Solar. LH is serious. I'd heard of him before, but the part of Endless Summer 2 where they talk about his "epic" paddle board excursions really turned me onto the crazy sh_t he does. The guy is amazing. The power of a 6' at Nag's Head, NC was impressive; imagining the force of the big waves Laird rides leaves one awestruck.

Is the season here yet?...


Aubrey Hill with all his gator gear on, I honked the horn and flashed the U, he smiled and kept going.

Posted by: TJL | May 23, 2011 at 03:45 PM



It's always good to see you around.
Thanks I appreciate the support for The Solar Zone. It is getting some nice feedback.
Yea LH is one of my favorite living legend types for sure.

Soup I agree 100% about coming round a tight bend in a river or channel and seeing something amazing while gliding 3 inches off the surface of the water, changes your perception of everything forever.

I used to love paddling the Loxahatchee River up near Jupiter with the canopy of trees completely over the river, and see the birds and fish an arms length away.

You know what the rivers, lakes and mountains look like where I live now so you know I'm spoiled forever.

We were going up to Clayton to talk to NOC last weekend but my mom in law is in the middle of a lease purchase sales deal and she wanted us there.
I'll be calling you and Native real soon and promoting the WYPTII for July launch.

I have some wicked good Chattahoochee River nature photography spots for us to paddle also.
Check this easy float and photo shoot section.
Imagine paddling around a bend and seeing this for your first time



Imagine paddling around a bend and seeing this for your first time


Posted by: solarcane | May 23, 2011 at 06:02 PM

Too beautiful! Just another reason to call it WYPT. U see something like that and well, U know, it could happen?


and for you other guys imagine paddling up to the lake beach and seeing this for the first time


DallasTX Cane


Now thats what I'm talking about!


Solar...now that's just so unfair. LOL

DallasTX Cane


I haven't checked this out yet, but saw a TV segment on the idea - helping disabled Vets by teaching them to surf. It stuck in my mind as a great cause, worthy of support. Your site asks for ideas/programs...U might want to look into this one.


macjones de Albuquerque

mj de alb - LOL Canada, I presume?

Posted by: CGNC | May 23, 2011 at 01:08 PM

Baby, U don't wanna' know where I've been hiding the past year. LMAO Seriously!

Good evening and good night.


DTX Im on it thanks!

DallasTX Cane

spurring my own curiosity...


Amazing Surf Adventures (ASA) and the Richard Schmidt Surf School host the annual wounded warriors surf program for soldiers from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas. Operation Surf takes place in different locations such as Pismo Beach/Avila Beach, CA and Santa Cruz, CA. Other destinations we look to be are Ventura, CA; San Diego, CA; and internationally such as Puerto Rica and Costa Rica.

ASA, along with several prominent surf schools, have developed an adaptive surf program to allow these soldiers to experience the thrill of surfing in a safe, constructive, land and ocean environment. We begin this program with comprehensive instruction on land that includes ocean safety, ocean awareness, equipment use, and adaptive techniques that cater to each individual’s disabilities.

We then take the soldiers into the ocean to put into action the instruction they’ve just received on land. While in the water each participant is assigned a professional adaptive surf instructor to maintain a safe 1:1 student-teacher ratio. In addition each instructor will also have two trained assistants placed in the water at various distances in the participants surf zone as additional safety buffers.

This process creates a surfing experience that is based upon proven teaching methods created by legendary watermen Richard Schmidt (Santa Cruz, CA) and Van Curaza (Pismo Beach, CA).

Thank you for visiting our site. We are actively seeking volunteers for all positions. We welcome any sponsorship and donations that will benefit Operation Surf.


Back in a bit running some erands for mom in law


By the time Charlie Weis’ five-year tenure at Notre Dame had come to a merciful end in November of 2009, it was readily apparent that the school — and the fan base — was ready to hit the reset button and rid themselves of the head coach.

Boy, were they ever ready to rid themselves of their head coach.

Federal tax documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune show that Notre Dame made a termination payment of $6,638,403 to Weis sometime after he and the school parted ways. And that was just an initial termination payment; the documents also reveal that Weis will receive “much smaller annual payments through December, 2015″ as part of his severance package.

Weis, who spent a year with the Kansas City Chiefs after his Irish departure and is now the offensive coordinator at Florida, signed a 10-year contract extension in the middle of his first season with the Irish in 2005 that was slated to run through the 2015 season.

So, for posting a 35-27 mark as the Irish coach, including an abysmal 16-21 record his last three years in South Bend, Weis will receive in excess of $7 million above and beyond what he was paid in salary during those five years? And the school is also paying for a new head coach as well?

orange 'n green in the vein


All because he stayed close to an illegal player powered pac-10 fraud that used an illegal push to win a game they weren't supposed to be in.


Lucas Thompson offered by UM

Winter Garden West Orange strong safety Lucas Thompson has been quite the attraction this spring. Recruiting scouts have been flocking to the Orlando-area high school to see what all the fuss is about with the 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete.

He’s had numerous coaches come to watch spring practices, and he had 12 scholarship offers when a huge one came in on Monday. The Miami Hurricanes invited him to the ‘U.’

“It’s exciting … shocking and exciting at the same time,” said Thompson. “It’s shocking to be getting recruited like this, especially since last year I wasn’t getting anything. I say since I started going to all the combines, and I’ve been doing good at all of those combines, that’s what helped me get all the attention.”

Now he has 13 offers, with Miami on top, followed by Washington State, as his top two. Other schools which have offered Thompson are UCF, FIU, East Carolina, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Marshall, Memphis, Mississippi, Temple and SMU.

“Yeah, [Miami] shot to the top of the list, them and Washington State,” Thompson said. “All my family is in Florida though, so it would be kinda hard to go that far. I’d just have to get used to it if I go out of state since everybody is here.”


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Thompson said he currently carries a 2.5 GPA coming out of his junior year, but will be taking what is called a “grade forgiveness” program this summer with the Florida Virtual School. Thompson said once he comes out of that program, he should see his grades rise to an overall 3.4 GPA.

“I’m not gonna lie. I struggled my freshman year,” Thompson said. “But now I’m focused and I know I have to get the grades up.”

“He’s worked so hard on the field and off the field. He’s having a strong academic finish to this year,” West Orange coach Chip Petree said. “He’s taken himself from an in-state Florida recruit to a national recruit and we’re really, really thrilled.

“It’s really exciting the number of coaches who have been here at our school interested in our kids. It’s a great time to be a Warrior.”

Petree is not surprised to see UM jump to the leader spot on Thompson’s list.

“The University of Miami still holds a lot of stroke with our local kids ,” Petree said. “We’re very, very flattered and very, very appreciative of every school that has come out here.

“Now he’s in the middle of trying to decide which official visits he will go on.”

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at [email protected]


“grade forgiveness” = If Al says you're in you're in


chris hayes rules

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