FRIDAY NIGHT MEMORIES
PORT ST. LUCIE JAGUARS 7-3
Why it was special: After winning the District 13-4A championship in an amazing worst-to-first turnaround a year earlier, the Jaguars proved they were no one-year wonder with another winning season. By the numbers: The Jaguars fell five
points shy of an undefeated regular season and second straight district title, losing to Atlantic 11-8 in overtime, 15-14 to Boca Raton and 7-6 to district champion Martin County. Playmakers: Double-threat quarterback Larry Green rushed for 669 yards and eight touchdowns,
and passed for 511 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Robbie Hughes added 461 yards and five touchdowns. Paul Rodriguez caught a team-high 18 passes for 217 yards and Andre Chaney had 15 for 266 yards and four TDs. The defense allowed just 9.1 points per game.
August 31 at Okeechobee 7 September 7 at South Fork 7 14 Jensen Beach 7 21 Heritage 7 October 5 Martin County 7 12 at Sebastian River 7 19 at Viera 7:30 November 1 at Fort Pierce Central-x 7 9 at SLW Centennial-y 7
Port St. Lucie has legitimate threats at the skill positions. Dual-threat quarterback D.J. Juste, running back Lyle Messam and wide receivers Dakota Meizinger and Karus Hunter all have big-play ability and should keep teams from keying on Juste. The defensive backfield is deep this season and should be able to force most teams to stay on the ground. The Jaguars have shown the ability to win games late, scoring in the final minute in three of their past seven wins.
x-South County Stadium; y-Lawnwood Stadium
DEPTH CHART OFFENSE Pos Name QB D.J. Juste RB Lyle Messam RB Tyrell Moring WR Dakota Meizinger WR Karus Hunter WR Tavon Lindsey O Brandon Letcher OL Brandon Way OL Bobby Way OL Ernest Pierre OL Josh Szymczyk
No Cl Ht 5 Sr. 6-2 2 Sr. 5-11 3 Sr. 5-9 7 Sr. 6-3 9 Sr. 5-10 8Jr. 5-10 180 55 So.,5-11 220 52 Jr. 6-0 66 Sr. 6-0 57 Jr. 5-11 56 Jr. 5-9
Wt 190 170 170 180 15
WEAKNESSES DEFENSE/YOUTH ON OFFENSIVE LINE
270 260 200 200
DEFENSE Pos Name DL Deon Andrews DL Brandon Letcher DL Cleveland Williams DL Brandon Way LB Josh Szymczyk LB Ernest Pierre DB Joshua Morazan DB Tyrell Moring DB Malik Cline DB Isaiah McFadden DB Lyle Messam
No 50 55 95 52 56 57 14 3 4 6 2
Cl Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr.
Ht 6-1 5-11 6-1 6-0 5-9 5-11 6-0 5-9 5-10 5-7 5-11
Wt 240 220 220 270 200 200 175 170 175 160 170
SPECIAL TEAMS Pos Name K/P Donald Delahaye
No Cl 17 So.
Ht Wt 5-7 150
HOBIE HILER/SPECIAL TO TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS
Port St. Lucie senior quarterback D.J. Juste is the engine that powers the Jaguars’ offense. He topped the 1,000-yard mark for both rushing and passing last season and is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.
RESERVES Billy Tenny (15, Sr., QB), Jalan Dunbar (20, Sr., ATH), Edwin Kelly (21, Jr., SS), Fritz Nonombre (22, So., RB/CB), Jaylen Carter-Brown (23, Jr., CB), Enzo Everette (44, So., LB), Jimmie Smiley (48, Sr., DE), Cody Neese (54, So., LB), Johnley Cadet (58, So., DE/T), Deandre Sims (62, Fr., NG/G), Joe Griffin (81, Sr., WR), John Hayes (91, Sr., DE)
I don’t know what else is going to happen, but I know I’m leading my team to the playoffs this year. I’m determined to do it. I’m going to lead them; just hop on, let’s go.”
Coach: Hilary Poole (fourth year) Record: 9-18 2010: 6-3 (2-2 District 12-7A) Assistants: Adam Chavez (offensive coordinator/running backs), Chris Dent (quarterback/ wide receivers), Demetrius Lane (defensive line), Eric Gill (offensive line), Dwayne Barnes (wide receivers), Bobbie Williams (linebackers)
STADIUM JAGUAR FIELD (2,200)
Playing Surface: Grass Address: 1201 S.E. Jaguar Lane, Port St. Lucie Directions: From U.S. 1, go east on Walton Road, then turn left at Lennard Road and take a right onto Jaguar Lane. The stadium is behind the school. Main Office: 772-337-6770 On the web: www.stlucie.k.12. fl.us/PHS
■■ St. Lucie West Centennial ■■ Jensen Beach ■■ Martin County
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
D.J. Juste, Port St. Lucie’s starting quarterback
Quarterback D.J. Juste sets sights on playoffs By Jon Santucci Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers
PORT ST. LUCIE — Port St. Lucie High School quarterback D.J. Juste didn’t wait long to announce his plans for the 2012 season. “I don’t know what else is going to happen, but I know I’m leading my team to the playoffs this year,” Juste said, after the first day of preseason practice. “I’m determined to do it. I’m going to lead them; just hop on, let’s go. “I’ve got a lot of things to prove. It’s my last season, and we want to come out strong and come out fast, just to let people know what we’re about and show them we’re no joke.” After last season, few people believe Port St. Lucie is a joke anymore. Port St. Lucie ended two decades of sub-.500 seasons by going 6-3 in 2011. The team put an exclamation point on it by topping rival St. Lucie West Centennial for the first time. Even coach Hilary Poole, who likes to stay focused solely on each game, thinks his team has the talent to take the next step. Port St. Lucie has improved its
win total in each of Poole’s three seasons. “Absolutely,” Poole responded, ,when asked if the playoffs were a realistic expectation. “Why not PSL? Why not these kids? These kids come to work every day and they practice hard. Why not this team? That’s how I feel. That’s something we have on our radar is to get to postseason play. “We have long-term goals and short-term goals and it’s on the list.” While the postseason is a legitimate goal, Poole is determined not to make it the team’s main focus. Recent success — Port St. Lucie won seven of its past 11 games dating to the 2010 season — has come because the team has focused on the task at hand and approached each game as its biggest of the season. “This is my fourth year here as head coach,” Poole said. “There’s a pretty clear picture of what I expect. Hopefully, the plan that we have put in as a staff is the right one. “Hopefully, we can put points on the board and stop some people.” Port St. Lucie’s triple-offense is built around Juste, who topped
Senior quarterback 2011 stats: 1,002 passing yards, nine TDs passing, 1,163 rushing yards, 12 TDs rushing Coach Poole: “He’s such a physical player and he’s able to move the ball well.”
the 1,000-yard mark for both rushing and passing last season. Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Juste has the ability to make people miss tackling him and also showed improvement as a passer last season. Lyle Messam will be the feature back while Tyrell Moring will line up in the slot and be involved in the running game. What helped Port St. Lucie succeed last season was having a solid offensive line. This season, the Jaguars will have four new starters on the offensive line and are hoping those linemen will be athletic enough to make an initial block, then get to the next level. The defense will be looking to be more consistent this season. Port St. Lucie either was great (three points or less in three games, including two shutouts) or a sieve (21 points or more in six games). “We have quite a few guys returning,” Poole said. “Some of those guys were backups, but we’re expecting them to step up. “Hopefully, we find a diamond in the rough.” One that will lead Port St. Lucie to the playoffs.
Senior defensive tackle 2011 stats: 48 tackles, eight sacks, two fumble recoveries Coach Poole: “His get-off is very good. He has a low center of gravity, he’s very explosive. Nose guard is the perfect position for Deon.”
Port St. Lucie’s defense has a handful of established playmakers — most notably defensive tackle Deon Andrews and linebacker/ defensive end Cleveland Williams, but the team still allowed at least 21 points six times last season. The offensive line graduated starters Josh Murriel and Macander Dieudonne, who now play at Marshall and Webber International, respectively. The coaching staff believes they have talent to replace the duo, but obviously they lack experience.
OCT. 5: MARTIN COUNTY
Coach Hilary Poole believes the first district game sets the tone for the season and this one couldn’t be bigger. Viera was winless in District 12-7A play last season, so whoever wins this game should have a clear-cut advantage to reach the regional playoffs this season. Martin County jumped out to a 27-0 lead midway through the second quarter and cruised to a 40-21 win at home last season.
PREDICTION 5-4, 2-1 DISTRICT 12-7A
Port St. Lucie has taken a step forward every year under Poole. While it will be difficult to match last year’s win total (five of the Jaguars’ opponents were playoff teams in 2011), the Jaguars absolutely can be a playoff team, too. Juste seemingly willed Port St. Lucie to wins against South Fork and St. Lucie West Centennial last season and will need a similar effort to knock off Martin County. The Jaguars do have some question marks, most notably the front seven and offensive line, but likely can do enough to make up for it.
Sophomore cornerback 2011 stats: N/A Coach Poole: “He’s very coachable, he listens — he doesn’t like to make mistakes, but he’s humble enough to admit that he does make mistakes.”