Watching the state title games you couldn't help but feel badly for two players in particular, Miami Central's Joseph Yearby and Apopka's Zack Darlington. They both had fantastic careers for their respective teams.
Yearby is a five-star running back that is committed to the Hurricanes. He suffered a broken leg in the state quarter-finals, which ended his high school career. Yearby finished his career with 5,593 career rushing yards, which is second all-time (Dade County) to Bobby Washington (5,695). There is no doubt that missing the last two games cost him that record. Even worse was that he couldn't suit up and take the field with his Rocket teammates as they made history, winning their third title in four years.
For Darlington, his season was a little different. This three-star quarterback was supposed to have a banner senior campaign. After all, he went out with a bang his junior year and led the Blue Darters to a state championship. He was brilliant in their memorable title win over Weston Cypress Bay one year ago. I mean it was truly a game for the ages.
Darlington sustained a bad concussion in their opener back in August on the road at Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes. He didn't play the remainder of the year. Instead, he began running their scout team mid-way through the season.
His father is also his head coach at Apopka. Rick Darlington, who happens to be one of the most respected head coaches in the Sunshine State, wouldn't allow Zack to play this season. There was just too much at stake regarding his future as a Cornhusker. Darlington committed to Nebraska this summer. He will graduate early and the plan is for Darlington to go live and be ready for spring football in Lincoln.
You know it had to be killing these two they couldn't play last weekend. For Central, it didn't matter. They literally ran away from Armwood in a 52-7 win behind the talents of running back Dalvin Cook. For Apopka, things were a little different, as they lost a tough one to South Dade and truly missed their quarterback.
There will be more playing days ahead for these two and hopefully they each have long and prosperous careers at Miami and Nebraska.
TEN thoughts from the state championships
Part 1- Dalvin's Cook'in!
Part 2 - Raging debate
Part 3- Impressive Ivey
Part 4- South Florida domination
Part 5- What a class
Part 6- Something special
Part 7- Lightning
Part 8- Darling's golden
Part 9 -Missing in action
Part 10 –Creating buzz