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July 28, 2008
Eastern League Update: Jordan
Let's reiterate that Jordan figures to be the top contender in the Eastern League and has openly expressed its interest in capturing the section crown and moving to the state bowl, according to Head Coach Elijah Asante.
"We're ready to make football history," joked Asante in a recent conversation.
The easiest point to make in the argument that Jordan will fulfill this prophecy is that man-child quarterback/defensive end combo James Boyd brings an uncanny commitment to competing each and every down--that's why 'SC' signed him up as an outside linebacker prospect. However, Asante confides that 'Boyd is a great player, but he may not even be the best on our team.'
Wide receiver D'Shawn Beck won the fastest man accolade at the Trojans' camp this summer, and he is only going to be a junior. According to Asante, Beck was able to gain release in bump and run coverage versus Saint Bonaventure's Patrick Hall so simply that Hall--also a top Trojan prospect--was embarrassed on the play.
The footage is available online. The duo will meet again this fall in a preseason game. Beck clocked a 4.4 in camp, and Asante commented that the Eastern League Offensive Player of the Year--as only a sophomore--likely runs a 4.3.
For the record, Jordan plans to harness its energy this summer, opting out of double days and moving towards execution, said Asante. "It's a slow progression into season for us, and we will be ready," he said.
After cruising to a 26-1 this summer overall in passing league contests, the Bulldogs open versus local rival Locke on September 5 at home. The game begins at 3 PM.
"Locke could be our toughest game," said Asante. "Calpreps has us favored, but that is just a computer."
Locke and Jordan fight for the best neighborhood athletes in the contest every year. Both programs pull from the local middle schools, Markham and Gomphers. "Whoever wins that game, wins the kids," he said. "They have us favored, but the computer can't look at too many things closely. We barely beat them (14-6) last year, and they were really young. We are looking at it as a must win for us."
Esperanza of Orange County will travel to Jordan also this preseason. "They used to make a big deal about an Orange County team coming to Watts," said Asante. "We have made it a good competition. We all like the kids coming to compete."
Mater Dei and Saint Bonaventure round out the Bulldogs' preseason.
As for Boyd, the clear-cut Jordan leader, Asante had this to say: "It's not just that he is physical. You can tactically beat somebody who is physically good. But this guy just has a will. He is a competitor. He has a nice body and tools, but he just wants to be the best. He desires to be the best."