Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Booker Shows It's Willing to Roll the Dice

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Booker Shows It's Willing to Roll the Dice

Article excerpt

COMMENTARY

Firmly place Recharde Goodwyn in the I'm-going-to-go-for-the- victory category of head coaches.

"Let's not try and tie it," the Booker High chief whistle blower said, a statement made considerably easier when one lacks a reliable kicking game. Still, the leadership of Goodwyn's offensive line, coupled with the will of running back Jamal Benson, rewarded his Friday night OT decision against the host Riverview Rams.

Goodwyn said no to 1, yes to 2, and Benson's conversion run gave the Tornadoes the 2 points necessary for the 28-27 victory. What Benson told him in the timeout preceding the decision provided a measure of assurance.

"He said, 'Coach, give me the ball,' " Goodwyn said. "And he didn't let his team down. He wanted the ball in that situation. He was not going to be denied."

Booker could prove interesting this season. The Tornadoes clearly aren't afraid to throw, as evidenced by the 26 attempts of sophomore quarterback Arthur Brantley, and why not?

They have several receivers capable of going after the football, none more dangerous than 6-foot-4 senior Osirus Giles-Mitchell, who caught TD passes against the Rams of 45 and 36 yards, before adding the 10-yarder in OT that tied it. He finished with four catches for 105 yards.

Mitchell, Goodwyn said, has worked on his strength and hand-eye coordination. Running track last season also helped.

"If he catches 20 touchdown passes this season," Goodwyn said, "I would not be surprised."

Booker hosts Sarasota on Friday night in its home opener. As good as the victory over Riverview felt, Goodwyn knows it's important his team start looking ahead to the Sailors.

"We want to take each game week to week and give each team the respect that they deserve," he said. "I've got a great group of kids. They just work hard. I've never been around a team that's as close as this one. …

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