What a season! Goleman football achieves 10-1 record

Friday, December 6, 2019 0 Comments

What a season! Goleman football achieves 10-1 record

For the first time since 2004, Barbara Goleman Senior High’s football team had a winning season.

And oh what a season it was!

It came about after the school helped create a new league.

For head coach Ariel Cribeiro, six consecutive losing seasons against nationally ranked high school football teams were enough.

And Tryonn Johnson, after his third season as head coach of Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High’s team, grew tired and frustrated after powerhouses – such as Miami Northwestern Senior High, Carol City Senior High, Miami Central Senior High and Miami Norland Senior High -- left his players dejected, and with some even quitting the game.

So the rival coaches decided to start the Independent league within the Greater Miami Athletic Conference, to give their players a fair chance to compete for a championship.

The new league was designed for 12 teams and has made a big difference this year for the Gators and Trojans.

The Gators (10-1) finished one win away from a perfect season and the league championship.

It was the program’s best ending in school history, according to Cribeiro.

HML’s Trojans finished their season 5-5 and ended years of playoff droughts.

The change even made the second annual Mayor’s Cup game exciting, Johnson said.

The Gators wrestled the cup away from the Trojans with a 48-40 victory on Oct. 25 before a record crowd of 2,000. Hialeah-Miami Lakes had sought to snap the Gators’ undefeated streak to keep the Cup and retain bragging rights, but it was not to be.

Still, the new league made football fun again.

“The league gives us a fair chance to play,” Johnson said. “It makes all the difference for our players.”

Cribeiro called his team’s performance this season “the best we have done in school history. The players made it happen.”

He just finished his seventh season as the Gators coach.

Johnson said Cribeiro approached him last season about creating the league.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” Johnson said in October. “I was immediately sold on the idea.”

Twelve teams competed against each other in the league -- six teams from the northwest Miami-Dade County and six from the southwest, according to Goleman’s Athletic Director Jay Flinchum.

Goleman, Hialeah-Miami Lakes; Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High; Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High; Hialeah Gardens Senior High and Westland Hialeah Senior High represented the north.

G. Holmes Braddock Senior High; Miami Coral Park Senior High; Miami Sunset Senior High; Ronald W. Reagan Doral Senior High; Felix Varela Senior High and Ferguson Senior High were the southern teams.

Each school played a total of 10 regular season games, including nine against league opponents.

The postseason began Nov. 2 and ended on Nov. 6, when Krop (10-1) defeated Goleman for the GMAC Independent championship.

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