Over the summer, Marquise Lambert, Keondrae Miller, and Khalan Tolson competed for Team Florida, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) football team. The three juniors capped the AAU season by earning a silver medal at the Junior Olympics in Houston where approximately 15,000 youth athletes competed in the largest national multi-sport event in the United States.
“It was an incredible event with some impressive athletes from all over the country,” said Khalan, who is in his third year at Farragut. “The entire summer was great because I really matured as a football player and as a person.”
The 7-on-7 football portion was added to the AAU Junior Olympics for the first time this year, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the games. Team Florida lost to Team Texas in the finals in a double-elimination tournament after having beat Texas in a previous round.
“It was tough because we knew we could win but it was a great learning experience,” said Khalan.
In addition to the three Farragut players, the team was comprised of athletes from Boca Ciega, Clearwater Central Catholic, Indian Rocks Christian, Lakewood, and St. Petersburg. The program was founded by B.J. Hall, a former Tampa Bay Storm quarterback who grew up in St. Petersburg.
“Having someone like Coach Hall as a mentor and leader has been great for us,” said Marquise, who is a St. Petersburg resident. “We’ve learned a lot over this summer about how to handle ourselves on and off the field.”
The three players will be instrumental in the upcoming season for the BlueJackets as the Farragut football team tries to duplicate last year’s success. The BlueJackets finished the 2015 campaign with a 10-2 record, bowing out in the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A Region Finals in a 36-32 loss to Cambridge Christian.