- Faith & Family
No one can deny that Miami Gardens has had its share of tough times in recent years. The City’s leaders are fighting escalating crime, struggling to find its identity as a relatively new municipality and reeling from declining property values. Some even say that many of the problems facing the “Gardens” come from neighboring towns. But all of that was forgotten for the students of Norland Senior High School when they learned that their football team, the 2011 Class 5A champions, had added another significant distinction to its already stellar history.
The Vikings can now boast to be among the nation’s top high school football teams — number 19 to be exact from over 16,000 team nationwide. And from what we hear, the boys who make up the varsity and junior varsity squads at Norland, along with the cheerleaders that pump them up when things are going great or not so great, were all very excited.
There’s nothing better than seeing our children with smiles on their faces because of a job well done. It stands in direct contrast to what we often see when we look upon the visage of our boys and girls from the hood — expressions of fear, anxiety or hopelessness. But there was none of that in the auditorium of Norland High as MaxPreps presented the trophy to Coach Daryle Heidelburg and his talented team.
Sure, we have heard about the heated rivalries involving Jackson, Booker T., Northwestern and Central. And yes, we have given much love to Central as of late — but then they did bring home the gold last year from Orlando. But now the attention must rightfully shift to Norland — a team that almost won the “big dance” last year but fell just a little short. Next week we’ll hear about the young men who will sign letters of commitment and move on to college football with scholarships. It will be another chance for us to celebrate the achievements of our youth and to wish them godspeed as they seek higher education and a chance to continue their dreams of more gridiron success.
For now, we salute the players, coaches, cheerleaders, teachers, staff and parents of Norland High. You have done your part to make Miami Gardens shine just a little bit brighter.