High School Football Notebook: Scarborough Flaker Wins Team MVP Award in Florida All-Star Game
Injuries and canceled games prevented Scarborough’s Jayden Flaker from having the type of senior football season he was hoping for.
So when he received an invitation to play in last Saturday’s All-America Classic, an all-star game for high school players in Orlando, Florida, he jumped at the chance. It was a chance to show off his skills as a 6-foot-4, 215-pound power athlete with an elite speed of 4.39 in the 40-yard dash.
“I wanted to go just to show that I can compete with all the kids in my class and with kids from other states,” Flaker said. “Whenever I spoke to (college) coaches, they looked at me because of the competition in the state.”
Flaker took the opportunity. Playing defensive end for the first time, Flaker had a sack, jumped to knock down a pass at the line of scrimmage, was on “about 10 tackles” by his own estimate, and walked away with the Defensive MVP award for the ‘American. team, which won the match, 28-27.
Both teams’ rosters were heavy with players from Florida, as well as several players from other southeastern states. Flaker’s team also included players from Maryland, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Virginia, and California.
“Seeing all the competition from Florida, and now I know I can compete with these kids that are being recruited,” Flaker said. “It just shows that I can actually compete with all the kids.”
Flaker said Tuesday afternoon that his performance has already changed his fortunes in college recruiting a lot.
Since the game, Flaker said he has been contacted by St. Francis University in Pennsylvania, which plays in the Northeastern Conference at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level. It is also considering “certain prep schools and Division II programs.” Flaker’s father, Jay Flaker, said the University of Maine offered Jayden a spot on the list.
“I would love to play in Division I,” Flaker said. “My dream is to play college football on national television.”
The All-America Classic featured players who, for the most part, had not signed letters of intent during college football’s first signing period in November. According to Jay Flaker, who accompanied his son to Florida, a handful of players had committed to Division I programs.
In addition to high school seniors like Flaker, some high school juniors and several postgraduate players were on the field.
“There were no Alabama or LSU (rookies), but there were a bunch of juniors who will legitimately go to Division I,” Jay Flaker said.
At Scarborough High, Flaker played mostly solid safety on defense, a wide receiver on offense and was a dangerous comeback. He’s off to a great start in three games, with 215 rushing yards (11.9 yards per carry), 200 receiving yards (15.4 yards per strike) and five touchdowns, including two scores on kick returns mail. He suffered an upper body injury which kept him out of the field for several weeks and then Scarborough saw consecutive games canceled due to COVID concerns. Flaker returned to action and played in both Red Storm playoff games.
Oh, and for anyone catching up on Flaker’s highlights on Twitter, yes, it was a gold helmet he was wearing, but “it wasn’t a Thornton Academy helmet. That’s what most people thought. All my friends were texting me.
Like most high school teams, Scarborough had already sent its football helmets and shoulder pads to the manufacturer for annual reconditioning. A replacement helmet had to be sent for Flaker.
THORNTON ACADEMY QUARTERBACK Jack Emerson and Bonny Eagle running back Zac Oja have announced their commitment to accept preferred roster spots at the University of Maine.
Oja and Emerson, along with Bonny Eagle lineman Thomas Horton and Leavitt lineman Jack Boutaugh, were in Orono on Saturday for an official visit with the UMaine coaching staff, led by newly appointed head coach hired Jordan Stevens.
Emerson, 17, led Thornton Academy to an 11-0 record and the Class A title. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Arundel resident completed 87 of 130 passes for 1,487 yards with 14 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He also rushed for 633 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“UMaine has always been my main choice,” Emerson said.
Oja, 17, who also weighs 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, rushed for 1,084 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Standish resident also had six catches and scored a defensive touchdown on an interception return.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to play for UMaine,” Oja said. “And when I was up there in Orono it felt like home and as soon as I left I was ready to commit. It’s been a long time goal and it’s good to see people. goals come to fruition, but that just means it’s time for new goals.
Boutaugh and Horton did not announce a college decision.
College coaches cannot comment on high school recruits (or possible transfers) until they sign a national letter of intent. The next signing period begins on February 2.
Oja said he and the Maine coaching staff see him as a “one-cut” running back with good speed (4.6 seconds in the 40) who can rack up an additional 20 pounds of force.
“I think he’ll absorb anything and everything Maine’s coaches want to teach him and he’ll thrive in their strength and conditioning program,” Bonny Eagle coach Kevin Cooper said. “He definitely has the size and strength to play college football.”
Emerson pushed away any thought that he should change his position.
“It was always very clear that my position was quarterback. I never played defense,” Emerson said. “I really need to put on some weight and I really need to learn their playbook. It’s a brand new deal. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited for it.
“He really worked hard on his fundamentals, his footwork, his throwing angle, his exit. They won’t have to spend a lot of time fixing the fundamentals,” Thornton coach Kevin Kezal said. “He can make all the throws.”
GAZIANO LINER the winners will be announced on Saturday. The annual awards banquet will not take place.
Horton is a finalist for the Offensive Lineman award, along with Seth Beyea of Thornton Academy and Reeve Twitchell of Leavitt.
Boutaugh, Casey Mills of Cony and Cody Ruff of Thornton are the defensive lineman finalists.
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