High school football notebook: Scarborough’s Flaker wins team MVP award at all-star game in Florida

Injuries and canceled games kept Scarborough’s Jayden Flaker from having the type of senior football season he hoped for.

So when he received an invitation to participate in last Saturday’s All-America Classic, an all-star game for high school players in Orlando, Florida, he jumped at the opportunity. It was a chance to showcase his skills as a powerful 6-foot-4, 215-pound athlete with elite 4.39 speed in the 40-yard dash.

“I wanted to go just to show I can compete with every kid in my class, and with kids from other states,” said Flaker. “Whenever I talked to (college) coaches, they looked past me because of competition in the state.”

Flaker took advantage of the opportunity. Playing defensive end for basically the first time, Flaker had a sack, leaped to knocked down a pass at the line of scrimmage, was in on “about 10 tackles” by his own estimate, and walked away with the Defensive MVP Award for the American squad, which won the game, 28-27.

The rosters for both teams were heavy with players from Florida, along with several players from other states in the Southeast. 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 those 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 college recruiting fortunes “by a lot.”

Since the game, Flaker said he’d been contacted by St. Francis University in Pennsylvania, which plays in the Northeast Conference at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level. He is also considering “some prep schools and Division II programs.” Flaker’s father, Jay Flaker, said that the University of Maine has offered Jayden a preferred walk-on roster spot.

“I’d like 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 a letter of intent during college football’s early 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 post-graduate players were on the field.

“There were no Alabama or LSU (recruits), but there were a bunch of juniors who will go legit Division I,” Jay Flaker said.

At Scarborough High, Flaker played primarily strong safety on defense, wide receiver on offense and was a dangerous return man. He was off to a great start through three games, with 215 rushing yards (11.9 yards per carry), 200 receiving yards (15.4 yards per catch) and five touchdowns, including two scores on kickoff returns. He suffered an upper body injury that kept him off the field for several weeks, then Scarborough had consecutive games canceled because of COVID issues. Flaker did return to action and played in both of the Red Storm’s playoff games.

Oh, and for anyone catching up with Flaker’s highlights on Twitter, yes, that was a gold helmet he was wearing, but “it was not 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 QUARTER BACK Jack Emerson and Bonny Eagle running back Zac Oja have announced their commitments to accept preferred walk-on 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 hired head coach 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 only two interceptions. He also rushed for 633 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“UMaine has always been my main choice,” Emerson said.

Oh, 17, who is also 6-1, 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 just felt like home to me and as soon as I left, I was ready to commit. It’s been a longtime goal and it’s good to see goals happen, but that just means it’s time for new goals.”

Boutaugh and Horton have not announced a college decision.

College coaches cannot comment on high school recruits (or possible transfers) until they have signed a national letter of intent. The next signing period begins Feb. 2.

Oja said he and Maine’s coaching staff see him as a “one-cut” running back with good speed (4.6 seconds in the 40) who can pack on another 20 pounds of strength.

“I think he will soak up anything and everything the Maine coaches want to teach him and he’ll thrive in their strength and conditioning program,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper. “He definitely has the size and strength to play college football.”

Emerson dispelled any thoughts that he would have to switch positions.

“It was always very clear that my position was quarterback. I’ve never played defense,” Emerson said. “I definitely need to gain a little weight and I definitely need to learn their playbook. That’s a whole new deal. That’s going to be fun. I’m excited for that.”

“He has really worked hard on his fundamentals, his footwork, his throwing angle, his release. They won’t have to spend a lot of time fixing the fundamentals,” said Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal. “He can make all the throws.”

THE GAZIANO LINEMAN award winners will be announced on Saturday. The annual awards banquet will not be held.

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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