All-County Football: Large School Offense
Fri. December 30, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Lakeland quarterback Raheeme Dumas (Photo by Calvin Knight | The Ledger)
By SOLANGE REYNER
Raheeme Dumas doesn’t get rattled easily, even in pressure situations.
When the Lakeland senior was thrown into the role of quarterback 30 minutes prior to the Dreadnaughts’ kickoff classic on Aug. 26, he did what he does before every game. He took a sip of honey and got into game mode.
“I thought Coach (Bill) Castle was kidding around,” Dumas said.
So it was an evening of double duty for Dumas, who also played in the secondary for the Dreadnaughts that first Friday of the season.
He did a commendable job in throwing for 140 yards with a touchdown in a rout.
And he continued to perform every week for Lakeland, which lost in the state semifinals to Jacksonville First Coast.
For his standout performance, Dumas is the 2011-12 PolkPreps.com large school offensive player of the year.
He threw for 1,779 yards, rushed for 795 and accounted for 30 total touchdowns in leading the Dreadnaughts to a perfect regular-season record.
He did it all under a cloud of uncertainty. Lakeland didn’t know whether three starters, including its starting quarterback heading into the season, would get their eligibility ruling overturned by the Florida High School Athletic Association. The players didn’t play a down this season.
The most surprising thing for Dumas was how minimal his mistakes were. He only threw six interceptions.
“I’m proud of what he was able to do through it all,” Castle said.
Dumas said he enjoyed his experience at quarterback but that he would like to play his natural position in college: Defensive back.
He’s gotten some interest so far from Rutgers, Marshall, Jacksonville, Middle Tennessee, Temple, Stony Brook and Bethune-Cookman.
“I don’t think quarterback fits me,” Dumas said.
“But I learned how to be a leader and I think that’s pretty important.”