By: Matt Rothman
Voted on by his peers, Fitz-Gerald was named Florida Dairy Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to their third straight State and National Championship. The Eagles went 29-0 to become the first public school in Florida to go undefeated.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers, but this award is for the entire program as none of this is possible without the village,” Fitz-Gerald said. “We are all in it together, and my coaches are the best around, and the players work incredibly hard to be great every day.”
Rodriguez received numerous awards throughout the year, including Max Preps Player of the Year and Florida Dairy Farmers ‘Mr. Baseball’, after going 13-0. He had an era of 0.69 while finishing high school with a record of 29-2. Rodriguez also hit .339 with nine home runs and 48 RBIs.
“It really means a lot, and it’s so special to me,” Rodriguez said. “I can’t thank everyone enough at Douglas for helping me and putting me in positions to win.”
Ossenfort was named Offensive Player of the Year and blossomed in his only year with MSD, hitting ten home runs and driving in 25 runs.
The Eagles also had dozens of players receive All-Conference awards. For baseball, Devin Fitz- Gerald, Rylan Lujo, Niko Benestad, Alex Rodriguez, and Jayden Dubanewicz were named to the First Team alongside Rodriguez and Ossenfort. Dillon Moquin and Gavin Gargiulo were picked to the Second Team.
The softball team, which made it to the Regional Semifinals, had Jesyne Espinal picked to the First Team after winning ten games with 1.06 and 116 strikeouts alongside Victoria Diaz and Olivia Alvarez. They hit over .333 while Alvarez had four home runs, and Diaz drove in 16 RBIs. Kayleigh Cuccia was elected to the Second Team, and Isabella Silva was an Honorable Mention.
In tennis, Tania Dumke made a run to States and was selected for the First Team. The Eagles also got recognition from their lacrosse team, with Darren Edenbaum and Shane Figas on the Second Team. Preston Gerena and Jerry Thomas were honorable mentions, while four students from the water polo team received recognition. Justin Berke and Anna Rosa were picked to the Second Team, with Savita Bagirathan and Allison Kehler getting Honorable Mentions. The girls’ flag football team also recognized Kenslee Ward.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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