By: Matt Rothman
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Football team is coming off their first District Championship in 17 years under first-year Head Coach Quentin Short.
A big part of their success of late has come from a very talented senior class, which featured five players that have signed to play college football next season.
After four tremendous seasons on the varsity football team, Gage Gaynor signed to play at Colorado State University. He continues the remarkable family legacy joining his cousin, Chris Gaynor, who played at TCU and singed to the Los Angeles Rams practice squad before last season, and Chris’ cousin, Corey Gaynor, also played at MSD and recently finished his redshirt sophomore year at the University of Miami.
Gage is a two-time All Broward Dade/ FACA 1st Team Selection and All-Star Game Selection. He was the Region 16 Player of the Year. His coach called him “a staple on the offensive line and a captain who worked extremely hard on and off the field.”
A talented two-sport athlete, Christian Higgins was such a versatile player for the Eagles last season and will be attending Wingate University in North Carolina. He led the team in receiving yards as well as playing defense and special teams. He threw the game-winning touchdown as well after a botched snap to beat Monarch High School.
Justin Trujillo did not play his senior season due to a significant knee injury suffered over the summer but impressed enough in his junior season on defense to sign and play with St. Thomas University next year. He is currently running track now and expects to be 100 percent for his freshman year in college.
Anthony Erale was a three-year starter for MSD and played well on the defensive line. He signed with Florida Tech after a tremendous senior season and wrestled as well this year, which his coach believes has helped him improve his football. He also is a great student who had a 1420 SAT score that allowed him to play football collegiately.
Ryan Belk was the team’s second-leading receiver last season and will be attending Yale University this fall. He was also a captain and led the team in receptions with 30. Like Higgins, he played defense too, making a significant impact as a defensive end as well.
Belk did it off the field as well, with a 1450 SAT score. He was a leader to many of the younger players on the team and spent four years developing on the varsity football team to prepare him for college football.
“I expect all these young men to have excellent careers at the next level, Short said. “They are prepared to move on, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
Short believes he could have five more players sign by the end of the school year in what has been one of MSD’s best teams in school history.
- 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. He also works for the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City, Arizona covering high school sports.
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