Head Coach Quentin Short and several of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Football Seniors.
By: Matt Rothman
As freshmen, they survived the devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, then faced a worldwide pandemic, but the Eagles still persevered.
At their senior awards banquet held on January 30, Head Coach Quentin Short said, “there is nothing about their high school experience that has been normal, but they have continued to show up and battle through every day, and for that, I commend them.”
The team handed out seven awards and had six different seniors win as Michael McLaughlin, who recently signed to play with the University of Miami, won both Offensive Player of the Year and Top Linemen of the Year. McLaughlin has played with MSD for two years. Despite a significant injury his junior season after changing positions, he still earned himself a spot to play college football for the Hurricanes.
The Defensive Player of the Year award went to Nick Dobbs. He recently signed to play college football after transferring over from Coral Glades for his senior season. Dobbs had two sacks, six tackles for a loss, and 16 total tackles in only two games as MSD had three of their five games this season postponed after winning Districts in the regular season.
The Eagles’ Most Improved Player in 2020 was Jaydin Fernandez. After little playing time as a junior, he stepped up on defense and played safety. He had four tackles and their game-clinching interception against Coral Springs High School that he returned for 40 yards in their 14-6 win.
Mark Dorsett won the award as the Special Teams Player of the Season. He was terrific on both punt and kick returns and had a great year offensively with a team-high eight catches for 35 yards.
The Feis Scholarship, given to the best player who exemplifies Aaron Feis‘ character: an underdog type for a player who loves the program and makes sacrifices for his teammates, was awarded to Fenthon Aristhomene. As a four-year player on the varsity football team, Coach Short said Aristhomene would play any position. He rode his bike to practice every day during summer workouts, was always one of the top fundraisers every year, and has a family tradition of playing in this program. Aristhomene received a $1,000 scholarship.
The final award was given to Blake Ofstein for the Student-Athlete of the Year. Since he was a freshman, he played on the varsity football team and had a 4.0 GPA and an unweighted GPA of 5.245 as a senior. Ofstein also had nine tackles last year and is still weighing his options as to where he would like to attend college.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville.
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