National Signing Day – Four Terriers sign letter of intent

Glades County Democrat/Richard Marion
From left to right sitting at the table, John Cox, Da’Shon Ross, Aldulvar Gary Jr. and Ramon Marlowe all signed letters of intent on National Signing Day, Feb. 7.

MOORE HAVEN — Four Moore Haven seniors signed a letter of intent on National Signing Day, Feb. 7 at the Moore Haven High School auditorium as classmates, teachers and family members watched.

The four seniors are John Cox, Da’Shon Ross, Aldulvar Gary Jr. and Ramon Marlowe. All four were a part of the record-breaking 2017 Terriers football team that went undefeated in the regular season and delivered Moore Haven’s first home playoff win in school history.

Moore Haven athletic director and head football coach Max Manin was thrilled to see his former players take the next step in their career.

“This is just awesome to see, it’s really great,” Manin said. “I’m proud of all four of them. When I took over the job I was the interim coach, and all I really wanted is for the seniors to have a good year. That was one of the things I cared about. And to have these four guys get signed is just awesome. I’m happy for them.”

John Cox signed with Colgate University in New York, Da’Shon Ross signed with the University of Massachusetts, Aldulvar Gary Jr. signed with Stetson University in Florida, and Ramon Marlowe signed with Keiser University, also in Florida.

Colgate is coming off a 7-4 record and is coached by Dan Hunt in his fourth season. The University of Massachusetts finished 4-8 in 2017 and is coached by Mark Whipple in his tenth year and second stint with the team. Stetson, located in DeLand, is coming off a 2-9 2017 season and is coached by Roger Hughes in his sixth year.

Finally, 2018 will be Keiser football’s inaugural year. The school, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, announced on Oct. 24 that it would be adding football to its slate of varsity athletic programs and will be coached by Doug Socha, who comes to Keiser from the Buffalo Bills where he was an offensive assistant.

Although all four athletes were from the football program, Manin said he hoped to see more sports representing Moore Haven at next year’s Signing Day.

Glades County Democrat/Richard Marion
Moore Haven athletic director and football head coach Max Manin addresses the students gathered in the auditorium before the signing.

The Terriers went undefeated during the regular season, and after beating their rival Glades Day in their first playoff game, it looked as though Moore Haven was set to make a deep playoff run.

But, as the Terriers prepared to face the Champagnat Catholic Lions, John Cox, one of the team’s leaders and best players, was sidelined with a medical emergency.

“We were going over film of Champagnat and John called me up and said ‘I think we can beat them,’” explained Manin. “I said yeah, absolutely. Then two days before the game at around 5 a.m. I get a call from his mom, and she tells me that he’s in the Clewiston hospital and has to have his appendix removed. It was really crazy.”

John, still recovering from his surgery, stood on the sidelines and supported his teammates as they attempted to overcome the athletic and talented Champagnat team. But ultimately the Lions proved to be too much. If John had been healthy and the Terriers had been at 100 percent, it may have changed the outcome of the game. But for now it’ll remain one of the biggest “What ifs” in Moore Haven football history.

The Glades County Democrat is published every Thursday.

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