By: Matt Rothman
It wasn’t the ending that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team would have hoped for, but the Eagles completed a historic season with their first district championship in 18 years.
MSD finished the season 8-2 under new head coach Quentin Short and had the opportunity to host Miami High School in the regional quarterfinals in the first-ever playoff game in Parkland at Cumber Stadium. The Eagles got a field goal early in the game, but that would be all their scoring in a 28-3 loss.
MSD won their first eight games of the season before falling in their final regular-season game against Plantation High School and then in the playoffs to Miami.
“It was a very positive season,” said Short. “It obviously didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it was great for the school. It was great for the kids, and I thanked every one of those guys for their hard work and determination.”
The future of the Eagles remains incredibly high as they have a lot of underclassmen coming back next year. One player who stood out, especially in the playoff game against Miami, was Christian Spencer. The Sophomore came into Friday’s game with just a handful of catches all season but showed off his speed accounting for a lot of the team’s offense.
However, the Eagles will have to replace some highly talented seniors in Christian Higgins, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Belk, Mason Hall, Ajay Sasser, Jaxon Green, Cameron Didion, Jordan Beckermeister, Andres Atencio, Baby Bertrand, Josh Funk, Adrian Kauffman, Tyler Abbondanza, Ryan Schroy, Shane Mouhica, Kevin Baptiste, Baar Machluf, Anthony Erale, Bryce Gott, Gage Gaynor and Calvin McHenry.
“These guys set the bar high, so we know the guys coming back need to work even harder to get to where we were this year. We are losing a great senior class,” Short said.
Despite their high school careers coming to an end, they have multiple players who have received offers and are interested in continuing football in college. As of right now, Belk is the lone senior committed, as he will attend Yale University.
For the players that will be a part of the program next year as well as the junior varsity players looking to make the team, they will have the rest of the school year to get in shape and work in the weight rooms before the spring season comes as the teams prepare for next season. For some players, they will play on other varsity teams as the new season approaches.
- 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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