FORT LAUDERDALE – On a night when the Cardinal Gibbons football team and veteran head coach Matt Dubuc took their product into the community, it was evident that the 2M power knows exactly how success will be achieved in 2023.
Before friends, family, former players and college coaches, the Chiefs went to Carter Park for a scrimmage that was all about giving back to a community that has been instrumental in the success of this team that won the state title two of the past three years.
While so many younger players had the chance to showcase their skills and perform in front of people who can make a difference in their future, it was the rising senior class (2024) that made a statement.
While this program missed out on playing in the state title game last season, that senior leadership may not have been in place the way it had been during the runs for the state titles.
This spring has already uncovered a senior class that was not only ready to lead by example but show that they will be there to make sure that the Chiefs have a legitimate chance to make a solid run once again.
On Thursday night, there were six seniors ready for the opportunity to take that leadership role. Players who are making a mark with college coaches while getting it done in the classroom.
Here is a look at those six players, who have been instrumental so far this spring:
Brekien Harold, DT, 6-3, 300 – 2.91 GPA. No doubt that this will be a force in the middle for this program. He is a big, strong and agile talent who is used to making big plays. He plays low and is nearly impossible to block, which is going to be a plus this season.
Colton Heinrich, TE, 6-4, 230 – 4.4 GPA. Comes in as one of the premier tight end prospects in the state. His ability to catch the ball and use his size and athleticism is something that college coaches have continued to notice in the off-season. Here is a talented student/athlete that is someone who is willing to work hard to get better.
Antonio Lindsay Jr., WR, 5-9, 160 – 4.30 GPA. With all the talent that this team has at the receiver position, this is going to be a prospect that has a chance to be special. Has the speed to get open and will do his part to throw his frame into the mix as a blocker. Sets an example by his work ethic and what he accomplishes in the classroom. Keep your eye on him over the next six months.
Michael Merdinger, QB, 6-3, 200 – 4.75 GPA. After seeing some action last season, this is a standout that has received plenty of attention this spring with his ability to read defenses and make plays. Between what he does on the football field and his work in the classroom, it is no wonder why the University of North Carolina made him one of those huge commitments for the next class. Has the opportunity to lead the Chiefs back to the state title mix in a very crowded field.
Jonathan Rodriguez, OC, 6-5, 280 – 4.3 GPA. When developing elite offensive linemen, there is so much that is involved, and when you watch this quality talent play the game, you can see that he gets it. Versatile enough to lineup at any position on the line while displaying technique that is truly among the best in south Florida. A very productive and hard-working lineman that is getting plenty of college looks.
Zach Thompson, DT, 6-4, 260 – 3.9 GPA. Here is one of the unique big men on this team. Not only is he a physical playmaker on the football field, but also a catalyst as a rugby player for this school. On the football field, this defensive tackle/end is aggressive, physical and plays with plenty of passion. The coaching staff continues to rave about his skill as a student athlete and is another of this senior leadership group that makes an impact in the classroom as well.