Five athletes announce college decisions

Kate Caranante, Sports Editor

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Set up at a table in front of family, teammates and coaches, five students announced where they will be continuing their football careers Wednesday, April 17 in the field house. 

First to sign his papers was two-way lineman Tervarese “TJ” Blackmon, referred to as “The Blindside” by Principal Johnny Bush when he first tried to get him to join the football team when he transferred.  

“As TJ came to Plant and started out with us, he couldn’t figure it out,” head coach Robert Weiner said. “However, something came on somewhere along the way. I knew we had a highly intelligent, highly caring young man; it was just about being able to find some fertile ground for him to apply that.”  

Blackmon shared that he will be attending Webber International University next fall, only after he thanked his family for supporting him and Weiner for giving him multiple opportunities so that he could become the man that he is today. 

Next to be recognized was defensive back Julien Kee, who is still in the decision process and will be making his final choice at a later date. 

“We have very few people who have ever come in our program who are more inspiring if you knew every part of his story, than Julien Kee,” Weiner said. “For him to be standing here in front of you today is nothing short of amazing.” 

Kee spoke next, first thanking God, his family, his coaches and others surrounding the football program for keeping him on the path he needed to follow. After this he touched on how his home life has affected his football career and made him who he is today.  

After four years on varsity it was time for kicker Evan Passath to be acknowledged for what he has done for the team since freshman year. Weiner was quick to point out in his introduction that he doesn’t know any person more “golden hearted” than Passath.  

“I want to thank all the coaches here that have been with me for four years,” Passath said. “I especially want to thank Coach Rhodes. He’s really the reason why I’m here because it was seventh grade when he brought me in and showed me the basics.” 

Passath is still deciding between Florida Atlantic University and University of West Florida.  

With a “tremendous amount of pride” Weiner was able to introduce safety Isaac Sames who, at the beginning of the season, was still recovering from a torn ACL. His injury occurred while blocking a punt in the final game of his junior season.  

 “We are here 24/7 working and doing everything to pick each other up when were on the ground,” Sames said. “It’s a brotherhood, and I can’t say that I am any more blessed than I am today just to be standing here in the position that I am in today, with the people that I am up here with.”  

Next year, Sames will be continuing his academic and athletic career at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. 

The final signee was second two-way lineman Steven Sargent who will be attending Jacksonville University. Sargent was said by Weiner to be a guy they depended on week in and week out to be at his best in order for the team to succeed.  

“There is something that is to be said for a guy who’s got that passion for what it is to play this game,” Weiner said. “Learning to direct that [passion] in the way that he did was the reason he was there in every single significant play we had over the course of the year this year,” Weiner said.