By: Matt Rothman
Monarch High School officially had five additional players sign to play college football, including a pair of teammates heading to the same school.
The Knights are coming off a season where they won their second District Championship in school history. They went 8-2 in the regular season and then beat Boca Raton Community High School in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to Palm Beach Gardens in overtime during the Regional Semifinals. They now have 12 players officially signed from this year’s team.
Roderick Parker and Christopher Andrews Jr. will play at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee.
“It feels great to commit as it’s always been a dream to sit in front of people and sign a letter of intent to a good school like Carson Newman,” Parker said.
Parker started playing football when he was five on the Boynton Bulldogs. He played for three years on varsity, beginning with Saint John Paul II Academy and Park Vista High School. In his only year with Monarch, Parker finished second in the team in tackles with 88. He forced three fumbles and had 5.5 sacks.
He says his decision to attend Carson Newman was because of how they made his entire family welcomed by the coaches and administration staff.
“I enjoyed my visits, and it’s in a place where the community supports athletes, so my decision was made on the hospitality and the community, so I know what’s coming when I go,” Parker added.
Andrews finished seventh on the team with 45 tackles. He also recovered two fumbles this past season and deflected a pass in the Regional Semifinals Game. Carson-Newman is coming off a season where they went 6-5. The team has won five National Titles and has produced 125 All-Americans.
Gavin Peacock is headed to Stetson University in Deland.
“It felt great to sign to Stetson,” said Peacock. “They have been there from the jump, and I’m just excited to get started there.”
Peacock began playing football and shined defensively as a senior with Monarch. He led the team in tackles with 123, had seven sacks, and forced a safety this year.
Peacock says the most significant part of the game he wants to improve is having a counter off his pass rush. He will also be heading to Stetson with North Broward Prep’s Jaden Blackburn. The Hatters went 4-6 a season ago with wins over Concordia, Louisiana Christian, Morehead State, and Presbyterian.
Marvin Cyriac is set to play at George Mason University in Virginia. Despite many obstacles, he says this is a dream come true.
“I have worked hard all my life, even through family deaths, missing funerals to help fundraise, and going through adversity by being on the shorter side for a lineman and still starting and having a great season,” Cyriac said.
Cyriac began playing football when he was seven with the Pompano Eagles. This past season, he shined on the offensive line protecting quarterback AJ Hairston and blocking for running back Willie Reed. Cyriac finished the season with 34 pancakes and played in Georgia vs. Florida High School Showcase.
When looking where to play, Cyriac loved their atmosphere during game days and wanted to be closer to the coast. He also feels like he can come in and compete for a job right away.
The final player to commit is Leonard Layun, who is joining West Virginia State University.
“It feels great knowing I’m going to be able to play football on the next level,” Layun said. “Just thankful because I know a lot of people don’t make it this far.”
Layun began playing football when he was nine. He has competed for the Chargers and Plantation Wildcats. During high school, Layun started for both teams and was a captain at Western. Despite an early season injury this year, WVSU remained loyal and offered him a chance to play. The senior played in both playoff games for the Knights this year and was previously ranked as a top-ten linebacker in South Florida during his junior year.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student. He also works for the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City, Arizona covering high school sports.
- NewsNovember 27, 2023North Broward Prep Basketball Begins Season 2-0 With Dominating Wins
- NewsNovember 25, 2023Monarch High School Football Makes History With 1st Regional Championship
- NewsNovember 24, 20232 Monarch Football Players Commit Days Before Regional Championship Game
- NewsNovember 18, 2023Monarch High School Football Advances to Regional Championship