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Last football season, Lely’s Claudel Alix was suspended for the final six games for his actions in a game.
“I made a bad mistake and I am making up for it,” he said.
Wrestling coach Mark Modica coaxed Alix into going back into the sport, where his athletic turnaround was astounding. After not even wrestling the year before, Alix wrestled into the state championship round, losing in the quarterfinals.
“God gave me the strength, the energy and the talent. He has blessed me a lot,” Alix said.
This football season he has been chosen by the coaches to wear Ereck Plancher’s No. 5 jersey.
He becomes the fifth person to wear the jersey.
Plancher was an outstanding student-athlete at Lely who died during conditioning drills with the University of Central Florida football team in 2008.
Coach Stacey Stewart said the Trojans went through winter workouts, spring football, and summer workouts before naming Alix before the Kickoff Classic game on Aug. 31.
Stewart learned what the honor meant at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer football camp.
“Our camp counselor, Lely grad Nixon Joseph, shared the Plancher story with us a in a private meeting,” Stewart said. “I knew then the importance of this tradition.”
The first recipient was Plancher’s cousin, Jeff Charelus, followed by Donard Noel, Goeto Dantes and Sergio Sanchez.
“I was shocked and humbled when I learned of the honor,” Alix said. “This is a real privilege. He was a man of character. I hope to earn the respect of others as he did, on and off the field.”