Jackson first Marco Academy athlete to make NDN All Area team
He becomes the first Marco Academy player to be named to an All Area team.
“It’s kind of shocking coming from a small school,” Jackson said of the honor. “To be compared with all the players in the area is a big honor.”
Jackson had hoped that the team would have gone over .500 for the season.
“We were still pretty successful and next year I think we can improve to four or five games over,” he said. “The experience of playing on the team and stepping up in a leadership role was good for me.”
His coach, Roger Raymond, said. “I have never coached another player with his ability to get to the basket on the dribble-drive. It is nearly impossible to stop him one-on-one in this situation. His defensive effort was super and not ignored by Jared as many scorers do. He can rebound with much taller players.
“I am thrilled that he was honored this way. He is the history maker for our school and that is huge. I look for really big things for him and our team.”
The Manta Rays go from independent to playing in Class 2A next season. With it comes the chance to get back into the state playoffs. Teams in 2A for the Academy will be Seacrest and Everglades City.
“I think we could become a district champion,” Jackson said. Jackson has aspirations of playing college basketball.
“To play basketball at any level in college, helping to pay for my education, would be awesome.”
Lely’s 1-2 duo of Nick Talko and Nick Ronquette also were named to the All Area basketball team. They led their Trojans to the Elite 8 in the state playoffs.
“Hard work paid off for Talko and Ronquette,” Lely coach Fritz Jacques said. “Talko is a pure shooter. He is one a few players to score more than 1,000 points and he has a year left.”
Jacvques also credited Ronquette with leading his team to a strong finish.
“Ronquette really worked at it,” Jacques said. His senior leadership meant a lot down the stretch.”
Three Lely wrestlers All Area.
Matt Martinez, 145 pounds, closed out his four-year career with a 39-8 record, while placing fifth in the Class 2A state championship.
Claudel Alix, 220 pounds, again went to the state championship, placing sixth with an overall mark of 37-7.
Mike Messina, 106 pounds, was a Class 2A state qualifier, with a season record of 32-10.
Jessica Andrade, a sophomore, was a leader on the girls soccer team. She was named to the All District team, while recording eight goals and seven assists.
Coach Tony Smith said, “Jessica certainly is one of the toughest players on the team. She scored the best goal of the year when she fired a 40-yard thunderbolt for a score.”
Receiving Honorable Mention were Lely’s Karbiel Dirogene, Arianna Garousi and Jeanette Pierre, basketball; Jennifer Carter and Jenna Lundquist, Riicthy Absolu and Jose Olalde, soccer.