It’s been 27 years of signing days for Cypress Bay football coach Mark Guandolo, but it never gets old for one of Florida’s most highly respected and successful coaches.
Having captured multiple state championships at Southridge and Chaminade and appeared in a state championship game last season with Cypress Bay, this season was a bit humbling for Guandolo, his staff and team. But it taught valuable life lessons that he hopes his players take with them.
Besieged with injuries throughout the season, the Lightning battled their way to a 6-4 record and failed to make the playoffs. For some schools, 6-4 would be successful. Not at Cypress Bay.
Signing makes all of that go away as he saw eight student-athletes advance to the next step.
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“That’s why you coach,” Guandolo said. “These young men have an opportunity. That’s what it is, an opportunity. Hopefully they take advantage of it.”
He expects more kids to sign in the coming weeks as schools figure out where they have openings, but for now, he has four athletes who are going in as preferred walk-ons and four on full scholarships.
The class is led by Marquese Dudley-Gordon who is heading to FAU and Kadeem Goulborne who is going to SMU.
Two athletes are going to Miami as preferred walk-ons in OL Justin Goldberg and K/P Jonathan Semerene.
“It’s about overcoming adversity. That’s what football teaches you. You are not always going to win. Things don’t always go the way you want sometimes. You keep pushing forward and eventually good things will go your way,” Guandolo said.