By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
HIS senior season ended just short of the ultimate team goal, but Michael Cartwright is already looking ahead to the complement of his recruitment process and NCAA decision.
Cartwright and the Champagnat Lions finished as runners-up after a 28-20 loss to the North Florida Christian Eagles in the Florida High School Athletic Association State Championships Class 2A State Championship game.
“Not the ending I wanted but I just want to say thanks to my teammates for a great season. Through all the adversity we’ve faced as a unit but we never gave in,” he posted to Facebook.
“Thank you for the experience. But now it’s on the next step in my life. University of … Here I come.”
The Lions, the defending 2A state champions, had nearly a complete roster overhaul headed into this season and reverted to the role of underdogs in the division for much of the season. They concluded the season with four consecutive wins to earn a trip to the state title game.
Prior to the season, Cartwright, the 6’ 7” 300 pound offensive lineman, re-entered the recruitment cycle when he de-committed from the University of Indiana Hoosiers.
“I would like to thank Indiana for recruiting me during my recruitment process and the entire Indiana coaching staff for making me feel like family the whole time,” he announced via social media.
He originally announced his commitment to join the Hoosiers last July but according to Cartwright, the second chance at recruitment gives him an opportunity to “re-evaluate everything and to make the best decision for me as a person, player and most importantly a student.”
In the month of May alone, he received a new slate of eight offers from the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Kent State Golden Flash, UCF Golden Knights, UAB Blazers, Georgia State Panthers, Temple Owls, UMass Minutemen and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
He previously received offers from the Tulane Green Wave, FIU Golden Panthers, Indiana Hoosiers, Marshall Thundering Herd, FAU Owls, Southern Mississippi Eagles, Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions and the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Last season, the Lions won their second Class 2A FHSSA state title 24-7 over eight-time state champion Jacksonville University Christian.
Cartwright, a former student at Aquinas College, has also blossomed into a three-sport star for the Lions. On the basketball court he averaged 12.6 points and 15 rebounds per game and in athletics, he became the school’s first multiple district champion in the shot put.
Cartwright was also a member of the Bahamas’ 2016 Caribbean Basketball Confederation under-16 team that won gold in the British Virgin Islands.