Cartwright commits to Eagles
Many high school seniors in America were ecstatic for the national signing day on Wednesday, February 6, as they inked a national letter of intent to play National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football for the next four years. One such senior was Bahamian Michael Cartwright Jr., who played high school football for Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, Florida.
The offensive tackle had several offers but, in the end, he donned the grey University of North Carolina Central Eagles hat as he signed his letter of intent.
As to why he chose the Eagles, Cartwright said; “The Eagles simply have faith in me and my talent. They really cared about me as a player, person and student. They gave me the opportunity to do something special.”
Cartwright signed his letter at the Champagnat campus. He made the announcement after thanking his family and the Champagnat family.
The 6’ 5”, 295-pound big man had several other schools on his radar such as Florida Atlantic University, Indiana University, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Florida International University. Overall, Cartwright had 18 schools that made an offer to him.
He said he feels great about the Eagles and wants to rebuild the culture there.
“I feel great about the Eagles. We have a new coaching staff, we’re rebuilding the culture of the Eagles and about to take over the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference),” Cartwright said.
The Eagles finished sixth in the MEAC this past season. Overall, they had a 5-6 win-loss record. In conference play they won three games and lost four. They hired Trei Oliver back in December 2018 as the new head coach. As a defensive coordinator at Southern University last season, he helped coached that team to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) West division championship and a trip to the SWAC championship game.
In addition to Cartwright, seven other seniors at Champagnat also committed to other colleges. After the signings, Hector Clavijo, their head coach, tweeted that it was an amazing day at Champagnat as eight of his seniors are off to play college football.
For the Eagles, Cartwright is one of 16 incoming freshmen. He is also one of six freshmen who will have a chance to play on the offensive line.
He was named first team All-Dade as a senior with 65 pancake blocks this past season. Champagnat won the 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association 2A State Championship. They got edged out by the North Florida Christian School 28-20 in the championship game last December.
The big man was not only a football player at Champagnat but he was also a member of the basketball and the track and field team.
He knows that he did not get to where he is on his own. He thanked his parents and other family members along with his school for guiding him thus far.
“I would like to thank my parents – Michael and Crystal Cartwright – grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members for being there for me through it all. Secondly, I want to thank the administration from Champagnat Catholic for ensuring that I’m the best student I could be. Thirdly, I want to thank Champagnat Football for turning me into the great football player and person that I am today, and for all the great memories over the last three years. Last but not least, I want like to thank Taj’Mon Thompson for making all this happen by getting me in to Champagnat,” he said.