The East County Observer and Bogey’s Restaurant and Sports Pub have teamed up to showcase the East County’s top athletes. Each recipient’s article will be featured on the restaurant’s wall.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Ragone is used to having to carry to the weight of the offense on his shoulders.
It comes with playing the position. But at this time last year, The Out-of-Door Academy signal caller wasn’t calling plays under center — in fact football was the furthest thing from his mind.
Instead, Ragone was focused on running cross country for the Thunder. But after a disappointing freshman campaign and a competitive track and field season, Ragone was ready to take a break.
“I knew the football program was going to be really good this year, but they were missing one big spot — a quarterback,” Ragone said. “I was a quarterback, so I thought ‘Why not just go for it and help the team out?’”
On Sept. 29, Ragone propelled the Thunder to victory in their district opened with a 36-yard touchdown run as ODA went on to defeat St. John Neumann 6-0. It was Ragone’s first rushing touchdown of the season.
“That was my first rushing touchdown in two or three years, so I was definitely excited,” Ragone said.
Ragone began playing tackle football for the Sun Devils when he was in the fourth grade after watching his older brother, Chris, play.
Ragone continued to play football up until last season. Now, even after taking a year off, it wasn’t too hard to get back into the swing of things, he said.
“I played football in middle school, and I’ve always liked it,” Ragone said. “The biggest difference has been between sprinting and long distance running — I’m still going through that change.”
Since rejoining the ODA football team this season, Ragone has thrown for more than 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“I love it,” Ragone said of being back out on the field. “I’m having a lot of fun.”
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Coats for kids
Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.