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History Maker

History Maker

Friday night (Oct. 14) at Jesuit High School was one to be remembered: A nostalgic, festive Homecoming, Senior Night for the undefeated football team, and a historic record-breaking performance. (See photo slideshows of the evening below.)

After four sensational seasons running the football for the Jesuit Tigers, Malik Davis ’17 broke perhaps the most revered record in local prep sports on Friday, becoming Hillsborough County’s all-time leading rusher in spectacular fashion.

Davis entered the game vs. Robinson needing 196 yards rushing to surpass his friend, Ray Ray McCloud, who rushed for 5,765 yards for Sickles High School and now plays for Clemson, for the top spot. Davis, rated the top prep football player in the Tampa Bay area by the Tampa Bay Times, rocketed past the record in a breathtaking outburst.

Midway through the second quarter, after he scampered 25 yards for the fourth of his five touchdown runs on the night, the record belonged to Davis. He was No. 1.

Moments later the game was stopped for a few minutes for a ceremony on Alumni Field. Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. presented Davis and his parents, Myron and Angela Davis with a game ball to commemorate the achievement. Davis embraced his parents and then was engulfed by joyous teammates. An array of local media snapped photos, captured video, and interviewed Davis.

No. 2-ranked Jesuit defeated Robinson 56-3 to improve to 7-0, and Davis, who had 13 carries for 214 yards and 5 touchdowns, also shattered another Hillsborough County record: He surpassed the mark of 67 career rushing touchdowns by Armwood’s Kalvin Bailey. Davis bested that on his second TD of the game, and now has 71 career rushing touchdowns. Travell Harris '17 had a huge game as well, with a 67-yard TD reception and an electrifying 67-yard punt return TD.

Davis’ monumental performance was part of a confluence of major events Friday at Jesuit that were a partial byproduct of Hurricane Matthew. Last week’s scheduled pregame Homecoming BBQ, and the Homecoming halftime celebrations of the Alumnus of the Year and the Homecoming Court, had been postponed one week. So they coincided Friday with Senior Night for the football team and Davis' history making effort.

At halftime Friday, Jesuit’s Alumnus of the Year for 2016-17, John Oliva ’60, was recognized. Since graduating in 1960, Oliva has been an advocate of Jesuit High School, donating his time, talent, and treasure to supporting his alma mater and the Jesuit High School Alumni Association. For more information on Oliva and is extraordinary impact on Jesuit, please tab down below the photo slideshows. The Alumnus of the Year award will be formally conferred upon Oliva at the Senior-Alumni Luncheon on April 28 at the Tampa Airport Marriott.

Also at halftime, Academy of the Holy Names senior Devin Folkman was recognized as Homecoming Queen. The Homecoming Court was comprised of AHN’s Karianne Buser, Maria Cacciatore, Gianna Gonzalez, Isabella Guerra, and Anne Marie Yatsula, along with Jesuit seniors J.P. Collins, Parker Wessel, Price Sartor, Garrett Sheppard, Thomas Bencivenga, and Brock Mondor.

And, it was Senior Night for football, the final regular season home game for the undefeated football team. The respective families joined each of the 22 seniors in a celebration on Alumni Field before the game. The senior football players were freshmen in the fall of 2013 during head coach Matt Thompson’s first season, and have led the team to a 20-1 record the past two seasons. They are: Travell Harris, Matt Cohen, Max Campbell, Danny Boon, Shane Eilers, Camden Bauman, Malik Davis, Rodney Higdon, Matthew Brink, Jackson Masters, Spencer Sanchez, Juan Sanchez, Dalton Garrett, David Burkard, Jake Moore, Michael Swenson, John Zielinski, Jack Fahey, Nick Margetis, Robert Blazer, Donte Phillips, and Samuel Fernandez.

Below are two photo slideshows from Friday night, the first of Senior Night and the football game, and the second of Homecoming activities. Below that is information about Alumnus of the Year John Oliva ’60.


John Oliva '60 - 2016-17 Alumnus of the Year 

Since graduating in 1960, John E. Oliva Sr. has been an advocate of Jesuit High School, donating his time, talent, and treasure to supporting his alma mater and the Jesuit High School Alumni Association.

As the roots of a family-tree representing three generations of Jesuit Tigers – his son, Mark, is a 1984 graduate, and Oliva has two grandsons who also are Tigers – he has always been personally connected to the activities of the school.

Throughout the years Oliva has served Jesuit in many capacities, including as a member of the Foundation, Alumni Council, and President’s Steering Committee. He is a current member of the President’s Cabinet in support of the ‘For Greater Glory’ capital campaign, and also is a member of Jesuit High School’s 1899 Bequest Society and the Jesuit Hall of Fame.

Oliva is recognized as one of the world’s foremost tobacco farmers. But his true calling is his passion for helping others. He is an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and is a loyal supporter of Catholic education, including the Academy of the Holy Names, Christ the King, Incarnation Catholic School, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, St. Lawrence, and Villa Madonna School.

For his many years of outstanding leadership and dedicated support to Jesuit and the Tampa Bay community, Jesuit High School is proud to recognize John Oliva as the 2016-17 Alumnus of the Year! The award will be formally conferred upon him at the annual Senior-Alumni Luncheon on April 28, 2017.

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