By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PORT CHARLOTTE — The Port Charlotte High School football team has been tasked with the difficult challenge of coping with the tragic loss of their teammate.
Over the weekend, soon-to-be sophomore linebacker Gody Marcelin drowned at Gasparilla Island State Park in Boca Grande during a Bible study which he was leading. In attendance were 10 of Marcelin’s Pirate teammates as well as more than a dozen other students from Port Charlotte.
“Our kids are strong. Our kids are close. Our kids are tight,” Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman said. “It’s been very hard because we spend so much time together. The kids are extremely resilient. We have so many young men who have already had so many tragedies in their life that they’re very tough-minded.”
Ingman met with his Pirate players on Sunday and Monday to help them process the lost of their 15-year-old teammate.
According to Ingman, the Pirates will get back to normal football operations on Tuesday as a way to honor Marcelin.
“Right now we’re trying to remember all the positive times we’ve had with Gody,” Ingman said. “We’re going to resume our normal schedule (today) with heavy hearts. That’s what Gody would’ve wanted us to do.
The Pirates will also be honoring Marcelin throughout the season both publicly and privately.
“This isn’t going to be motivation to win football games,” Ingman said. “This is going to be motivation to be better teammates, men, brothers, sons. That’s what we’re trying to take from Gody’s life. We’re not going to use it in a football aspect. That wouldn’t be doing him any justice. Gody was bigger than football. We’ve talked about ways to keep us accountable internally. There will be a couple public things we will release when the time is right.”
A GoFundMe page has been created as a way to help support Marcelin’s family. As of 4 p.m. Monday, the page had raised $8,155. Those who wish to donate can visit Gofundme.com/ fly-high-Gody