By GENO BOVA
Beakon Staff Writer
On Tuesday, it was a big day at Cardinal Mooney as three football standouts committed to their respective colleges to continue their academic and athletic careers.
Three starting offensive linemen for the Cardinals this past season — center/long snapper George Gabriel, left tackle Chris Flora, and right tackle Jonah Woods, all signed their letter of intent in front of family, friends, and teammates on Tuesday at Cardinal Mooney.
Gabriel, who started at center for the Cardinals this year, and earned a spot on All-Steel Valley Conference second team, signed with Youngstown State as a long snapper. The special teamer made an important, yet often underappreciated, impact on the field this year and hopes to continue that role as a Penguin.
He felt going to YSU provided him with the best opportunity to succeed on and off the field.
”I have always wanted to not only be on a college football roster but to actually have the ability to play and play soon while studying what I need to study,” said Gabriel. ”YSU was a perfect fit. Great people and a great team. I’ve already made relationships with some players since announcing my commitment”
While Gabriel will be playing in front of his hometown, Flora will take his game toward Cleveland. The three-year starter will play at Notre Dame College. Flora had a strong senior year, in which he was named first-team All-Steel Valley Conference and second-team All-Northeast Inland District.
”NDC built up a great track record in the short time they became a program and I feel it’s a great opportunity for me,” Flora said. “I appreciate the investment the coaches have put into me and they have made it clear that they have a lot of faith in me as a player”
Locking down the right side of the offensive line this year opposite Flora was Woods, who will continue his career at the University of Mount Union. The second-team All-SVC lineman felt that the traditional powerhouse football program was the perfect fit for him. He mentioned the people and the environment as big deciding factors.
”I chose Mount Union because when I visited there it immediately felt like home,” said Woods. “I want to continue my football journey there.”