Atlantic's Brisly Estime, looking for a Div. I scholarship, works hard to graduate early
Monday, October 17, 2011
by Jeff Greer
Atlantic defensive back Brisly Estime isn't a talkative kid. He answers questions with short, one-sentence replies.
That's just what he prefers: Quietly going about his business without the bells and whistles that frequently come with being a star player on a good football team.
Unless you talked to his coaches or mentor, Whitney Clodfelter, Atlantic's director of football operations and a teacher at the school, you wouldn't know that Estime has spent the last year working toward an early graduation.
Estime, who will turn 19 in December, was on pace to be a senior next year and graduate in spring 2013. But if he had kept to that schedule, he would have had to stop playing football next season after just two weeks because of Florida's age limit (19 years, 9 months) to play high school football. The same rule kept star receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who now plays at Florida State, from playing in the final six games of Glades Central's 2010 season.
But with the help of Clodfelter and an intensive workload through Florida Virtual School, the Haitain-born Estime has nearly made up a year's worth of credits in half the time, and he's enjoying his senior season a year early.
"He just always goes about his work and gets it done, that's what kind of kid he is," Atlantic coach Chris Bean said. "He wants to get out of Delray, and this is how he's going to do it."
Clodfelter and Estime discovered the discrepancy in his credits last school year. Clodfelter, 26, began helping him during the two-hour break between school's end and football practice. Over the summer, Estime worked as many as six hours a day on three different courses.
Clodfelter was there working with him every day.
"Without her, none of this would've happened," Estime said. "She's done so much for me."
Sitting at a computer in a small room with each other got trying at times, Estime said. He even walked out of the school once this summer, fed up with doing school work day after day. But a text message from Clodfelter brought him back, and he kept working.
"No kid wants to give up their summer like that to come in and work," Clodfelter said, "but he knew he had to do it. He has a goal in mind."
His goal is a Division I football scholarship, and several schools have inquired about the 5-foot-9, 185-pound athlete who plays safety and returns kicks. Bethune-Cookman and Marshall have offered him scholarships, and Estime said Middle Tennessee State has also expressed interest. He's also considering prep school for a year.
Meanwhile, his team is 5-1 and preparing for one of the biggest games of the season - a district home game Friday against Dwyer. And every day before practice this week, he'll be at the computer with Clodfelter like always, quietly working toward his goal.
"(The process) has been hard," Estime said. "I just keep working and working and working."