Two area athletes sign scholarships


Gainesville senior Mark Cato threw for 4,231 yards with 52 touchdowns in his final two seasons as the Hurricanes' starting quarterback.

Brad McClenny / Staff photographer
Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:32 p.m.

Mark Cato

School: Gainesville

Sport: Football

Position: Quarterback

Height: 6-foot-2

College chosen: Florida Tech (Melbourne)

Other schools considered: Valdosta State, Benedict College (S.C.)

Stats: First-team all-area as a junior and senior, passing for a combined 4,231 yards with 52 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Passed for 222 yards and four TDs in the Hurricanes' 62-26 win over Navarre in the Class 6A regional final, propelling GHS to its first state title game in 32 years.

Quotable: “It's a great feeling to finally being able to sign that paper and get that burden off of finally having someplace to go. I wasn't too worried about it. I will miss everything from GHS, like the family values from the football team and my great supporters. Getting to that next step and GHS will always be a part of that. We talked (former coach James Thomson) on the phone. He wished he could be here, but he has his practice at DeLand. We will always have that bond. It's all good.”

Justin Shirah

School: Suwannee

Sport: Soccer

Position: Forward

Height: 5-foot-10

College chosen: Stetson

Other schools considered: North Florida, Jacksonville

Stats: First-team all-area as a junior playing forward/midfielder, scoring 18 goals and nine assists, before moving back to solidify the Bulldogs defense. Second team all-area as a senior forward, scoring 15 goals with seven assists.

Quotable: “It is a great private school that plays in Division I. I think the campus is amazing and perfect. I am extremely excited. I hope to get on the team and play my first year instead of redshirting, which some players do.”

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