a group of young people sitting at a table
Coral Shores student athletes Zeke Myers, Freed-Hardeman University, from top left clockwise, Luca Furcaraccio, University of Mount Olive, Graydon Ross, Columbia International University, Brooke Mandozzi, North Carolina Wesleyan University and R.J. Dube, Beloit College, pose together during a letter of intent signing ceremony at Coral Shores Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Photo by Doug Finger

Five Coral Shores seniors are taking their talents and decorated high school athletic careers to the collegiate level. Flanked by coaches and family, the athletes signed their letters of intent during an April 17 ceremony at Coral Shores High School. 

Robert ‘RJ’ Dube, middle, signs his letter to continue his football career at Beloit College in Wisconsin. He’s joined by his dad, Bobby, and mom, Wendy.

RJ DUBE

A four-year standout in varsity football, Dube is taking his talents to Beloit College in Wisconsin. A star defender for the Hurricanes during the 2023 season, Dube recorded 61 tackles, six pass breakups, an interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five tackles for loss. He was also a force on special teams, recording two blocked punts and an extra-point block.

“I know I’m young, but these are some of the greatest years of my life,” Dube said. “We are a tight-knit group of guys and I’m going to miss them tremendously.”

Dube, who gears up for a new experience in a new state, said he was impressed with Beloit College’s coaching staff. Dube thanked his coaches, teachers and parents for the support along the way. 

Bobby Dube, RJ’s dad, said his son is competitive on and off the field. 

“He never liked to lose at anything since he was a child,” Bobby Dube said. “I would not let him just win, so he worked to better himself in whatever sport he played.” 

Ed Holly, head football coach, said Dube has “legendary work ethic and will excel at the collegiate level.”

Flanked by family, Zeke Myers signs a letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Tennessee’s Freed-Hardeman University.

ZEKE MYERS
He’s played baseball since age 4. Now, the ’Canes senior catcher will head to Tennessee to play for Freed-Hardeman University. 

Before transferring to Coral Shores High School, Myers played varsity baseball as a freshman and sophomore at Gulf Breeze High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. He came to Coral Shores midway through his junior year and immediately became a standout on the team as catcher and clean-up hitter. 

“I’m really glad I had a chance to transfer to Coral Shores,” Myers said. “It’s been an amazing two years playing with a great group of guys. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of teammates.”

An offensive leader for the Hurricanes, Myers has a .406 batting average and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.169. He said Freed-Hardeman is a perfect place to develop as a player and person.

“Another huge plus is my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins live within five minutes of the school and will have a chance to watch my games,” he said, adding he’s grateful for the support from his parents, brothers, coaches and teachers. 

Tony Hammon, head baseball coach, said Myers is one of the finest young men he’s coached in his career. 

“​​He is our rock behind the plate. Like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, ‘When Zeke speaks, people listen,’” Hammon said. “I certainly see a very bright future for Zeke.”

Luca Fucaraccio, Coral Shores soccer’s Defender of the Year, signs his letter to continue his soccer career at North Carolina’s Mount Olive. He’s joined by sister Alegra Fucaraccio, a swimming standout for the Hurricanes.

LUCA FUCARACCIO

A Hurricanes varsity soccer starter for the past three years, Fucaraccio is taking his strong defensive play to North Carolina’s Mount Olive. Recognized as Defender of the Year for the Canes, Fucaraccio was also a captain for his soccer squad. 


“I made a lot of good friends and great memories that are going to last a lifetime. To my younger

teammates, if you have a dream, don’t be afraid to chase it even if you think no one believes in you,” he said. 

Jorge Bosque, head soccer coach, said Fucaraccio is a driven young man who works hard at the game. 

“The Mount Olive staff will be very pleased with their selection,” Bosque said. 

German Fucaraccio, Luca’s dad, said his son is an example of discipline and resilience. 

“I have no doubt he will achieve all of his dreams,” German said.

Luca Fucaraccio said he wouldn’t be where he is today without support from his parents. He also recognized his coaches for always pushing him to be the best. 

“I’m proud about never giving up. Even when times were bad, I never gave up,” Luca said. 

GRAYDEN ROSS

Devoting his young life to the game of baseball, Ross will continue his collegiate career at South Carolina’s Columbia International University. 

A pitcher and outfielder for the Hurricanes the past four years, Ross opted to focus on baseball and not participate in other sports. He dedicated his offseasons to weight training and throwing. Ross’ earned run average (ERA) was below 3.00 throughout his high school career. 

“I really enjoy pushing my teammates to work in the weight room and to take off-season training seriously,” Ross said. “I hope that I’ll be able to assist our baseball program sometime in the future because I recognize the important role it has played in my life.”

Ross said he’s excited to join head coach Jonathan Johnson, a former major league pitcher, at Columbia International. Ross’ mom, Kristy, said her son fell in love with the game when he was 4 years old. It’s remained his passion as he prepares to enter a collegiate career. 

“We’ve seen the time, effort and commitment he has put into improving his skills,” she said. 

Hammon, the head baseball coach, said Ross is like a “player-coach” on the team. 

“He is a natural leader, quiet, but leading by example,” he said. “He has a work ethic that should be modeled by every athlete at Coral Shores and beyond.” 

Brooke Mandozzi signs her letter of intent to play volleyball at North Carolina Wesleyan alongside her dad, Jarrod, and mom, Maria, during an April 17 signing ceremony. DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

BROOKE MANDOZZI

Last December, Coral Shores volleyball standout Brooke Mandozzi announced her intention to continue her career at North Carolina Wesleyan in Rocky Mount. Mandozzi led the ’Canes volleyball program to an unprecedented three consecutive district championship games and a 2021 district title. 

Mandozzi earned back-to-back MVP awards and was MVP for the All Keys Volleyball Team. She led the Lady ’Canes with a .226 hit percentage, 153 kills, 254 digs, 20 blocks, 52 aces and a 2.63 serve rating. 

“It really felt like the right place for me to go to school and play volleyball when I visited with my dad. I visited a number of other schools that I liked, but NC Wesleyan really felt right,” Mandozzi said. ”Coach Vicky (Gentile, NCW head volleyball coach), the school provost, and the players and all of the people I met were so welcoming.”

Sam Ovalle, Coral Shores head volleyball coach, said North Carolina Wesleyan is getting a great player, person and teammate.

Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures in Western New York. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 5-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club. When he's not working, he's busy chasing his son, Lucas, around the house and enjoying time with family.