Karoney Oliver how old are you and what school do you attend?
I am 17 years old and I attend Miami Jackson Sr. High School.
Do you have a nick name?
Some people call me Man Man and some call me Macaroni.
How did the name Macaroni come about?
Well,( laughs) the females gave me that name.
How old were you when you started playing organized football?
I was four years old.
What led you into playing the running back position?
I guess that it was natural instincts, I love getting the ball, I love running and no one could catch me.
Do you participate in any other sports?
Yes, I wrestle and I run track. I run the 4×4, 4×1, 2hundred and 1 hundred.
What was your most memorable football game?
The All Dade vs Team Florida was my most memorable.
Why is that?
Because it gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent as an athlete not only against a certain team but a group of individuals that claim to be the best at their position and not only one position but multiple positions.
What was your most fun moment in being a high school student?
Where were those field trips?
I visited Miami Metro Zoo that was my favorite field trip. At my old school I took a course in Zoology which led to me forming a love for animals. So once I visited the zoo I was able to see many different animals and learn about their habitat which made a lasting impression on my life.
What other professions would you like to do if football does not work out for you?
I would like to be a Zoologist; I truly have a passion for animals.
How did you feel being selected MPV of the All Dade and Florida All Star Game?
It was a sorrel moment. I couldn’t believe it. It took me a while to realize that I was selected. However, it did sink in. I was proud of myself because of all the hard work and all the effort that I put in it really paid off.
Pedro Oliver father of Karoney, how did you feel about your son being selected as the MVP?
It was a long time coming. Karoney was doubted by coaches because he was said to be too small and a lot of times coaches didn’t want to give him a chance. With the All Dade All-Star Game he was given the opportunity to show everyone that it’s not how big or small you are. If you believe in yourself, put in the good work and good effort it will pay off.
What colleges are currently showing interest in you?
At this time I haven’t received any offers. However, I am optimistic.
What plans have you made if you do not receive any offers?
Yes, I have a plan, it’s to walk onto Auburn University football program and showcase my talents and once I do that they will want to offer me a football scholarship.
How are your grades in school?
My school grades are good.
What are you doing to prepare yourself for the collegiate level?
I work out every day, it doesn’t stop. It’s a constant thing you have to always stay in shape. So when your opportunity arrives you are having nothing to hinder you or slow you down.
Dad (Pedro) what are you doing to increase your sons weight?
We put him on a diet where he is eating 4 to 5 times a day. It’s a balance diet that consist meats, vegetables, fruits and weight gain protein.
My final question to you, who is your role model?
It happens to be my father. He paved the way for me. He showed me no matter how much someone doubts you and no matter how hard they try to make you out to be something that you are not, my father always showed me that you have to counter act that with heart. That’s what drives me; I’ve been doubted all my life. He always told me I have to work hard because there is always someone working as hard as you and sometimes harder than you. So when he told me that I took it upon myself to work harder, because I really want to go to college and play collegiate football. It’s still an ongoing process. He’s an amazing guy and he loves me.
So he’s a great Dad?
Yes he is.
Karoney, Sports Elite wishes you only the best and that you may obtain your dream of playing collegiate football. Also, Sports Elite thanks your father Pedro Oliver for allowing this interview to take place. You truly have a Great Father.
SPORTS ELITE MAG
admin @ January 7, 2014
What was once taboo in America and in some cases could cause black men of risk being killed for looking at white women. Today Black male athletes on a larger scale can be seen dating and marrying White women. Black athletes are now a hot commodity to some white women. Could it be because there is an opportunity to strike it rich, the Mandingo physique, the coolness, since of humor, curiosity, black silky skin, intelligence, love making or love at first sight. For whatever reasons, the black male athlete has become the prey not only to white women but to women of the world.
Who is responsible for this merger? Could it be the Pee Wee Football Coach that took the black athletic talent out of the hood to make his team better? Could it be the black parent who put their son in a white program for structure and perks? Could it be the white team mate who invited his black team mate to spin the night at his home before game day? Could it be the white cheerleader who cheers for the team? Could it be the school Pep Rally that displays the athletes on stage? Could it be the local newspaper that followed their athletic careers? Could it be the college recruiter who visited black athletes at their homes and provided scholarships to Southern Universities? Could it be the University of Alabama Head Football Coach Paul Bear Bryant who organize a football game with USC Head Football Coach John McKay in hope of letting the south see how black talented athletes could help and improve their football program? Could it be Branch Rickey, who signed baseball great, Jackie Robinson to the LA Dodgers? Could it be Jim Brown and Rachael Welch Hollywood love scene? Could it be NFL TOTAL ACCESS who surrounds Host Amber Theoharis with former NFL GREATS Jaimie Dukes, Warren Sapp and Darren Sharper?
Could it be Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech which spoke about little black boys and girls playing with white boys and girls? Or could it be when Dr. King said don’t judge me by the color of my skin but by the content of my character. Black athletes will continue to thrive in sports and be attractive to women of the world. For whatever reason, black athletes have arrived; there is a new sex symbol and commodity out there on the market.
To the brothers that have found love outside of their race, there is nothing wrong with that; love has no color. What I would like to see that you guys don’t forget where you came from. Give back to your childhood neighborhoods, schools, community centers and churches. Because it was this environment that provided you with your first love in sports and accepted you as you are.
Sports Elite Mag
admin @ December 26, 2013
At the age of three, Mark Wynn had a love for sports. I can recall Mark on Christmas morning on the front lawn with his Christmas football, raising his hand in the air and pretending to blow a whistle. As he blew his make believe whistle, he ran towards the football and kicked it very well. I was amazed with his foot and eye coordination. He then picked up the football and ran with it as if he was being pursued by an opponent. Man, I thought that this little kid was extremely fast to be so young. After he became bored with his football, he put it aside and started to play with his T Ball set. Once again I was impressed with this little kid, his hand and eye coordination was amazing. Without any assistance Mark was able to hit the T Ball with great power. Not only did he hit the T Ball well, but he was able to hit the ball from both sides of the Batting T without losing any power. At such a young age he displayed the physical mechanics of a seven year old boy.
As Mark continued to grow he developed a love for basketball. Around the age of 8 he could be seen in the driveway dribbling his basketball and doing a cross over with ease. For such a little guy he could shoot and dribble the basketball very well. Mark’s favorite part of his home was the driveway. That was where his basketball goal was and where he could be seen shooting hoops and working on his 3 point shot. There was not a day that passed that Mark wasn’t outside shooting hoops. The weekends were his favorite. This was the time that his cousins would come down to Coconut Grove to visit the family house. In his mother’s family there were 15 siblings, 9 girls and 6 boys. So when it came to basketball he could be seen competing with and against his older cousins, sometimes against his uncles. These games between Mark and his cousins were very competitive and sometime ended with tears being shed. However, the competition was welcomed. It was an opportunity to improve his skills. Along the way, he developed some swagger and some trash talking. Hey, it’s Miami, that’s what we do. He even impressed Dwayne Wade, who he once met during a Summer Basketball Camp.
Prior to Mark playing basketball he also played Pop Warner Football. His father Mark Sr. kept him involved in playing sports year round. Playing football Mark performed at a high level. One could tell that this kid had the “IT” FACTOR. He could play any of the skill positions. His little stature didn’t keep him from challenging his opponent on offense or defense. He played with a lot of heart and took that mindset with him to Coral Gables Sr. High School.
In his 2013 senior football season Mark led the Cavaliers team with 9 interceptions playing Free Safety and broke Coach Billy Rolle’s record. He also broke NFL Great, Neal Colzie’s interception record that stood for 49 years at Coral Gables Sr. High School. He is a game changer. With his on the field leadership skills he was able to help his team win their district and proceed deep into the playoffs. The season may be over for some players however Mark will continue to play football. Mark has been chosen to play in the All Dade All-star Football Game.
As Mark prepares for the All-Star game, he is currently playing Varsity Basketball and once the season ends he will then go into Track and Field where he will compete at a high level. If he had the time, he would also play baseball and would play it well. Baseball was his grandfather Sidney Wynn’s first love. Sidney played Professional Baseball in the Black Negro League. Sidney Wynn was a great athlete that excelled in many sports. I guess that you could say that it’s in the blood.
As many young athletes dream of making it big as a professional, Mark continues his dream as well. He understands that he must remain focus and continue to make smart decisions. Mark believes that if he stays on the straight and narrow path that he is destined to achieve his goal as a professional athlete. He has managed to have a variety of colleges take notice of his talent. To name a few, Northern Illinois, Marshall, U CONN, Ole Miss, Boston College, UCF,USF,FIU, Bethune Cookman, and Temple University. Whichever school that provides Mark with a scholarship will be fortunate to have a game changer on their team.
SPORTS ELITE MAG
admin @ December 26, 2013
What do you want to do with your life? What are your dreams? If you could write your best life story today, what would it say?
Is your first reaction to hesitate? Perhaps you most often see and describe yourself in terms of past experiences or present limitations. Perhaps you see yourself more in terms of losing or just surviving rather than fulfilling your dreams.
If you’ve packed away your dreams, dare to unpack them today. It’s time to enlarge your vision. Dare to ask God to rekindle those dreams in your heart and mind. He wants to do big things and new things in your life. God wants us to be constantly increasing, to be rising to new heights. He wants to pour out “His far and beyond favor” on you (Ephesians2:7).
Quite your heart and receive God’s Word: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Friend, if you will get in agreement with God, this can be the greatest time of your life. With God on your side you can’t possibly lose. He can make a way when it looks as though there is none. He can open doors that no man can shut. He can cause you to be at the right place, at the right time. He can supernaturally turn your dreams into reality.
NEVER ALLOW YOUR WRONG THINKING TO KEEP YOU FROM GOD’S BEST.
BY JOEL OSTEEN
admin @ December 4, 2013
Interview with Travis Thomas (Future Dentist)
Travis what year were you born?
I was born April 30, 1983.
What Schools did you attend starting with elementary, middle and Sr. High School?
I attended F.S. Tucker Elementary School, Ponce De Leon Middle School and Coral Gables Sr High School. I was attending at Gables for two years; however, I got my high school diploma from American Academy.
What year did you graduate from High School?
I graduated in 2001.
Yes, I’ve been married for 4 years, and we have a son named Travis.
Where did you grow up and what was it like in your community?
I grew up in Coconut Grove, Florida – I’ve been here for about 27 years. During the early years, the environment was really rough. There was a strong presence of violence and drugs in the community, but it didn’t seem abnormal; it was just a part of everyday life in Coconut Grove during that time. My aunt did a great job keeping chaos outside of our gates. Our house was always in order and she took me along with her to church every Sunday. I would describe my childhood as fun times. I played football in the streets with my friends; most of us were the age as me. We played together, went to school together and went to the corner store – together! It was fun, looking back at it.
Do you have any siblings? If so how old are they?
Yes, I do have siblings. I have three brothers and one sister from my mother, and two sisters from my father. I’m the oldest of my mother’s children.
Who is Mrs. Evans and what role has she played in your life?
Mrs. Willie Ruth Evans is my great-great aunt – she’s my ROCK, my foundation! She has played a significant role in my life since my birth. She stayed across the street from me while I was living with my grandmother and mother in a one-bedroom shack on Frow Avenue. At that time, I was going to a Head Start program, similar to Princeton Preschool, at the Human Resource Center in Coconut Grove. My mother struggled with a drug addiction and my grandmother worked as a cafeteria server, but they didn’t have much; we lived poor. My grandmother is very kind hearted and her door was always open for family and friends. At any given time, several people would be sleeping over and maybe five kids, including myself, would be running around the house. I moved in with my aunt Ruth because my mom wasn’t taking me to school regularly. My aunt Ruth’s mother told her to take care of me, and that’s just what she did. She played the role of my mother and father, providing me with everything I needed.
Travis, what was the name of your foster big brother? When you were a kid there was this young adult male that used to come by and pick you up on the weekends.
Dan Gelber – he was my mentor from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. A school counselor recommended me to the program after she noticed I had a difficult time behaving in school – but I always excelled academically. I was six years old when I met Dan, and he was in his late twenties. Our relationship grew from our first meeting – it just took off. We are still great friends and he continues to be a person of importance in my life.
What was it like to have a white person show interest in you?
It was different, but it was cool. I was only six years old; I wasn’t old enough to understand the racial differences. The best part for me was I knew an older person who shared similar interests, wanted to hang out and make sure I was doing the best I could in school. I didn’t have a father in my life, and I’m my mother’s oldest child. I didn’t care what color he was, if he was going to pick me up every Saturday in his convertible, take me out and show me things that I’d never seen, I was all for it. I am glad that I had that experience as a child because it exposed me to different people and cultures.
What type of activities would you do with your Big Brother?
Dan would take me to the movies, we’d watch football games and sometimes we would make television appearances. He cofounded a cancer camp for kids, and often he would take me along with him to events. I would meet the kids and hang out with them for an entire day. I was always confused about their sicknesses because we were close age most of the time – I didn’t understand, but that didn’t stop me from being friendly and treating them like any of my other friends. Dan made sure that I was around for those types of things. He also would always buy me books; he never bought me things I really wanted – like JORDANS.
So, Dan made a positive impression in your life?
Yes, a very, very positive impression. When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer because he was a lawyer.
Tell me a little about your past rough neck image and why you did a 180 degree turn around.
Like I said earlier, it’s hard coming up in an impoverished neighborhood. As I grew older, the influence of the streets started to reflect in my actions – it really affected me. My Big Brother would still stop by one day out of the week; however, during the other six days I was in my community with people who weren’t like Dan. So, there were things I saw and people who interacted with that weren’t so positive. As a teenager, I was really into Rap Music; I wanted to become a rap superstar. I wanted a flashy lifestyle, or at least I thought I wanted that lifestyle. At that time, I thought rapping was the only way I could be successful. I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.
There is a confluence of factors that made me want to change my lifestyle. For one, Dan never failed to ask me what I was doing with my life. “What are you going to do with your life?” he’d ask. Furthermore, while my wife and I were dating, she introduced me to her friends and family, and most of them were young black men and women with college degrees. My wife’s brother, Walfsty, and his friend, Geden, a medical student, were very supportive while I considering attaining my bachelor’s degree and attending dental school. I wanted to show people what I could do. I wanted my son to be proud of me! I’ve been told one of my biggest strengths is my ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. I don’t remember meeting my dad until I was 13, but I didn’t let that bother me. It just made me want to be the best dad I could be for my child. With all of that said, I just wanted to do the right thing.
Going back to the rough image, what was the reason for removing the gold teeth grill and the tattoos you once had?
I think the universe has a strange way of making things happen (laughs). I didn’t take them out. There wasn’t a definite point where I decided that I didn’t want gold teeth anymore – I actually lost them. I lost them right around the time things were starting to change in my life, and I just never wanted to pick them up again. I wanted to be a leader; I was tired of following the “wrong” crowd. I decided to take the lead in my life and my future started to look promising. I also wanted to look presentable. You know, when you put out negative energy, you have to deal with negative consequences and I didn’t want to deal with those. So I said, I am going to live my life the right way, and as soon as I did, things started to change for me, doors opened up and I took advantage of my new opportunities. I like to think about my journey like this. I’m in an uncharted jungle and on the other side of the jungle there is a reward for me. I want that reward, so I have to swing my machete and make my own path. I want to clear the way for my son and the youth in my community. If they choose to go down the path I’ve cleared, they can. If they choose to pick up their own machetes, I’ll support that too!
I can’t talk about my successes without sharing a few failures. I attended Daytona Community College after I graduated in 2001. I didn’t do well. I thought I was cool; besides, I was the kid from “Miami.” That didn’t last long. I returned to Miami where I worked as a telecommunication technician for the next few years. I always thought about going back to school while I was at work. So I went back to school a second time. I missed several classes rushing to school from work. Long story made short – that didn’t work out either. A year later, my wife and I were pregnant and I was laid off of my job due to the recession. Desperate for work, I accepted a job as a pest exterminator. I worked for about a month, resigned and decided I was going back to school. I enrolled in Miami Dade College, but I was dedicated to be the best student. I sat in the front of the classroom, and I did every homework assignment. I ended up doing very well – I graduated with Honors from Miami Dade College.
During that time, I developed an interest in dentistry.
I attended Nova with the intentions of exceeding my academic success at Miami Dade College. I earned A’s in most of my hardcore science classes. I graduated with a BS degree from NOVA in December, 2012. I took the dental admissions test, and I scored above the 93 percentile. The rest is history!
Which dental school will you be attending?
Tuft University College of Dental Medicine, I start in the fall of 2013.
What made you decide to choose dentistry as a profession?
There are many things that brought me to this point. I come from a community where many adults and kids don’t go to the dentist. You don’t have to walk far to see someone with poor oral hygiene. I would like to bring a dental practice to the community. Furthermore, I know what it’s like to be teased as a kid because you have a large space between your teeth. I want to help out. I want to be a leader in my community and country. I want to wake up, put on my white coat and appreciate the privilege I have as a trusted oral health care professional.
What can you say to those young teenagers that are a reflection of your past adolescent life?
I would say, follow and explore that “thing” that makes you unique. Let it lead you. I believe that within any large group of people there is a “ton” of unexplored talents. There is something unique in every person. Find your uniqueness – the sooner you find it, the happier you’ll be. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own skin. I would say education is definitely important. You don’t have to become a dentist, physician, or a lawyer, but you should be educated in the field of work YOU choose.
Who is your role model?
I have a few role models, and Dan is definitely one. Barrack Obama, Jay-Z, my aunt Ruth… I take a little bit from everyone.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
First, I want to be alive. I recently lost a great friend of mine, Ingrid Thelismae. Ingrid was a beautiful person, so full of life, but she’s gone now…With that in mind, ten years from now, I’ll be a practicing dentist delivering high quality oral health care to a diverse patient pool and promoting good oral hygiene in underserved areas like the one I was raised in.
Travis, I have watched you grow up from a kid to a strong, intelligent, family oriented, black male. I am pleased to say that you make me proud. Don’t put yourself inside of a box. Let your light shine. Sports Elite thanks you for sharing your life journey with us. I hope that this story will inspire others to pull out the good in them.
Worrell C. Troup 79
Sports Elite Mag
admin @ September 18, 2013