Taking part in the signing are, from left: Catarina Bernabe, son Esteban Bernabe, Gideon Dively, and parents Maria and Brett Dively. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Seahawk stars to play college soccer

A pair of Franklin County High School soccer stars will be playing college soccer.

At a signing ceremony last week in the media center, senior midfielder and striker Gideon Dively and senior left winger Esteban Bernabe inked a deal to play for the Southern Union State Community College Bisons in Wadley, Alabama.

On hand was Bison coach Taylor Jones, who has overseen the junior college program since it began a year ago.

Also on hand was Seahawks boys soccer coach Dirk Strunk, who first met Jones when he coached his daughter in Alabama.

Jones coached the Bisons to a 10-6-1 record in the inaugural season, and said he was looking forward to working with both Dively and Bernabe next year.

Dively, who will wear #37, was the undisputed offensive leader for the Seahawks, with 21 goals and 11 assists this past season. He had 17 goals and 12 assists last season, 30 goals and 13 assists in his sophomore season, and 16 goals and four assists as a freshman.

Bernabe produced seven goals and six assists this past season, seven goals and three assist the year before, four goals as a sophomore and four goals and five assists as a freshman.

“They’re a one-two punch that I saw,” said Jones. “Esteban was involved in most of those plays.”

“We send kids to college in soccer,” said Strunk.

“For one of our boys, it’s been a blessing, said Dively’s father Brett, “Coach Strunk has really come through.”

He noted that many of the teams in the region recruit internationally, so playing college soccer will be a challenge for both young men.

Bernabe, whose mother emigrated from Guatemala in the early 2000s, was born in Panama City and is the first member of his family to go to college. In addition to keeping his grades near the top of the class, Bernabe works during the summer for Water Street Seafood and busses tables at the Blue Parrot.

Both he and his teammate thanked God, their coaches and their family for the opportunity presented to them.

On hand for the signing was Bernabe’s mother Caterina, as well as his cousin Genaro and sister Wendi Bernabe, and cousin Franco Francisco. Dively was flanked by his parents, Maria Victoria and Brett Dively, with sister Calea, a sophomore at Gulf Coast State College on hand for the event.

While Seahawks going on to play college soccer is rare, it is not unprecedented. Both Jack Harris, who graduated in 2018, and Graham Kirvin. who graduated in 2014, went on to play college soccer.

For the Lady Seahawks, both Adriana (Reeder) Howze and Gracyn Kirvin, who both graduated in 2014, went on to play soccer in college.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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