Ramon Sealy is blazing a trail in goal for West Florida University, having swept the Gulf South Conference defender of the week award for an incredible fourth time this season.
Sealy, 21, won it twice last term and having taken the honour four times already only two months into the new season, looks a certainty to be a candidate for player of the year, barring injury or drastic lack of form.
Until a few years ago, Sealy was better known for his cricketing exploits as a batsman and wicketkeeper before plumping for football. The decision paid off with a scholarship, thanks to his supportive parents Rickey and Ferene and the great input from Bodden Town Football Club.
Sealy won the award after another superb performance in Friday’s 2-0 shutout win over University of West Alabama. He made two fabulous saves to post the shutout, including a sprawling dive to punch away a free kick by West Alabama Clay Green.
The Bodden Town stalwart started the season with three straight defender of the week honours. Sealy now ranks first in University of West Florida history and is one shy of tying the league record.
Sealy has played outfield for Bodden Town, centre-forward, which has helped in his overall development.
The Argonauts have a home league match on Saturday against Union of Tennessee. The teams tied 1-1 in their first meeting this year in Jackson, Tennessee.
Elbert McLean is technical director at Bodden Town who has nurtured Sealy’s development since childhood. “I’m not surprised at Ramon’s success,” coach Elbert said. “I know the quality he can produce.
“We work hard with all our keepers, sometimes two or three times a week. One reason why they do well is that they do all the ball work that outfield players do too. Same drills and we also work on strengthening their bodies.
“He’s been in goal since the Under-13s and really worked hard. I think the sky is the limit as to what he can do. Ramon has a lot of potential. He has a great work rate, is very smart and disciplined.”
Ramon’s father Rickey was a pretty useful keeper too having played for Barbados Under-19s. He said: “I’m immensely proud of Ramon. It shows the dedication and hard work he has put in. Having a full-time goalkeeping coach at the university has helped a lot too.
“He already had the ability and dedication and they’ve helped to develop his skills. It’s really paid off. They are really strict, which helps. For example, if you turn up two minutes late for training you’re not allowed to join in.
“Ramon’s grounding at Bodden Town really gave him the opportunity to develop into the player he is today.”