Troubled Carol City High, which saw six students murdered from a single class and vacillates between Ds and Fs (see the "The Curse"), finally has achieved national ranking. In a study released yesterday by USA Football, a youth and amateur organization, Carol City High tied for second place in number of alumni currently in the NFL. The Chiefs, who had an 8-3 record last year, won three state championships between 1996 and 2003. The school's had five students that now play in football's top league: Cincinnati linebacker Rashad Jeanty (class of 2001), San Fransisco defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois (2004), New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips (2004), Washington wide receiver Santana Moss (1997) and his wide receiver brother on the Giants, Sinorice (2002). Asked about the ranking, Santana touted recently-retired Carol City coach Walt Frazier:
"We had a lot of great athletes, but he was able to instill discipline in us, which allowed us to play at any level. We took that discipline to college and, for those of us fortunate enough, to the NFL. He kept us humble, me in particular. I was a starter for three years, but didn't catch many balls until my senior year. He kept us humble and patient and then when the time came, he helped us take advantage of the opportunity. He made sure we were in school. Actually, he made us come to school early to watch film so we were there even before the school day started. It is a place that is blessed with athletic talent, kids who are willing to sacrifice, a community that supports the program and good people at the top."
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The only school that has more current NFL players than Carol City? DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville Maryland. No offense to the private school scholars, but we're more impressed by the ascent of our hard-scrabble Miamians. And more NFLers call our city their hometown- 31- than any other in the country. As a state, Florida ranked third for current NFL players produced, with a whopping 176.