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THREE SHARKS SEE COLD WEATHER IN THEIR FUTURES

Josh Ortiz signs in Illinois, and Mike Cole and Mike Haslam will play in Wisconsin.

Josh Ortiz threw back his head and laughed when teammate Mike Cole walked through the door at Nature Coast.

They both were wearing the same thing: black oxford shirt and jeans.

Just wait, Ortiz told Cole, teammate Mike Haslam would have on the same thing.

Sure enough, Haslam joined the duo for the players' college announcements Friday with his black sleeves rolled up.

They swear they didn't plan on matching. Sometimes, that's just how it happens in a family, and that's what the trio would tell you the Sharks had.

Now, some of the family members are going their different ways. Ortiz is headed for Quincy University in Illinois, while best friends Cole and Haslam both secured spots at Concordia, a Division III school in Wisconsin.

"They came in with me in my first year," Nature Coast coach Jamie Joyner said. "All of those guys helped build the program."

ORTIZ: There isn't a hint of sadness in the 6-foot-1, 191-pound quarterback's eyes when he talks about his future at Quincy, a Division II program.

He knows he could have gone to a Division I program. During his senior season, he helped lead Nature Coast to its first district championship and state playoff appearance, rushing for 10 touchdowns (875 rushing yards) and passing for six (659 yards).

He holds school records for most interception returns for a touchdown, most punt returns for a touchdown and most tackles for loss in a game. Folks knew he would be something special after his first season of football as a sophomore, when he led the county in receiving.

His athletic resume was impressive. That's why he initially got letters from DI schools. But he tried to turn around his academic resume - grade point average, test scores - too late to make it a reality.

"I'm happy with where I'm going, but I want people to know you can't mess around in school," Ortiz said.

He likes the school and the area. A native New Yorker, Ortiz isn't worried about the cold.

He expects to redshirt as a freshman so he can learn Quincy's option offense.

COLE & HASLAM: The two have been friends since sixth grade at Powell Middle when Haslam moved down from Rhode Island. Cole grew up here.

When they both checked out Concordia a few weeks ago, they knew it was the spot for them.

"The coaching staff reminded us of our coaching staff here," said Cole, a defensive lineman.

But the cold weather doesn't excite Cole, who bought his first ski-type hat recently. Black and blue to represent Nature Coast, he said.

Cole, at 6 feet and 258 pounds, hopes to play his first year but said he needs to work on his speed and backside pursuit. Cole recorded 63 tackles, nine for loss, and four sacks. He forced one fumble his senior season.

Haslam, a 5-10, 165-pound running back and defensive back last season, also hopes to play right away. Haslam rushed for 564 yards and two touchdowns and recovered one fumble.

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