By Michael Bielecki
VERO BEACH — Vero Beach High School senior Travonte Boles is a big man on and off the football field.
Many know Boles as the 6-foot, 300-pound steadfast anchor of the Indians’ offensive line. En route to a 9-3 season under Head Coach Gary Coggin in 2008, the All-State offensive tackle helped his team rush for over 2,700 yards. “Coach Coggin pushed me all season long to be a leader by example,” said Boles.
Boles and junior offensive tackle Marcus Jackson (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) are the only returning offensive linemen, but don’t expect a drop in production from this unit. “Marcus is a beast,” said Boles. “He caught Miami’s attention when we were at camp there.” “Coach Coggin is going to play me at all five offensive line spots this year,” added Boles. “Where I play will depend on the situation.”
The hard work Boles put in last year allows him to be so versatile this year. Along with joining the wrestling team in 2008, he also ran the Barber Bridge every day before school.
Working just as hard at academics, Boles carries a core 3.67 grade point average. “My parents told me a long time ago what they expected from me, ” said Boles. “Even a ‘C’ on an exam was unacceptable. I had to get good grades to play football.”
Where Boles may do his best work, though, is in the community. He gives back to Vero Beach by helping out at a local homeless shelter and collecting canned goods for it with members of his church, Salt of the Earth Ministries
When he’s not helping the church, Boles turns his attention to the senior football fans that have supported Vero Beach football so fervently over the years. “I love our senior fans,” he said. “My teammates and I like to go visit them at their homes to show them how much we appreciate their support. Seeing them at our games cheering for us is exciting to me.”
Looking to the future, Boles wants to be a business major when he attends college next year. He hasn’t selected a favorite school yet, but he knows exactly what he’s looking for when he’s ready to decide.
Earning the MVP at six different football camps and combines this year helped Boles secure scholarship offers from Illinois State, Iowa State, Memphis, The Citadel, and Louisiana Tech. “I want to feel comfortable with the school and the coaching staff,” said Boles. “I’m going to look at the education and job placement each school offers, as well as the environment and how well I’ll fit in.”