Gladiator Spotlight: Hometown Transfer by sophomore Artie Kennedy

Football players ready to make a play
Goshen Gladiator Michael Flores.

Football star Michael Flores is a sophomore at Goshen High School and he is starting new and fresh this year. In the spring of 2019, after 9 years in GCSD (Goshen Central School District), Flores decided to transfer to a prep school in New Jersey called Don Bosco prep. After completing his freshman year, he surprised people and transferred back to Goshen High School.

Michael Flores has played football from a very young age and has always played running back. His hard work and dedication led him to become a standout since he was young throughout Elementary and Middle school. With a conscious decision to take his talents to Don Bosco Prep, he grew as a player and student during his freshman year. After a good year and experience, he decided to transfer back to GCSD. When he transferred back to Goshen, I had a chance to talk with him about the school change.

During our time talking together, when asked why the decision was made, Flores explained “I came back (to GCSD) because of COVID and me and my family didn’t know if there was going to be a football season, or if we would be going in or online school and we didn’t wanna spend that type of money.” COVID affected everybody in different ways, and it played a big part in this decision. Michael Flores applied to Bosco and paid to go there. Now, financial options like this have been limited for many people due to the virus. Now that he is back to GCSD and experienced football at Don Bosco, he told me “Going to (Don) Bosco changed my perspective on Goshen football by knowing what I have to do to get that starting spot, and on what I have to do to be great.” With this mindset, Flores is expected to have a great upcoming football season at Goshen.

I got a chance to ask Goshen’s Varsity head coach John Stephens about the running back. I asked about the expectations he has for Flores, and he said “…We want our players to represent the program with class, show up to off-season training, and provide their best effort in everything they do.” When another question I asked Flores on his expectations for himself, he responded with “I’m expecting my role to change by becoming a varsity running back.” After asking what makes Michael Flores such a good player, Stephens responded with “…Flores has shown some intangibles by showing up early and giving full effort in every drill… Flores has good speed and that is great to have as an athlete…” Also as a teammate of Michael Flores, I have seen first hand his speed, strength, and agility especially with his footwork. This is all due to his hard work and mindset. With these expectations for Flores, he should exceed these because of all the aspects of him as an athlete.

When a team adds a player like Flores, usually the other players themselves and the team improve together. During my conversation with Coach Stephens, he talked about how “Having a player like Flores provides us (Goshen Football) with more competition within the program and competition makes us all better.” He added “Iron sharpens Iron” This means good players make each other better. Some noticeable running backs Flores will be working with are seniors Damien Riehle and Gabe Terret. Other running backs working with Flores are Sophomore, Dante Joseph, and Junior Miguel Burgos.

This isn’t the first time an athlete has transferred to GHS (Goshen High School). With every transfer, Athletic Director Dr. Matthew O’Brien oversees them all and would need to clear some things before a student is eligible to play sports. On Monday morning, I was able to discuss the transfer of Michael Flores with him. Although O’Brien couldn’t talk about personal forms and information about Flores with me, he explained what a student at GHS must do as a student to play sports. Dr. O’Brien spoke about a policy that he and the administration of GHS have in place called a “ ‘Sincere Academic Effort.’ This means that no matter the academic levels of an athlete, as long as one is trying their best in school they are eligible to play sports. Some signs of this would be turning homework in on time, staying after school, they are eligible to play.” This helps athletes stay on track in school and understand that some kids have strengths and weaknesses in different classes. As a classmate of Michael Flores, he and I help each other with our homework to help us both stay on top of our assignments.

The future of Goshen Football is in great shape with aspects such as athletic director Dr. Matthew O’Brien, a new varsity head coach in John Stephens, a new stadium built last year, new players in the class of 2024, and much more. I, along with others, would most likely say that Michael Flores adds to that list and will show nothing short of greatness in his upcoming and future football seasons at Goshen High School, and prove why transferring back to Goshen Central School District was the right decision for him.

Written by Arthur Kennedy, Class of 2023

Sources: Michael Flores, John Stephens, Dr. Matthew O’Brien