It’s official now.
Mike Sainristil was the best high school football player in Massachusetts in the 2018 season.
Sainristil was selected as the Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year after a phenomenal senior season in which he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 10-1 record.
“It feels like all the hard work, starting from freshman year, is paying off,” said Sainristil. “I want to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me win this award.”
During what would be a season of weekly electrifying performances, Sainristil gave an early indication of his immense talents in an early-season showdown at Mansfield High before a huge home crowd. In that game against one of the top teams in the state, Sainristil caught two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Duke Doherty and made three interceptions as Everett rolled to a 41-14 victory.
Sainristil will be attending the University of Michigan, one of the top Division 1 college football program in the nation. Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh came to the Everett home to meet with Sainristil and his parents, reportedly singing the Michigan fight song, “Hail to the Victors” in the Sainristil living room. He will start classes on the Ann Arbor campus in January.
Everett High Principal Alex Naumann was among the many at the school congratulating Sainristil on his recognition from Gatorade and his scholarship from Michigan.
“Mike’s a wonderful student and a great example to be a leader to all the kids, with all his accomplishments at Everett High School,” said Naumann. “He’s a tremendous gentleman and it’s a credit to both parents. His mother and his father [Raymonde and Carlot Sainristil], have done a wonderful job raising a terrific young man. He is a leader on the field and in this building. I couldn’t be happier for Mike. This is an amazing story and the possibilities are endless, and it will be exciting for everyone to watch him at Michigan over the next few years.”
From Pop Warner on,
he stood out as a player
Raymonde Sainristil said her son, Mike, began playing Pop Warner football at the age of 7 in the ‘E’ Division. Mike’s older brother, Raymond, and his cousin, Samy Fedna, also played youth football.
“That’s where this story began,” said Raymonde.
Mike rushed for a 90-yard touchdown in his first game versus Newton and “he kept getting better and better” at football, she recalled.
Mike’s Pop Warner career ended in spectacular fashion as he was one of the standouts on the Everett Huskies’ national champion Patriot Division team that won the title in Florida. Raymonde said she is grateful to Dennis Wilcox, who was the head coach of the team.
Mike played varsity football as a freshman and developed in to a Division 1 college prospect in the Everett High program, winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
“The way I saw him progressing in the game, I couldn’t stop him from playing,” said Sainristil. “Now here he is going to a Division 1 college and receiving a scholarship, and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of him. There’s no question about it than I’ll be going to his games at Michigan. I like the coaching staff. They have shown me that they are a family and have given me their friendship. I feel confident to put my child in their hands.”
Asked if she could have ever envisioned that Mike would become the best football player in Massachusetts and one of Everett’s all-time greats, Raymonde said, “I didn’t think about it, but it is what it is. It’s been a great journey and that’s one of the reasons I don’t regret the day we made that decision to come here [from Haiti].”
“My parents are my rock,” said Mike. “I can’t ask for a better pair of people. Not once have I ever questioned their trust in me or their support. They’re my first fans. They never missed a game in 10 years.”
Mike Sainristil has visited Michigan, walked around the campus, and toured the football facilities, including Michigan Stadium, a legendary venue known as “The Big House.” It is the largest stadium in the United States and Sainristil will be playing his home games in front of 110,000 fans.
“It’s huge,” said Sainristil. “I was at the Penn State-Michigan game. It’s exciting and I look forward to playing there.”
Michigan is considered one of the elite football programs in the nation. The school plays in the powerful Big Ten and its rivalry against Ohio State is in a class all by itself. Everett fans will be able to watch Michigan games on national television and follow the team on the Big Ten Network.
“First and foremost, I chose Michigan because the education there is second to none,” said Sainristil. “The connection they made to my family was important. Michigan has a vast alumni network. Not only will I be playing Tier 1 football, but I will be coached by a great staff.”
Sainristil is projected as a slot receiver in the Michigan program and could also see action as a cornerback.
Winding down his career
at Everett High School
Mike Sainristil will spend his last full day at Everett High School on Dec. 21. He will enroll at Michigan in January and begin official workouts in the spring.
“It’s been a great four years,” said Sainristil. “I want to thank all my coaches and teachers, especially my English teacher, Ms. [Riley] Dunn, and Mr. [Stanley] Chamblain, my guidance counselor. He also thanked Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire for his incredible support of the entire football program and the players.
Sainristil said this past season was “a special experience” playing football for a new head coach, Theluxon Pierre, who succeeded John DiBiaso at the helm of the state’s most successful program. The Everett coaches are credited for maximizing Sainristil’s skills on both sides of the ball.
“They put me in a great position where I could catch passes, run, return kickoffs and punts, play defense – everything but throw,” said Sainristil with a smile. “Actually we did have a play where I was going to throw it, but we never got to use it.”
Sainristil said that Coach Pierre was “a great mentor and leader” and the program is in excellent hands.
Sainristil’s presence on the team made Pierre’s transition to coaching easier than it might have been at a school where the expectations are sky high every season.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better player to start my coaching career,” said Pierre. “He made the transition easier. He was a leader on the field and in the building. The young players look up to him. He was like an extra coach on the field. Michigan is getting a good one. I’ll be watching Mike on television on Saturdays.”
Pierre noted the large number of Haitian-American students, including Sainristil, at Everett High School and in the football program.
“Most Haitians come over here and it’s not easy,” said Pierre, who is also of Haitian descent. “It starts with Mike’s mother and father (a former Haitian journalist and radio station founder) by making that decision to leave their country and come to a new country. From that point, it’s instilled in us that we have to have a good work ethic and when you have a good work ethic in general, that usually takes care of everything – and that’s what Mike has and I’m sure he gets that from his parents. He works hard for everything he earns.”