Pine Forest’s Purifoy makes things happen

WINTER PARK — Before entering his junior season on the track at Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Loucheiz Purifoy had never participated in the triple jump competition. Now it appears it was a good move on his part to give the event a shot.

On Friday afternoon, the 6-0, 177-pound Purifoy took first place in the triple jump at the FHSAA Class 3A state track and field meet at Showalter Field with a jump of 46 feet, 9 inches. It was just an inch off of his personal best for the year.

While things have been heating up on the track, Purifoy also has seen an interest in his abilities on the football field pick up as well.

“It’s been going all right,” he said in regards to his recruitment. “I definitely need to have a big season this fall.”

Purifoy, who lined up as a running back, wide receiver and cornerback for the Eagles in 2009, is being recruited by a number of schools as a defensive back. College recruiters figure to start filtering through as Purifoy makes his way to spring practice starting Monday. Pine Forest went 8-3 and made an appearance in the Class 4A state playoffs under first-year head coach Jerry Pollard.

“I’ve been talking to coaches from Florida, Alabama, Florida State, Troy, USF, and Texas Tech, and that’s about it,” he noted.

Being used in so many roles for Pine Forest, it comes as no surprise that Purifoy feels his biggest asset is in his ability to wear so many hats for the Eagles.

“Without a doubt, my biggest strength is my versatility as a football player,” he replied.

Now with a gold medal in hand, Purifoy is looking forward to putting his helmet and pads back on.

“I’ve got energy for days when it comes to football,” he said with a laugh.