BOCA RATON -- Cergile Sincere didn't need to
be taught how to work hard. He watched his parents do it every day.
Sincere, a sophomore linebacker for Florida Atlantic, didn't see much of his
father, who worked two jobs while Sincere was growing up in Belle
Glade, the farming community sitting in the shadow of the dike
that shields it from Lake Okeechobee.
Sincere's mother also worked while taking care of eight children.
"They had to take care of the family," said Sincere, whose parents
came from Haiti
determined to build a better life for their children.
There would be no college for Marlene and Joseph Sincere, just working hard
to provide for their children and to instill in them the need to do what they
hadn't been able to do.
Sincere is the third oldest in his family and the only boy. His oldest sister
graduated from FAU and is a nurse, and three sisters are in college.
Three more sisters are at home preparing to follow the same path.
"We just want to make our parents proud," Sincere said.
The goal of all the Sincere children is going to college.
"Education, education," 16-year-old Marie said her parents preach.
It wasn't easy for Sincere.
His test scores were not high enough to get him a scholarship coming out of
At a school that has produced more than 20 NFL players and is flooded with
recruiters each fall, Sincere was not on the list.
"We were winning so much I let the test scores slide," Sincere
That is when the lessons from his parents helped. They had shown him how to
balance work and family, and Sincere needed to find a way to make football
and school work.
Sincere first gave up football, coming to FAU in the fall of 2002 to get his
grades up. Then he walked on and was able to practice with the team in spring
"I finally got the scores, and I haven't looked back," Sincere
Settled in the classroom, he was not having similar success on the field.
Sincere was on the scout squad in 2003 and last year played sparingly, mostly
on special teams.
"The biggest thing was his ability to make plays. He hadn't shown
that," said linebackers coach Kurt Van Valkenburgh.
But Sincere learned how to make the plays, and he moved into the starting
lineup this season.
"He's really developed his mental game. He's always been a crazy guy out
there on the field, just letting an animal out of the cage. I have a lot of
confidence in him," linebacker Shomari Earls
Sincere (6 feet, 215 pounds) is the third leading tackler with 26 and has FAU's only sack going into Saturday's game at Louisville.
"Last year I was still in the learning process. It's easier to make
plays when you are in the right place," Sincere said.