When South Lake defensive back Nick Waisomesaw the name Ha'sean Clinton-Dix right above his in the Orlando Sentinel's 2011 Central Florida Super60, he wondered if it might be his long-lost friend from Lockhart Middle School.
With a name like that, of course, one would figure there couldn't be anyone else with the same name out there.
"Ha'sean Dix at DP, sounded familiar. But I thought it had to be a different one," Waisome said. "We didn't even call him that back then. I only knew him as Ha Ha. I thought it was his real name Ha Ha Dix."
"Back then we played sandlot football," Clinton-Dix said. "Every day after 6th period."
They still call him Ha Ha, and he didn't start using his full name until he moved on to Edgewater High School, where he figured he'd be joined by his best friend Waisome.
"I didn't know he was moving. I thought maybe he just left and went out of town for the summer," Clinton-Dix said. "So I'm figuring we'll probably go to high school together. But we weren't able to communicate from there and luckily I seen his name in the top 60 in the Orlando Sentinel and then we connected out here."
But it wasn't immediate. Clinton-Dix scouted the usual places looking for his old friend. Facebook, MySpace nothing. Fortunately, however, their paths would cross without much effort.
Almost three years later, finally they were on the same football field, the same team.
Lo Wood Sr.Riki Smith and South Lake assistant Terrance Larmond, were involved in putting together the Central Florida All-Stars 7-on-7 team, which will compete in Miami later next month.
Waisome and Clinton-Dix, who is now at Dr. Phillips, were both invited to take part and at the first practice it was just like old times.
"It was tryouts out here," Clinton-Dix said. "And he just showed up here and we just reconnected. We took down numbers and asked each other what schools we were looking at, what he wanted to do for college and just took stuff from there."
Waisome didn't quite recognize his old friend right away or at least didn't want to accept the change.
"I used to be taller than this man always," Waisome said.
"I just sprouted up," Clinton-Dix added.
Indeed, Clinton-Dix is now 6-2, 190 pounds, while Waisome is pushing 5-10 and 174 pounds. There was a time when Edgewater coach Bill Gierke even wanted Clinton-Dix to play only running back. He's a bit tall for that now.
Clinton-Dix eventually moved also, and his senior season will be his third at Dr. Phillips, where expectations are high, especially after a 5-overtime loss to Apopka in the quarterfinals that ended the Panthers state run last year.
"We just gotta reboot from that," Clinton-Dix said. "We have a chance to take it all the way. Me and Dee (Hart) are going to take on a different leadership role. If you ain't in line out here we'll knock you around."
Of course, he smiled after that. His big smile is engaging. And both players' personalities kind of feed off each other, with Waisome being the more laid-back person.
The pair took in Florida's junior day two weeks ago and it's not inconceivable that they could eventually end up on the same team at the next level.
"You never know until we get signed," Clinton-Dix said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun