‘Football and You: A Primer for your high schools’
This is the first year Lee County has held a meet-and-greet for the upcoming football teams in the districts and it could not have been a bigger success.
Teams wove their way through the Lee County Education Admin building, shaking hands with each other, goofing around, and having the kind of fun you wouldn’t expect out of young men that are about to go rushing into each other at full speed.
“I envy that about these kids, honestly, it was different when I was growing up, you couldn’t breathe the same air as your buddy if he was on the other team. There’s something special about the camraderie that these young men are capable of carrying, both in their own teams and with opposition,” Coach Sam Sirriani, head coach for Fort Myers High School, said.
A lot of these guys, regardless of school, have grown up in and around the Fort Myers region their whole lives, and with school choice, even have nextdoor neighbors going back a decade who play on other teams.
The experience over the three days has been electrifying, both for the teams and for the media. There is so much to learn, going into season, and so much they want to express, be it about football or not.
Here’s a short rundown of our talk with the likeliest schools Beach kids will attend: Bonita Springs High, Cypress Lake, and South Fort Myers.
Coach Rich Dombrowski, Drew Dyer, Joseph Martinez, Xavier Estrada, Owen Cintron
– First Game: Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. vs East Lee County (away game)
How do you convince parents on the Beach to choose your program?
Coach R.D.: We want to come off the field with the only bad comment being we played our best. We’ve got a new school, new facilities, and I want their education to be just as important as their sport choice. The newness is definitely a draw.
What kind of summer were you guys focused on?
Coach R.D: Going into these guys first Senior season we’ve had them working insanely hard all summer, we’re excited to get out there to test ourselves against the rest of the schools. Weather’s been rough for everybody but we’re trying to get out there no matter what.
What are you guys looking forward to the most?
Coach R.D: Competition, obviously, but just to get to knocking around on other teams and test out what we’ve been training for. We want some wins, but we want to focus on playing good football. The best thing someone can say about you is you played your hardest. There’s no shame in that.
Coach Richie Road, Kyrie Savoy, Koby Moore, Tyson Eveq, CJ Shedd, Michael Lenett Jr.
– First Game: Friday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.
Summers over, so what’s on our plate, what are we looking forward to?
Koby Moore: Football. And school. But definitely football.
Coach Richie Road: We want to get back to it, but we’re still practicing and training during the summer. We did beach runs all summer, up and down the bridge, cardio and weights. We wanted our guys to be the best even though it’s incredibly tiring.
So what are the expectations out of this season?
KM: We don’t worry about win losses, it’s one week at a time and we want to do our best.
Coach R.R: We’re optimistic, but we want to do our best. Obviously winning is important, but we’re not worried about it. We’re here to get better.
How long have you guys been playing together?
KM: We’ve been playing for 2 years in school, but most of us have been playing since we were kids.
Coach R.R: The bonds a lot of these guys come in with are already pretty strong, we just honme them to be better.
How do you convince parents on the beach to choose your program?
Coach R.R: We’re not here to make you a good football player only. We want you to be the best person you can be. We’re raising leaders, not football players.
KM: It’s real. They help us to be the best sons, the best siblings, the best men we could possibly be, and there’s nothing more valuable than getting that kind of support from this group.
South Fort Myers:
Coach Willis May, Eddie Walls,
Nate Badeau, Joel Rene, Demarion Johnson, Tzion Hamilton, Quincy Milhomme
– First Game: Friday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
How did our summer go?
Coach W.M: These guys didn’t have a summer. We had scheduled workouts. Monday through Friday in the weight room and rotating on cardio. They worked their butts off to be their best for this year.
Philosophy going into the game?
Coach W.M: I want these guys to have brotherhood. I want accountability. I want them to support each other for the rest of their lives.
TH: The most important thing is he cares about us as people. As men. He has definitely helped us grow as people more than players, but don’t count us out on the field.
DJ: We spend so much time together outside of the game, we’re brothers, we hang out, we go out to eat, we’re here for each other.
So how’s the outlook going into a fresh season?
Coach W.M: Don’t sleep on us. We’re going to play harder this year than anyone would give us credit for. We’re so ready to play that if any of the teams here wanted to practice, we’d suit up right now and step out into the parking lot.
So how do you tell parents your school is the best for them?
Coach W.M: We’re going to have them from Day 1 to graduation. We’re going to give them the best education they could receive, we’re going to make them better men. A better dad, a better husband, a leader. We’re out to make better men.