The Eagles finished their seventh season with a Homecoming Celebration at Winterberry Park. The anticipation was high as the Peewee and Junior Eagles matched up against each other, while the Seniors gave the organization its perfect season in a win over the Naples Seahawks.
Peewee Green Eagles blank Gold Eagles, 12-0
The Green and Gold Eagles found themselves in a dogfight. The Green Eagles offense put together an impressive eight-play drive for its first score. Jay Vanderjagt dropped a perfect pass just beyond a Gold Eagle defender to Evan Meredith for the touchdown. The Gold Eagles got their own nine-play drive going that bridged the first and second quarter, but was stopped by a fumble, recovered by the Green Eagles.
The Green Eagles defense was relentless all day long. The first half ended with the Green Eagles leading 6-0. In the second half both teams mounted drives, but neither could put any points on the board in the third quarter.
In the middle of the fourth, the Gold Eagles were threatening to score, but the Green defense stopped Gold on fourth down. The very next play, Vanderjagt handed off to Nico Santimauro who broke three tackles on his way to a 60-yard touchdown run.
Coach Jim Santimauro said, “It was a great game for us. Our defense was the difference in the game. Any time the Gold started to get it rolling, one of our guys stepped up and made a play. Joshua Wagner had an outstanding game on defense. This team showed why they had the best record in the Peewee Division.”
Junior Gold Eagles roll over Green Eagles, 34-6
The Green Eagles scored first, but missed the extra point. The Gold also scored on their first possession with Cole Cleary scoring from nine yards out. The extra point was kicked by Cody Young, giving Gold an 8-6 lead that it never relinquished.
A Logan Flowers interception led to the Gold scoring on a 20-yard run by Patrick Michel. After a great defensive stand, the Gold Eagles took over on downs at the 50-yard line. Cleary raced 50 yards for his second TD.
Another Flowers interception set up an other score. Cleary ran 44 yards to the one-yard line where Michel scored. The Gold got the ball to start the second half and Michel scored on a 45-yard jaunt. The extra point was good.
Coach Jim Young said, “It was a great season to go undefeated with only one tie. All of the players played great and I want to thank everyone for making it a great year.”
Senior Eagles overwhelm Naples Seahawks, 36-12
The Senior Eagles headed into the game with a perfect 7-0 record. On the first play of the game, Dieuvenel Tanis ran back the kickoff 70 yards for the score. Tanis added the extra points. On the Eagles first defensive series, there was a bad snap by the Seahawks, allowing the Eagles good field position. A strong rush by Jeff Leonia and Sean Hurley resulted in another touchdown by the Eagles. Again, Tanis kicked the extra point. After a great defensive stand, led by Robert Thompson, Tanis, Sean McMullen, Scott Endres, and Dan Paul, the Eagles took control of the ball. After strong runs by Jared Jackson and Wendell Joseph, with strong blocking by Steven Schneider, Trevor Dye, Adam Hurdis, Kurt Endres, Juslin Baptist, and Jeff Leonia, quarterback Greg Trzyna found Tanis open for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagles gave up two scores, but Tanis ran back another kickoff for a touchdown.
The second half was a defensive battle, led by Mack Bornebus, for the Eagles. The only offensive highlight was a 30-yard touchdown pass to Williamson George. The end of the game was marked by the players dousing their coaches. Head coach Steve Schneider and assistants Frank Rose and Joe Gallegos all received very cold showers.
“This team made history today by being the Eagles first undefeated team,” Coach Schneider said.
“We played great all year and worked hard to get here. Most of these boys move on to high school next year and I expect great things from them. Special thanks to all the parents. It takes a huge commitment from the boys and their families to practice and be ready for game time.”
He also thanked Scott and Sandy Hurley. “Scott was our “bus driver” and Sandy made sure everyone had the information needed to make this season a success,” he said. “I also want thank my wife, Laura, for all her support and understanding. She has supported me in this coaching endeavor for the past 15 years. I will be moving on to other things, but I will never forget this season or these players.”
As part of the homecoming celebration prior to the start of the Senior game, Brian Milk, Marco Island Parks & Recreation director, was presented with the Leadership Award by Greg West, president of the Eagles Football program. At the reopening, the crowd was addressed by Milk, Greg West, Judy Mayo, wife of late football coaching icon Joe Mayo and their daughters, Bill Shurina of the Marco Senior Softball League, Andy Delgado, Cal Ripken Baseball president and City Councilman Frank Recker. He also threw out a ceremonial first pitch at the new ball field.
The Senior pregame event completed with a 3-on-3 soccer exhibition, featuring the Flaming Geckos and Sandheels of the Marco Island Soccer Club, in preparation for the Optimist 3v3 Soccer Camp that started this week.
Greg West, President of the Eagles Football program, said, “I am extremely proud of all the kids in the program. They did a phenomenal job. We would like to thank everyone that made this season possible; the players, parents, coaches, referees and volunteers. It takes a lot of time and commitment by all to have as successful season as we did. Special thanks to Brian Milk and his Parks & Recreation team for spearheading the improvements to our football field. Also, Diane Trzyna and the concession crew that provided great food for all of our home games.”
Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Optimist basketball season, starting in January. Visit MarcoOptimistClub.org for details.