The Marco Island Charter Middle School’s first football team will get a chance to see how far they have come when they host Southwest Florida Christian Academy at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Winterberry Park.
“They look good, but it is tough to tell until you start hitting someone other than your own teammates,” head coach Mike Vanderjagt said.
He and assistant coaches Jim Young, Chris Burt and Scott Gibbs worked with the team for a short time before summer break, then got down to business this month.
On paper the team looks explosive. Cody Young will lead the team at quarterback, with Tyler Grisholm and Patrick Michel the running backs. Speedy wide receivers are Tristan Sonthonax and Cole Stratton, with 6-foot-2-inch Trevor Dye at tight end.
Along the line are Bon Deese, Vincent Moller, Cameron Robeau, Andrew Delgado and Omar Rodriguez.
“We have some strong talent on offense, particularly when it comes to Michel,” Vanderjagt said. “He’s a special athlete. He has the ability to break away any time he touches the ball. Even without the ball he helps because the opposition will still have to worry about him.”
The defensive line will be led by Dye and Colin McMullen, along with Dan Pollitt and Pedro Cruz.
Linebackers include Jonathan Criqi, Grisham and Cesar Lora. Defensive backs include Miles Carlisle, Josh Wagner, Michel and Stratton.
“I think our defensive line will put pressure on the ball,” Vanderjagt said. “McMullen and Dye should cause a lot of problems.”
Also ready for action are Tristan Ashby, Jordan Barrett, Collin, Bragenzer, Brian Flynn, Andrew Hurdis, Jacob Olszewski, Nicholas Tramazzo, Cameron Ragan, Max Fremberger and Cameron Olquin.
The Eagles uniforms are black, gray and teal. Vanderjagt would like to see the fans come dressed in black.
Admission is free and there will be a concession stand.
“This is the kind of sport that people can understand and enjoy watching,” he said. “The more the town gets involved the more inspired the team will be. It should be a fun atmosphere.”