School gives OK for Charter football

Colin McMullen speeds down field after taking handoff from coach Chris Burt during Charter School football tryouts.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Colin McMullen speeds down field after taking handoff from coach Chris Burt during Charter School football tryouts.

staff, rjlalonde@marcoeagle.com

Marco Island Charter Middle School is officially having a football program.

The Charter School Board approved moving forward after athletic director Roger Raymond discussed the program at its meeting on Monday night.

Principal George Abounader did not back the startup immediately.

“When moving through unchartered waters, there is always some trepidation, but we had such a demonstration of interest from our students and parents for football that we felt it was worth a try,” he said.

However, he said being a student comes first.

“Our students who play sports understand that they are student athletes and their studies comes first,” he said. “A student-athlete can not become ineligible to study, due to being unsuccessful in football, but can become ineligible for football because of being unsuccessful in their studies.”

Raymond’s ball park figure for the school having its first football team is $10,000 to $12,000. The numbers include football equipment, such as blocking dummies, players’ equipment needs, like uniforms and helmets, traveling and referees.

“It won’t be all whistles and bells, we’ll be watching costs,” he said.

Each player, expected to be around 30 players, will pay a participation fee of $150, like other Charter sports programs.

“Usually participation fees cover at least 60 percent of the costs,” Raymond said. “The rest comes from donations and concession sales.”

There will be no admission charge for the games.

The head coach is Mike Vanderjagt, former NFL record field goal kicker. Tryouts this week were Tuesday and Thursday. The next practice is 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“We are extremely happy with the level of talent and turnout,” Vanderjagt said. “This will be a good football team and we will win football games.”

His assistants are Chris Burt, offensive line, Scott Gibbs, defensive backs, Jim Young, offensive backs, and Lee Vanderjagt, strength and conditioning.

“My brother Lee Vanderjagt is a certified personal trainer and is one of the general managers at Retro Fitness in Naples,” Mike Vanderjagt said. “The YMCA is giving the team a few hours a week for weight training.”

Vanderjagt and his coaches will be traveling to Orlando on Monday to have a “chalk talk” session with Tony Dungey, former Indianapolis coach when Vanderjagt played for the Colts.

The team’s first game will be hosting Southwest Florida Christian on Sept. 1. Raymond feels sure of six games, but expects there will be eight. Other known opponents are Belen Jesuit, Evangelical Christian and La Belle.

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Comments » 15

RayPray writes:

Wow!

Sure glad the uber-IQ school staff has chosen not to worry about silly stuff like brain damage to susceptible young kids and get this sacred all-American game moving!!!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011...

Porked-up 'coaches' are sure going to savor the opportunity to stumble around the field, growling and barking at their eager young charges what it takes to be a real he-man man on Marco!

DUH!!!!!!!!!!!

lauralbi1 writes:

What is even more interesting is that for the first time in it's history, the Charter Middle School had to draw from it's reserve fund and fire teachers in order to make budget. This is the first time that reserves went down instead of up and they have enough money to spend for Football ??
I see this as a Marco Island Charter High School Master Plan to try to boost enrollment for what currently is a paltry 40 students for next years curriculum.
And if it isn't, somebody tell us why the already successful Middle School is taking on a money losing, dangerous sport when it does not have to !!!
Ed Issler

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Who pays for the insurance? Parents can not sign waivers of liability that will hold up in court if their injured child decides to sue?

This is a very poor idea for kids in this stage of physical development.

The Island Attys. will love this one.

islandlover11 writes:

Well driving to Ft. Myers and Miami to play games on Thursday night should be good for the kids. Why is it that one school has the JV and Middle school both listed as MICMS. Will the MICMS team and the Acadamy team be the same since they have the same coach? Who is protecting the younger smallest kids that play from the biggest older kids?

blogsmog writes:

I knew there was a good reason why I'm pulling for this school to succeed...Ed Issler is against it..

RayPray writes:

in response to Ocram:

Who pays for the insurance? Parents can not sign waivers of liability that will hold up in court if their injured child decides to sue?

This is a very poor idea for kids in this stage of physical development.

The Island Attys. will love this one.

Perhaps this problem can be solved by guaranteeing any kid suffering permanent brain damage a job as officer with our Marco Keystone Kops?

freedomofspeech1 writes:

The middle school dips into reserves to meet its budget....the board approves of a program that will cost in excess of 10K....what is wrong with this picture??? This is clearly an attempt to attract students to the failing charter high school. The principal of the middle school and the board needs to have their heads examined!
30 kids in a school that will only have 40 students sounds like a bad situation. Any child that gets bamboozled into attending this high school and wasting their years playing for a 3rd tier program will need thier heads examined

mmpj writes:

It's called.......CHOICE......Either you choose to send your kid to MICMS/MIAcademy ....or... you don't......why does everyone care what people choose for their own families? The big debate, seems to me, isn't scholastic, it's athletic...MICMS has been very successful in their current, (and past), athletic programs, thus far. Why should they fail now? $150.00 for each kid(?) (which is 60%,) and the rest comes from donations and concession sales?? For participation in organized football? What's the big deal?? Let them have a go at it...Everything has to start somewhere. I know when you go to a high school game or a Pop Warner game in Collier County, there is a spectator charge..It does mention above that admission will be free..Maybe some of us will be able to support our teams without having to travel very far from home.....

islandlover11 writes:

mmpj did you know there was already organized football on the island and has been for many years. Did you ever go to any of thise games? Will you be driving to Ft. Myers or Miami to watch this new team? The folks that started this football team did not get their way with the football team that was existing on the island and after moving off island for a season they come back and decide to start a new team to destroy the Eagles football program for the gain of the parent not the children. MICMS has done well with the sports they offer but it has not been at the cost of another program on the island until now. Will the MICMS team also be the MIA team, if you look at the schools they show they will play a couple of them have the same team listed for the middle school and the high school, does any one think it is ok to have a 7th grader playing against high school kids?

Ruger writes:

in response to mmpj:

It's called.......CHOICE......Either you choose to send your kid to MICMS/MIAcademy ....or... you don't......why does everyone care what people choose for their own families? The big debate, seems to me, isn't scholastic, it's athletic...MICMS has been very successful in their current, (and past), athletic programs, thus far. Why should they fail now? $150.00 for each kid(?) (which is 60%,) and the rest comes from donations and concession sales?? For participation in organized football? What's the big deal?? Let them have a go at it...Everything has to start somewhere. I know when you go to a high school game or a Pop Warner game in Collier County, there is a spectator charge..It does mention above that admission will be free..Maybe some of us will be able to support our teams without having to travel very far from home.....

Good points, I don't know why people on this site hate football. My boy is in eighth grade this this year at MICMS and played football last fall with the Optimist Club. I wish they would have done this sooner.

lauralbi1 writes:

The big difference to those of you that talk about choice and the greatness of this program is that the Middle School runs partially on donations and fund raising. The Public supports the running of this scholl, not by taxes only.
Now, while I have donated in the past, I will "choose" not to support a school that chooses to take on a sport that takes money away from education.
Ed Issler

RayPray writes:

Psychologists understand that different from other sports, football is designed as a notoriously 'gay' activity.

See here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art...

Most adults involved in this 'sport' are there because of either overt or latent homosexual cravings for young boys.

Big surprise then that, Optimist or Pessimist, all these soft-around-the-middle he-men 'coaches' need to validate what flickering sense of manhood they have left by strutting across the field and barking hollow authority at these unsuspecting & vulnerable young boys?

Just study the photos....

Ruger writes:

in response to RayPray:

Psychologists understand that different from other sports, football is designed as a notoriously 'gay' activity.

See here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art...

Most adults involved in this 'sport' are there because of either overt or latent homosexual cravings for young boys.

Big surprise then that, Optimist or Pessimist, all these soft-around-the-middle he-men 'coaches' need to validate what flickering sense of manhood they have left by strutting across the field and barking hollow authority at these unsuspecting & vulnerable young boys?

Just study the photos....

OH NOES! the football game is making our kids gay!!

Dude, get a life.

Ruger writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

The big difference to those of you that talk about choice and the greatness of this program is that the Middle School runs partially on donations and fund raising. The Public supports the running of this scholl, not by taxes only.
Now, while I have donated in the past, I will "choose" not to support a school that chooses to take on a sport that takes money away from education.
Ed Issler

So in the past you were OK with Boys Basketball, Girls basket ball, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Lacrosse and Soccer.

But, now you have a problem with Football (America's favorite sport) being added?

freedomofspeech1 writes:

in response to mmpj:

It's called.......CHOICE......Either you choose to send your kid to MICMS/MIAcademy ....or... you don't......why does everyone care what people choose for their own families? The big debate, seems to me, isn't scholastic, it's athletic...MICMS has been very successful in their current, (and past), athletic programs, thus far. Why should they fail now? $150.00 for each kid(?) (which is 60%,) and the rest comes from donations and concession sales?? For participation in organized football? What's the big deal?? Let them have a go at it...Everything has to start somewhere. I know when you go to a high school game or a Pop Warner game in Collier County, there is a spectator charge..It does mention above that admission will be free..Maybe some of us will be able to support our teams without having to travel very far from home.....

If you think you will be able to participate without travelling far you are wrong...this team will travel MUCH further than the Optomist and will play vs much more organized programs with larger numbers...this will result in a negative experience all around. Its OK to not have EVERYTHING on Marco...there are BETTER options for literally ALL sports OFF THE ISLAND!

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