Dungy gives Charter School’s football program a boost

File Photo
Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL championship, met with members of the Marco Island Charter Middle School coaching staff to help them as they establish the school's football program. Eagles head coach Mike Vanderjagt played under Dungy when he was a recoord-setting NFL field goal kicker.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

File Photo Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL championship, met with members of the Marco Island Charter Middle School coaching staff to help them as they establish the school's football program. Eagles head coach Mike Vanderjagt played under Dungy when he was a recoord-setting NFL field goal kicker.

File Photo
Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL championship, met with members of the Marco Island Charter Middle School coaching staff to help them as they establish the school's football program. Eagles head coach Mike Vanderjagt played under Dungy when he was a recoord-setting NFL field goal kicker.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

File Photo Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL championship, met with members of the Marco Island Charter Middle School coaching staff to help them as they establish the school's football program. Eagles head coach Mike Vanderjagt played under Dungy when he was a recoord-setting NFL field goal kicker.

Marco Island Charter Middle School football coaches are on a high after spending time with former NFL championship coach Tony Dungy.

They met with Dungy last week in Tampa Bay for 2 1/2 hours.

Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to a championship in 2007 and was a key factor in Tampa Bay winning its championship in 2002, although he had left the team the year before.

“It was great for all of us,” said Charter head coach Mike Vanderjagt who was a record-setting field goal kicker for Dungy while with the Colts.

“We learned a lot from Tony,” Vanderjagt said. “He’s a great man who didn’t have to do that and he took time out of his schedule to help the MICMS football program get headed in the right direction. Anyone who’s associated with the football team, the school, or the island for that matter, should be pretty excited about what took place.”

Assistant coaches Chris Burt, Scott Gibbs and Jim Young were also at the meeting.

Gibbs, who is the Eagles defensive coordinator, said, “He (Dungy) is a very classy individual. It was like talking to an old friend, we all felt very comfortable.”

The conversation centered on the Tampa 2 defense that Dungy created while head coach with the Buccaneers and took it successfully to the Colts.

“Tony is known as a defensive genius,” Gibbs said. “He went over key parts of the defense and it was very enlightening. We will be using his defense.”

Dungy talked about the importance of making sure that everyone knew their roles.

“His philosophy on defense was to keep it simple,” Gibbs said. “It’s a bend, but don’t break philosophy. Keep the defense simple and perfect it.”

Burt, the offensive line coach, said they discussed coaching techniques and philosophies.

What he took away from the meeting was, “keep everything simple. Practice a few different schemes and be proficient at those schemes. Get really good at a few and keep the repetitions up in practice. Just do what you do really well.”

Vanderjagt said he got insights on how to run a practice.

“My intention is to run the team as much like Tony did as I can,” he said.

Vanderjagt said there wasn’t much time spent on offensive strategies.

“I think I have a good mind for that, as well as Jim Young,” he said.

Burt said the players will learn that how they practice will be how they play in a game.

“I don’t know a whole lot about the competition, but we have some good talent and some good size. We will be well conditioned, disciplined and a tough team, I guarantee that,” he said.

Coaches will work with their players three times a week until summer break.

“We want to have implemented our system by then so that they will have something to think about over the summer,” Gibbs said.

The football season will begin in August with the first game against Southwest Florida Christian Academy at Winterberry Park on Sept. 1.

On Sept. 8 the Eagles travel to Evangelical Christian in Fort Myers. On Sept. 15 they again are on the road at Southwest Florida Christian Academy in Fort Myers. They are at home on Sept. 22, hosting Evangelical Christian, then host La Belle on Oct. 13. The Eagles will finish with a road trip to Belen Jesuit Academy, Miami. All games will be at 6 p.m.

Roger Raymond, athletic director, said the Eagles may add two more games.

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Comments » 11

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Having a football schedule such as shown above can someone explain to us if this is going to be a public school using public tax dollars or is going to be a school that should be supported by the Archdiocese of Miami? What is going on here?

freedomofspeech1 writes:

WOW! What a great schedule! Play a parochial school schedule....with the exception of Labelle....they travel to Ft Myers twice and Miami...now tell me the truth...if you have a boy that is serious about football would you waste his time playing against this competition and only get 5 games??? There is a choice! send your kids to the REAL schools! THIS IS A JOKE!

Wildcat writes:

Which of the "REAL" middle schools have a football team? Apparently, just La Belle. So "if you have a boy that is serious about football" you can drive him to La Belle every day. Or you can take him to the highest rated school in the county, the CHARTER school on li'l old Marco Island.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

in response to Wildcat:

Which of the "REAL" middle schools have a football team? Apparently, just La Belle. So "if you have a boy that is serious about football" you can drive him to La Belle every day. Or you can take him to the highest rated school in the county, the CHARTER school on li'l old Marco Island.

No one cares about Middle School football! That too will be a joke! There is no place for football at the Middle School level. If you want to play then join the Optomist or any of the area teams for that age group. Everyone knows this is a facade for the High School program. They are banking on getting the kids to "buy" into the Vandy program in hopes they will go to the bogus high school. Anyone with half a brain will see through this. Lets face it....do you want to play against a bunch of no name loser schools or against Naples,Lely,Barron,Palmetto,Gulf Coast, Immokalee....this school with 50 kids will NEVER play against the local teams...they will always be playing school far away that are equal to "ST MARYS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND"!

seacolony6 writes:

in response to freedomofspeech1:

WOW! What a great schedule! Play a parochial school schedule....with the exception of Labelle....they travel to Ft Myers twice and Miami...now tell me the truth...if you have a boy that is serious about football would you waste his time playing against this competition and only get 5 games??? There is a choice! send your kids to the REAL schools! THIS IS A JOKE!

In fact, you are the constant joke of the Island and a serious reminder of why these blogs should all be read with a grain of salt. It is somewhat comforting to know that any post re. the Academy by you will be negative. You are nothing but consistent. Please seek help before you hurt yourself!

blogsmog writes:

I like Gibbs as a coach, he'll get 'er done.

islandlover11 writes:

Charter school football is just another way to split the people on this island and if coach Vander wanted to make this a true team for the school then his son should play at the school and not up at the Gators. He would not cut kids who go out for the team thus not allowing the other and first football program on the island to have enough kids to field a team. If you think this is about the school you need to check who is coaching, one was the person who help start the MI Eagles football program and left another was a coach for the MI Eagles and him and his son went off the island to another team in Naples where is son still plays. Both of these men had a chance to come back to the island and be involved in the football program that existed but when the first did not get what he wanted for coaching the group started a new team to destroy another program and they say it is so the kids can wear the game jersey at school. If you want to start a new team on this island for any sport and it come at a cost to another programs or the children you SUCK.

RayPray writes:

While many authorities believe football results in serious permanent injuries to vulnerable young brains--

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

--isn't it great that the Grand Poo-Bahs at this school chose to ignore such disturbing evidence and get this show on the road.

There's no denying that football is America's favorite sport!

Can we ever forget how it was the inculcation in our young gladiators of hard-charging gridiron values that enabled our nation to triumph in the wars against Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan!

Also not to be overlooked is the value of these bruising athletic contests have in enabling our porky middle-aged coaches and parents vicarious to live out their mono-dimensioned sports fantasies through the cuts and aches of their kids.

And really, in the end, who can be sure that a bit of brain damage will in any way hinder our Collier boys in pursuing their likely future careers as, say, pool boys, lawn guys, or even Realtors?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Ray,

The mind set of these parents who send 13 and 14 year olds out for football will not be swayed by what anyone has to say. Too many of these parents already have their beer soaked minds made up and really don't care what effects this, all too dangerous, contact sport has on their kids. It is like those people who have smoked for the last 30 years even though the information regarding cancer was available to them.

RayPray writes:

in response to Ocram:

Ray,

The mind set of these parents who send 13 and 14 year olds out for football will not be swayed by what anyone has to say. Too many of these parents already have their beer soaked minds made up and really don't care what effects this, all too dangerous, contact sport has on their kids. It is like those people who have smoked for the last 30 years even though the information regarding cancer was available to them.

I think sports is okay -- up to a point -- the point where self-advertized 'coaches' and parents start to make fools of themselves from the sidelines.

While you can get injured as a byproduct in any sport, football seems especially evil in that harming the opponent is the main goal.

The only sport worse than football seems to be rugby, but that is a rara avis hereabouts.

I've been to rugby matches in Lee County where the sidelines are decorated by team members on crutches.

Former British PM Gordon Browne, though ostensibly a socialist and paladin of the working class -- had the misfortune of attending an elite 'public' school in Scotland. There, at the age of 16, he suffered a serious rugby injury that left him by now fully blind in one eye and legally blind in the other.

Still, I guess this particular game really made a man out of him....

lauralbi1 writes:

The program has NOTHING to do with the Middle School. Right now it is a pawn in the MIA's tactics to gain enrollment for the Charter High School. An excuse for parents that want their kids to play High School Football to not go to Lely.
Let's not forget that the Coach was hired by MIA. We have not seen anything about the Coach being hired or paid by the Middle School. He is "on loan" or a "tool" right now. Everything you read and what is developing is geared for the future of MIA, which is looking bleak as far as enrollment right now
Ed Issler

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