The Florida High School Athletic Association suspended Marco Island Academy head football coach Greg Fowler for one game after he was ejected from the academy’s recent game at First Baptist Academy of Naples.
Fowler was ejected just before halftime after receiving two personal foul penalties during the academy’s 42-16 loss to the Naples school.
“He won’t be there on Friday,” first-year athletic director Kelly Monnot said of the academy’s upcoming homecoming game with Southwest Florida Christian. “He has a one-game suspension for being ejected. We just complied with what the FHSAA ruled.”
In addition to Fowler’s ejection, a player from First Baptist academy and the Marco academy were suspended for two weeks. Monnot chose not to appeal either suspension.
“You can appeal,” Monnot said. “It’s a process. It’s time consuming. And the likelihood of getting it changed is very slim. We’re going to deal with the consequences and move on. It was my decision.”
Though disappointed, Fowler is taking the high road.
“This isn’t about me, it’s about the kids,” Fowler said. “I hope they can rally around this somehow and get a win Friday night. If we win out, we still have a chance of making the playoffs. I’m an optimist. I like to think about what we can do.”
As part of his suspension, Fowler is required to obtain a certification.
“I think it was a modeling behavior certification that the state requires,” Monnot said. “It’s state protocol. I think it’s helpful. We’ve had some coaches’ meetings and discussed the program – about moving forward in a positive direction and ending the four games we have left on a positive note. Hopefully this weekend will be the start of it with our homecoming week. The kids are excited.”
Andy Delgado, the academy’s first football coach, is expected to act as the Rays' head coach Friday night.
Southwest Florida Christian is a district opponent with a 3-3 record. The Rays enter the game with a 2-4 mark. Both schools are 1-2 in district play. The top two teams in the district advance to the playoffs.
Rays’ next game
Friday homecoming vs. Southwest Florida Christian, 7 p.m., Winterberry Field