High School Insider: Naples assistant Paul Horne honored; Seahawks volleyball soaring early

A longtime pillar of the Naples High football program recently won the top statewide honor an assistant coach can receive.

Offensive coordinator Paul Horne, who has been with coach Bill Kramer since the hall of fame coach took over the program in 1998, was recently named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. Horne received his award before Friday’s win over Miami-Monsignor Pace.

Naples High offensive coordinator Paul Horne, left, receives the FACA Assistant Coach of the Year award prior to Friday night's win over Miami-Monsignor Pace.

“You’re only eligible to win this award once and for years he was too humble to even have an application sent in,” Kramer said. “But the truth is, he could win this award every year. I can speak volumes at not only the kind of coach he is but the kind of man he is. Coach Horne’s first question is always ‘what can I do for you?’ and the last thing on his mind would be ‘what can you do for me?’

Horne said he was thankful to be honored but admitted he’s not involved in coaching for personal accolades.

“This probably means a lot more to everybody else than it does to me,” he said. “To quote the Blues Brothers, 'I’m on a mission from God.' I’m here to serve the best I can and benefit those around me. It’s nice to be recognized but I’d rather go win that game on Friday night.”

Kramer applauded Horne’s everlasting commitment to the Naples High program. He said there have been numerous opportunities over the years for Horne to accept head coaching opportunities, but Horne has remained steadfast in his support of the Golden Eagles. Not only has he excelled as a football coach, but he’s also won the Golden Apple award for his work as a history teacher.

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“He’s a faithful guy, and he’ll tell you he wants to be where God wants him to be and time after time, it’s always come back to Naples,” Kramer said. “Early on, when he found out a few of our players weren’t eating like they should, he started serving meals at his house. He’s also started a newsletter to keep our former players informed about what’s going on in the program. The results on the scoreboard are important because that’s how you keep your job, but they certainly aren’t his first priority.”

Horne said the reason he hasn’t become a head coach somewhere else is pretty simple – he loves where he is and what he’s doing.

“You find that the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else,” he said. “I love being an offensive coordinator and calling plays and if I became a head coach, I might not be as effective or involved as an offensive coordinator due to all the other responsibilities. We’ve got something special here at Naples and it would be hard to get that somewhere else.”

Horne gave plenty of credit to his wife Shannon, who has done much of the heavy lifting at home raising the couple’s five children over the years, especially during football season. His children have grown up around the game and have become so well versed in the nuances of football, they’ve even questioned his play-calling from time to time.

“It’s funny, I’ll have my kids ask me why did we run such and such play in this situation and they’ll tell me what they would have called instead,” Horne joked.

Statewide attention for CSN volleyball

The Community School of Naples volleyball team is young, but what they lack in experience is certainly compensated with a surplus of talent.

Coach Alicia MacIntyre enters her fourth season as coach, and the steady building of the program has the Seahawks dreaming big this season.

“We always set the goal of playing for the state championship, but we’re always realistic with the girls of what type of effort and dedication it takes to get there,” MacIntyre said. “With this group, I truly believe the sky is the limit.”

She isn’t the only one, as Community School is beginning to attract statewide attention. On the strength of a 6-0 start, Community School is ranked ninth among all Florida schools by MaxPreps. That’s pretty impressive for a team with only one senior and one junior on the roster.

“We’re really young, but we’ve got a group that really enjoys playing together,” MacIntyre said. “They’re close off the court, too, and that makes a difference. We’ve got a group of girls that really pulls for each other. It doesn’t matter who is starting or who’s on the bench, everyone roots hard for their teammates.”

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The team’s vocal leader is sophomore co-captain Elly Beshears, an AAU All-American performer who inspires her teammates with fiery play on the court.

“She comes from an extremely competitive family,” MacIntyre said about Beshears, whose brother Jay is a star baseball and basketball player at CSN. “She’s our floor captain, the girl everyone turns to on the court.”

Brielle Bellamy is the team’s lone senior and the other co-captain. Although not as vocal as Beshears, she provides integral leadership off the court.

“She leads the team in practice and outside practice,” MacIntyre said. “She’s the first player I’ve had all four years and she’s been a vital part of the program, buying into what we’re trying to achieve here, and that rubs off on the younger girls. Everybody is really committed to our style of play and Brielle is a big reason why.”

MacIntyre stresses a family atmosphere on the team, and that literally stretches to the coaching staff where her sister Emmi and mother Vicki are assistants with the Seahawks.

“We have a dynamic that kind of bleeds over to the girls,” she said. “They can see that a family may not always see eye to eye on everything, but at the end of the day, you cheer on each other’s successes and support one another.”