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NFMHS soccer team in rebuilding mode

November 22, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Doug Palow remembers a time when the North Fort Myers High School boys soccer team was known for greatness. He was the coach when the Red Knights had some of their greatest moments on the pitch.

That was more than a decade ago. Palow is back with the hopes of bringing with him some of that magic.

Palow said there is a lot of work to do after losing 10 seniors from last year's team.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers soccer player Julian Montoya tries to get the ball past three defenders during a game against Lemon Bay last week.

As a result, the building team lost their first two games at home to Lemon Bay and Charlotte, both pretty good programs.

"We have a young team and some rebuilding to do. But we have some good additions to the team," Palow said. "We have a good mix of freshmen sophomores and juniors and we'll see how it goes."

Palow said he has a half-dozen kids who play competitively. Among the new stars on his team are Michael Johnson and Luke Drivic, who have achieved an early osmosis, and Garrett Palow, the coach's son.

Luke Robinson is expected to be the anchor of the team with his leadership from the forward/ midfielder position.

Defensively, Jonathan Wurtenberg, Nathan York, Garrett and Drivic will be the forces to protect Michael Barnes and Logan Wolfe, who will split time between the pipes.

"I told the boys that our goal will be to build that foundation to put North High soccer back on the map. We were in the Elite eight (in 2007) and won district championships and we want to get back there."

Danny Agudelo, a senior midfielder, said he has enjoyed the last three years and thinks the Red Knights will sneak up on teams.

"Everyone is really excited, we are all motivated and we hope to keep it that way," Agudelo said.

It will be a tough road, for even though they outshot Lemon Bay and tied them in corner kicks, the Red Knights were beaten soundly.

Johnson made the season start about as well as you can start it for North, as he scored less than one minute into the game.

However, the momentum quickly shifted away.

Blake Dean scored one minute later (the first of his four goals) and would end up cruising to a 5-2 win. Johnson would score again in the second half, but Dean would cash in on a penalty kick.

The following night against Charlotte, it was the same, with the Tarpons jumping out to a 3-0 lead at halftime.

After Johnson got North back in the game early in the second half, the again lost the momentum on a quick goal and were beaten 5-2.



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