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North football opens spring practice

May 2, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

He has been on the job coach for less than two weeks, but North Fort Myers High School's new head football coach Dwayne Mack has already put his stamp on the team.

Gone is the loud hip-hop music that blared on the speakers, mistakes on the field earn push-ups while a lack of hustle means up-downs, perhaps the worst punishment you can give to a player.

And players shouldn't even think about breaking a team rule or getting in trouble at school.

Article Photos

New North Fort Myers High School head football coach Dwayne Mack coaches up a player during spring practice last week.


The players are buying into the system. They are hungry, after an undefeated 2017 season, to do the same thing this year, with many of their top weapons returning.

Mack said he is very pleased by what he has seen so far, especially since the players are well versed with the schemes on both sides of the ball and have energetic, but disciplined athletes.

"The kids have been running this offense for a year. I'm not here trying to change things, just putting tweaks here and there and so far, it's gone pretty well," Mack said. "This is a good group and I'm blessed to have a great offensive and defensive line and backs."

Mack said having played against many of the coaches he now leads, he had a pretty good idea of who they are and what they do. He has developed a respect for them that began long ago when he was an assistant at Ida Baker.

"We see each other a lot in the offseason, and the goal is to make better men out of these kids. As long as we have the same ideas, then we're good," Mack said.

Chris Snedden has worked with the players in the weight room. Red Knight Chris Young has benched 380, there are others squatting 400 and more, and this has turned into one of the strongest teams in school history.

As for concerns that Mack might have problems since he still also teaches at South Fort Myers, those have been dispelled. His classes are in the morning, allowing him to come to North to attend to football business.

On Wednesday, the team had graduated from shorts to upper pads with dummies and bags, with full pads and contact coming by the end of the week. It will all culminate with the spring game, coming at Lely on May 18 at 7 p.m.

Mack said they are trying to decide whether to hold the traditional Red vs. White game.

Some of his best players, including running back Terry Lindsey, were out, as track season winds down. Mack said he hopes to get them back on the field soon.

Mack said he is looking for some depth at a few positions, which he has at running back with Hunter Kobylanski, but it isn't quite the same when you don't have your horses.

But guys like Kobylanski will be counted upon to be team leaders. He said the resignation of former head coach Earnest Graham was a shock, but they understood the reasons.

"I like coach Mack. He's very disciplined. We already have things in place so we don't get in trouble at school. He always looks at our grades and knows what he's doing," Kobylanski said. "We have to give this a chance and see how it goes."

"I like coach Mack. He's determined and on point with everything he does. It was going through the grapevine that Graham was leaving, but I'm ready to be a leader and a voice on this team," said lineman Adolphus Taylor. "We have all our linemen back but one. That's going to be a huge advantage."



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