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North boys soccer staying positive

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jan 20, 2021


Although they have yet to kick one into the win column, North Fort Myers High School boys soccer team keeps trying, thanks to a relentlessly positive coach.

Coach Courtney Churchill has tried to accentuate the positive with a team that has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Six players opted out, with two others out of Thursday’s game under COVID protocol, leaving them with 13 players to suit up against Island Coast.

“We just try to keep a positive attitude each game, go out there and try to have fun, learn and progress so we can build upon each game,” Churchill said. “They see they’re being scored on and the last thing they want to see is their coach screaming at them.”

Island Coast can feel their pain. Two years ago, the Gators were in the Red Knights’ shoes, building from the ground up with one scored goal the entire season.

Those kids have grown into a very good team, with an 8-3-2 record, and they showed North how much they have grown by pummeling them in a mercy rule victory.

North played well the first 10 minutes, able to mount an offensive attack, yet still found themselves down 1-0 before the Gators really started to roll. Jim Midy scored again in the 10th minute to make it 2-0, then, after North goalkeeper Nicholas Scalise ran over Midy trying to make a save, Tommy Forrte converted the penalty kick to make it 3-0.

Midy ended up with a hat trick, while Victor De Lima added two more. William Pinto ended the scoring on another penalty kick after Scalise again used his body to stop the ball and an Island Coast striker, earning him his second yellow card and getting sent off.

To North’s credit, the kids here are not quitting the team, though losing does get a little frustrating. They understand they are a young team playing varsity.

“We have JV kids playing varsity, but that’s a situation nearly every team is facing. We live with the circumstances and do our thing,” Churchill said. “The kids are improving every day and making strides as a team and individually.”

Craig Bullock, Island Coast head coach, said he knows what it feels like to be on that end of the stick, having been there a short time ago.

“We’ve tried to change things here and I’m sure they’re trying to do the same thing. We’re on the other side of that now and they are playing hard. They weren’t quitting and I saw some good things from them,” Bullock said. “We gave the kids structure and hold them accountable, which is important.”