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Wolfpack stars return for another playoff run

August 28, 2010
By RYAN RYLES, Special to the Breeze

When South Fort Myers High School opened, many in the region figured having one of the top football programs in the area was only a matter of time.

Fast forward six years and that prophecy is coming true.

In 2009, the Wolfpack (9-2) was widely considered one of the favorites to make a deep run in the Class 3A playoffs. A surprise upset loss to Lehigh prematurely derailed those plans, and left a sour taste in their mouths.

That loss was a valuable learning lesson for coach Grant Redhead and the players, who were favored to beat Lehigh by double digits in that regional quarterfinal contest.

"The team realizes that we have to prepare for every game," said Redhead. "Even with the teams who haven't won (a lot) in the recent past, you can't let your kids take those teams lightly. You have to keep your focus on each game as it comes."

The bottom line is no matter how it looks on paper, no matter what the pundits say, anybody in the state can beat you if you don't prepare. You can't have any letdowns.

Wolfpack fans have good reasons to expect a much deeper playoff run this season. The best offense in the region should only be better with the return of quarterback Dallas Crawford (25 TDs, 8 INTs), who led the region in passing yards last year and the return of his favorite target, Sammy Watkins, who caught 14 of those TD passes. Watkins averaged more than 108 yards a game last season.

If South has any noticeable weakness, it's on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in the interior lines where it is forced to utilize players on both sides of the ball.

The Wolfpack should get stronger line play this year with the return of Luke Smith as that unit's leader. Defensive end D.J. Fabor and linebacker Anthony Debonis return as team leaders with another year of experience under their belts.

Despite the return of so much high-powered talent, Redhead refuses to see things the way fans are sure to see it.

"I don't have any extra expectations on this year's team compared to last year's or other years," Redhead said. "I'm not going to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. I won't let the kids read any of the press clippings and let any of that get into their heads.

"This year is going to be no different than any other as any of that is concerned. I'm placing no higher expectations on them because of last year."

The Wolfpack begin their quest for a return to the district championship hunt and regional playoffs on Sept. 3 when they visit Estero.

Evangelical Christian School Sentinels

2010 Schedule

Sept 3 - at Bishop Verot

Sept. 10 - vs. LaBelle

Sept. 24 - vs. Moore Haven-x

Oct. 1 - vs. First Baptist Academy

Oct. 8 - vs. Out-of-Door Academy-x

Oct. 15 - at SWF Christian-x

Oct. 21 - at Community School of Naples

Oct. 22 - at St. Stephen's Episcopal-x

Oct. 29 - vs. Bradenton Christian-x

Nov. 5 - at St. John Neumann-x

Nov. 12 - at Gateway Charter


Head Coach: Brian Lynch, eighth year (41-34).

Assistants: Josh Balanger (def. coord.), Tyler Gold (off. line), Ron Lillard (LB), Jeremy Drake (DB), Britt Foshe (WR)

Team Colors: Red & white

Stadium: 8237 Beacon Boulevard SE, Fort Myers

Class/District: 1B-6

Playoff History: 2001 - ECS 30, Evangel Christian 6; ECS 52, Keswick Christian 21; Fort Meade 36, ECS 8. 2002 - ECS 20, Admiral Farragut 9; Fort Meade 13, ECS 8. 2003 - ECS 17, Tampa Berkeley Prep 10; Fort Meade 49, ECS 14. 2004 - ECS 28, St. Pete Northside Christian 9; Fort Meade 27, ECS 6. 2005 - Fort Meade 21, ECS 14. 2009 - ECS 38, Lakeland Victory Christian 31; Out-of-Door Academy 32, ECS 18.

2009 Results

Record: 9-3

Home: 5-0 Away: 4-3 District: 5-1

ECS 28, Bishop Verot 24

ECS 34, LaBelle 20

ECS 63, Moore Haven 6

ECS 66, Gateway Charter 0

Out-of-Door Academy 39, ECS 28

ECS 53, Southwest Florida Christian 7

ECS 48, St. Stepehn's Episcopal 14

ECS 28, Bradenton Christian 7

ECS 43, St. John Neumann 35

Ft. Laud. Calvary Christian 49, ECS 46

District Runnerup


ECS 38, Lakeland Victory Christian 31

Out-of-Door Acad. 32, ECS 18



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