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Ida Baker tops LaBelle, 12-0, in spring football contest

May 17, 2019
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It was a good first step.

The Ida Baker Bulldogs wrapped up spring football practice with a 12-0 victory against LaBelle Thursday night.

It was a good first step for a football program under a new coach, Chuck Faucette, who took over the Bulldogs this spring.

Article Photos

Ida Baker’s Nick Carter (9), who will be a senior in the fall, celebrates his 40-yard touchdown reception with teammates Isaac Chinthachanma (2) and Brayan Aguirre (10) during the Bulldogs’ spring game against LaBelle Thursday night. To view more photos from the game, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page.

"Good first step," Faucette said. "We've got a long, long, long way to go. I'm very, very pleased that in the two and half weeks that I've been here, we've been able to do a lot.

"Establish a culture is the first step. It's been rough here for a while."

Faucette, who won a private school state title in football-mad Texas, replaced Todd Nichols after a 1-9 campaign in 2018.

He's also coached high school football in Missouri, and has been an assistant at the college and pro levels as well.

Now Faucette is the third coach in Ida Baker history, following Nichols and program founder Brian Conn.

"It takes us into the offseason," Faucette said. "I really stressed to our coaching staff that we really needed this success going into the summer.

"I'm really pleased with the direction in which we're going.

You could say the final score was 15-0, but it was decided ahead of time that points scored in the third quarter would not count as younger players took the field.

The net result of that was that Joseph Nappoli's 37-yard field goal in the third, one of three field goals he made during the game, didn't officially happen.

And, of course, nothing really happened on an official level anyway.

The games that count start in August.

LaBelle also had a new coach, Matt Davidson, who got the job when Chris Siner decided to concentrate on his role as athletic director.

In Siner's final season with the Cowboys, LaBelle was 8-4 including two rounds of postseason play in Class 4A.

"They were a playoff team last year," Faucette said. "So we needed that for confidence, that these guys could believe."

Not that Faucette didn't have his frustrations, especially with his offense, on Thursday. Despite multiple trips deep into Cowboys' territory, the Bulldogs only came away with a touchdown and two (or three, depending on how you look at it) field goals.

The touchdown came in the first quarter. On third and long, quarterback Eric Swanson hooked up with Nick Carter on a 40-yard TD.

An errant snap on the extra-point attempt left the Bulldogs leading 6-0.

Nappoli officially recorded field goals of 28 yards in the second quarter and 40 in the fourth. The latter wasn't pretty, but went through for three points.

One of Nappoli's field goals came after Ida Baker had first and goal on the 1. A bad snap and a penalty pushed the Bulldogs back, and Nappoli came in for the kick.

Defensively, Ida Baker did give up some yards but made the big plays. Three fumble recoveries and two interceptions kept LaBelle off the scoreboard.

If there was truly a sore point, it was the 130 yards in penalties the Bulldogs racked up.

"We're a very, very, very young football team. I mean, we're very young. We're getting them to buy in early.

"They have to believe. I can talk to them until I'm blue in the face, but if they don't believe in what we're trying to do it doesn't work. But they are (buying in). From the first day I stepped on campus, they've been great. These are great kids.

"I think we're going have a little bit of success."



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