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Who Is This SW FL Team? Naples Lely


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This team came out of nowhere and shocked the world one year.  A team that struggled to have a .500 season and had never won a playoff game got a new coach, and 3 years later went on the road and stunned a state powerhouse and had another upset win in the second round.  

Who was that team?

Who was their coach?

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18 hours ago, Hwy17 said:

Estero in 1998. Coach was Joe Hampton. Beat #1 ranked Lakeland but lost to Osceola in the finals.

 

 

5 hours ago, Wavebb said:

And won 3 playoff games by one point

It is not Estero.  Please reread the background information above.  Joe Hampton took over the Estero program in 1988 and won his first playoff game 10 years later, not 3 years. 

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3 hours ago, Wavebb said:

I thought Hwy17 got it.  This is just a guess so I will say Lely in '87?  Beat Glades Central and Cocoa with Merv Ward being the HC. 

Merv Ward was a coaching legend in Southwest Florida.  He coached the Naples Lely Trojans for 11 full seasons and parts of two more from 1985-2002, winning 4 district titles.  He arrived as an assistant from Michigan in 1984, and three years later, he'd taken a mediocre Lely program to the area's first state title game.   

In 1987, he led a senior-laden Trojans team to the Class 3A championship game, earning the berth with upset wins over powerhouses Glades Central(26-20 in 2OT in the Muck) and Cocoa High(7-6).  Lely fell at home to Live Oak-Suwannee, 35-7, but it served as the model for coaches struggling to find success across the region.  'A native of East Palestine, Ohio, Ward played fullback and nose guard at Bowling Green and often drew comparisons to one of his idols, Ohio State legend Woody Hayes.  Ward passed away in 2008.

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On 7/9/2020 at 6:12 PM, OldSchoolLion said:

This team came out of nowhere and shocked the world one year.  A team that struggled to have a .500 season and had never won a playoff game got a new coach, and 3 years later went on the road and stunned a state powerhouse and had another upset win in the second round.  

Who was that team?

Who was their coach?

So did I finally get one right Old School Lion?

 

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3 hours ago, Wavebb said:

Hey I needed that Old School Lion.  lol.  My recent batting average would have sent me from the Big Leagues to Little League.  Lee County has a monster rb at Lehigh High.  Remember the name:  Richard Young.     

Speaking of Young some video below. Not sure of the competition but he has a lot of speed for sure:

 

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