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North Pop Warner gets in full swing

September 12, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Pop Warner football program has gotten the really tough part of their season over with, and having survived it they can now go and try to reach the Peace River Conference playoffs.

Of course, it's not a given that anybody will make it, but looking at the Pee-Wee team and Varsity unlimited, both have a great chance, judging by how they have played in the early stages of the season.

The problem was the Red Knights had to start their season with the Fort Myers Lions and Port Charlotte on the road, both of whom are the class of the conference.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers Pop Warner football Pee-Wee Jermaine Bursey runs for a touchdown during a game against North Port on Saturday. The Red Knights won 41-6.


Much of the games scheduled in week one got washed out, but last week wasn't, and the Bandits, a Division 3 team that plays like a Division 1, gave the Knights a beatdown.

The team that seemed to get the worst of it was the junior varsity team. Coach Christopher Reeves saw his team decimated by season-ending injuries to numerous players, dwindling its roster to 16 players, the minimum a team can have without the game being counted as only a scrimmage.

North's third-week opponent, North Port, was no slouch, either, but the Red Knights, again on the road, were able to get great efforts from their Tiny-Mite, Mitey-Mite, Junior Pee-Wee and Pee-Wee teams.

After the Mitey-Mites won their first game of the season, the Junior Pee-Wees played a great game against the Mustangs.

Trailing 12-0 in the fourth quarter, the Red Knights clawed their way back to make it 12-7 midway through the fourth quarter on a short Jayden White touchdown run, and had the ball twice with a chance to win, but North Port held on.

The Junior Pee-Wes have been led by a stingy defense that has kept them in all three games they have played. But the offense hasn't been able to keep up

The Pee-Wee game was a little more one-sided as the Red Knights score early and often on their way to a 41-6 win. Cole Hayes started things off with a long touchdown run. Michael McDonald and Gervaris Leaphart soon followed suit later in the first quarter.

While North Port added a touchdown on a kickoff return later in the first quarter, the Red Knights countered with a long TD run from Jermaine Bursey late in the first quarter and forced a running clock late in the first half on a Kendarius Green score.

Pee-Wee coach Todd Sheridan said following a tough loss to Port Charlotte, it was good to get on the win column.

"We took one on the chin last week, so we refocused our efforts. We came to practice and gave our best and it showed today. I'm very proud of them."

Sheridan said the team was out of shape for the Bandits with all the rain, but the coaches whipped them back into shape with a tough week of practice and had them ready.

The Knights will finally play its home opener on Saturday against Cape Jr. which will start a three-game homestand. Sheridan said the state of the program has never been better, with the coaching stability.

"It's great we have a coaching staff that has stayed together and we don't have that 'daddy ball,'" Sheridan said.



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