With practices transitioning from summer workouts to regular season practices, Naples High School comes into the 2017 season with a young but experienced roster.
With the number of underclassmen outweighing the number of seniors on the Golden Eagles’ roster, senior quarterback Jordan Persad-Tirone wants to set the bar high on and off the field for the underclassmen.
“I gotta lead by example,” Persad-Tirone said. “If I’m hurting, if something’s wrong, if I’m not having a good day or I’m having family issues stuff like that, I have to push it to the side and be able to have high energy and lead the guys no matter what the situation is.”
Despite combining for 31 touchdowns last season with 15 touchdowns in the air and 16 on the ground, Persad-Tirone has been in a summer long battle with fellow senior quarterback Kyle Kee for the starting spot.
“I think it’s been good for us both,” Persad-Tirone said. “You have to compete for things in life and that’s what we’re doing right now and I think competing has made us better at every rep and every situation.”
While working on getting bigger, stronger and faster during the offseason quarterback competition, Kee mentioned it is something that has motivated him to improve.
“It’s been really close,” Kee said. “It hasn’t been stressful or anything like that, it’s just been us playing our game and doing what we need to do to figure out who Is going to come out on top.”
Regardless of who starts the season at quarterback for the Golden Eagles, head coach Bill Kramer said there’s a lot of work the team has to do before the prepare for a long season.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the next eight days,” Kramer said. “We’re playing Miami Palm Meadow, Miami Edison and Piper Sunrise which are all a few of the top teams from Dade and Broward County. With our schedule, we created a really challenging situation for ourselves.”
Competing in Naples and traveling as far out as Miami, the Golden Eagles will take on Edison, Palmetto, Gulf Coast, Palmetto Ridge, Lely and Piper sunrise at home, while hitting the road to face Immokalee, Golden Gate, South Fort Myers and Barron Collier.
Opening up the season against Miami Edison, a team who made it to the regional finals last season, Kramer said the expectation for the Golden Eagles in 2017 is to become State champions.
“We want to win a state championship,” Kramer said. “This is Naples and that’s the expectation and that’s what we’re going to work towards.”
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