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Lifting spirits and ‘planting the seeds ...’
May 19, 2020

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While COVID-19 procedures have restricted high school athletic programs from gathering, it remains crucial to build the culture of a program and continue to set goals for athletes despite not being able to practice in a group setting or play competitive games.

That's exactly the message Cape Coral High School football head coach Dale More and his coaching staff sent to players last Friday when they caravanned around the city, presenting players with new gear for the upcoming season and a staked a school pride sign in their front yard.

"This is a day to celebrate our kids," More said. "It's hard to get together. We've been doing a lot of talk (virtually) and we just wanted to get out here and get excited for the season, whenever that comes.

"We're obviously sympathetic of this whole situation and all those impacted by it, but our kids are going through stuff, too. A lot of the kids I talk to are really depressed, and some of them had started to give up a little bit, so we're trying to use football as a tool to get them excited again -- get them excited about anything, about life."

More, along with eight of his coaches and a few other supporters, pulled out of Cape Coral High School at 10 a.m. to visit every player on his roster to deliver their sign and draw string Seahawks bag with new threads inside.

The line of cars would come down the street, horns blaring as they approached the house. One of the coaches would plant the sign in the yard while More would drop the bag and step back. The player, thanks to all of the ruckus, would then come out and see all of his coaches there in support.

More would then ask each player how they were doing, asking about grades and keeping up with their online Zoom workouts.

Each sign also had a different inspirational word on them that will have a deeper meaning in the future, More said.

"We're planting the seeds for the upcoming season," More said.

Each house they went to produced more smiles and the student-athletes were usually joined by their family outside.

More takes his role of molding these young men seriously, and is doing all he can to continue to check up on his players during a difficult time in the world. He wanted to give the kids something special to remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that football will eventually be back and that a coaching staff is invested in their future.

"In the last two to three weeks, I've called every one of our kids twice, if not more," More said. "I'm trying to motivate them to do what they need to do with their classes, because like I said, a lot of the kids are throwing their hands in the air and are depressed. I'm hoping today will springboard some hope for these kids. As a coach, you've just got to keep chopping and find ways to think outside the box."

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

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