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Gateway football laying building blocks for future success

LEE COUNTY, Fla.– Building a high school football team from the ground up is no easy task.

“When we took over this program I think we had three kids that had ever played a snap of football before,” said Cullen O’Brien, the first head coach in the history of Lee County’s newest school, Gateway High School. 

As daunting as it seems, O’Brien and his Eagles have embraced the challenge.

“It’s awesome to just put your stamp on something and just be a part of building a program from the ground up,” said O’Brien. 

For now, with their school and football stadium just off SR 82 under construction, the Eagles participate in the program’s first ever Spring season while playing on the backfields at Lehigh Senior High School. 

“We make it home for now, that way we can play our best,” said freshman linebacker Cody Smirnov. 

When the 2021 season begins at the end of July, the Eagles will have their own brand new stadium to call home. 

“To be pioneers, if you want to call it, it’s a good feeling to be some of the first to do this,” said Freshman quarterback Jasiahs Khan. 

Jumping from a freshman team schedule to a varsity one won’t be easy. Most of the Eagles’ roster is currently made up of Freshman that will be sophomores in the Fall. 

“They haven’t shied away from that opportunity. In fact, they’re chomping at the bit for it,” said O’Brien. 

That first opportunity for Gateway, however, will come later this month during the Eagles’ Spring game against SFCA which will be the program’s first taste of varsity football. 

The post Gateway football laying building blocks for future success appeared first on NBC2 News.

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