Familiarity Breeds Respect Between Coaches
Patriots Ready for 'Amazing Atmosphere'
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Tonight’s historic North Carolina-Florida football matchup at the John Williams Athletic Complex between Pinecrest and Barron Collier arose out of the close friendship between the two coaches.
When Patriot coach Chris Metzger was the coach at Lely High School in Naples, Fla., in 2004, his first opponent was Cypress Lake led by Mark Ivey.
At about the same time Metzger took the job at Pinecrest in 2007, Ivey moved to Barron Collier, a crosstown rival of Lely, where he has compiled a record of 31-14.
“He and I really became close friends working camps together,” the former Appalachian State player and native of Martinsville, Va., said while taking his first steps on the turf at the John Williams Athletic Complex late Thursday morning. “I think what he and I enjoyed the most about each other was that we were both trying very hard to get the same values through to our kids.
“Chris is a very intense and detail-oriented guy and I like to think I’m similar to that. I think because we have similar personalities as far as that is why we’ve had so much fun at the camps. We almost compete with each other in that way.”
Three years ago both coaches took their teams to Appalachian State for a camp. Ivey made one previous visit to Pinecrest to visit his friend and check out the facilities.
Barron Collier is scheduled to come here again for a game next year. “I know at camp I was just as happy with Chris coaching my kids as I was myself because I knew they were getting great coaching.”
The game between the 4A Patriots, and the Cougars, a class 6 team in Florida (8 is the highest under the recent reclassification), should be a good early season test for both.
“We hope we can compete and have a good game Friday night,” Ivey said. “But playing this caliber of football team and being with our kids four straight days is going to be a great bonding and learning experience for us.”
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