Last decade, one of the top teams annually in Pinellas County was Dunedin, led by coach Mark Everett. Now, after a year in which he served as an assistant at Calvary Christian, Everett takes over the program.
“It’s exciting and fun to be back in it,” Everett said. “It’s a good situation for me.”
And a different situation. At Dunedin, Everett often was dealing with players who were bound for Florida, South Florida and other top-notch schools. Football for many of Everett’s players, so some thought, was their lone chance to escape tough if not violent neighborhoods and troubled backgrounds.
That is not the case at all with Calvary Christian. Often, players come from strong families in comfortable neighborhoods and football is more of a recreation than a ticket out of poverty.
"These kids, after a Friday night game, you don’t have to worry if they will be back Monday,” Everett said. “Some of these kids, they are content with just playing high school football. So there is less pressure as far as that is.”
That’s not to say Calvary Christian doesn’t have talented players. Just, instead of star-studded programs beckoning them, it’s more like low-level Division I programs or perhaps Division I-AA or Division II schools.
It also helps Everett that a pair of twins is on the team, Allen and Derek Barnes. Allen is a quarterback and Derek is a running back, and Everett has high praise for the two.
“They could play on the next level,” Everett said. “They should get even better this year.”
Matt Piatt will serve as a talented target at wide receiver for Allen Barnes, as should Dalton Martinez.