Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Under the Friday night lights, fans recently packed Trojan Field as the Lely Trojans faced the Naples Golden Eagles for the 44th Annual Coconut Bowl. Special guests of the evening included several proud members representing the Class of 1978 who celebrated their 40-year class reunion at the End Zone. The Golden Eagles took a strong hold of the game and boasted a 37-0 lead as the buzzer sounded after the second period.

Marching bands from both schools entertained the crowds at half time. The Lely Marching Band’s Beatles Medley gave a nostalgic nod to the alumni in attendance. Following the performances, the Class of 1978, representing both schools, took the field.

“This brings back memories. I was the captain of our Trojans in high school. We beat Naples 44 years ago, but we lost my junior and senior year. It’s been a good rivalry…lots of memories,” explained Jim Widner of the Lely Class of 1978 as he reminisced with former teammate Mike Taylor.

Between the third and fourth quarter, Lely High School Football supporters, Marilyn and Leo Malinowski, were recognized for their long-standing support of Lely High School Football.

“We have been supporters of Lely High School Football for many years. Leo has attended all 44 Coconut Bowls, and I have been to 43. We love football! It keeps us young! We are originally from Massillon, Ohio…Paul Brown’s hometown. 10,000 people go to those Friday night games,” explains Marilyn Malinowski.

“They (the Malinowskis) are here for almost every single game,” remarked Lely Principal Ellen Keegan.

Ultimately, the Golden Eagles ran away with a 45-0 victory. The Golden Eagle leaders in scoring were: #27 Cesare “Chez” Mellusi with 12 points (two touchdowns) and #4 Elan Sommale with 10 points (one touchdown and four conversion points).

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