LaBelle High School Hires New Football Coach and Athletic Director

LaBelle High School athletics is getting a makeover.

The school hired Maurice McClain, a former running back for the Cowboys, as the next head football coach.

Matt Davidson, the coach of the past three seasons who saw the Cowboys go 9-19, resigned last month. Last year the team went 1-7 and was shut out with every loss.

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The school also hired Howard Cheresnick to start as athletic director in June. Chris Siner, the former sporting director, left for the sporting director position at Immokalee last year, and Jessica Bechtel takes over as LaBelle on an interim basis.

Cheresnick spent the last year and a half at Riverdale where he was part of the football coaching staff. He said he aimed to “bring back a sense of pride” to LaBelle.

As a head coach, McClain led the Cowboys weightlifting teams to strong results, including a second State 1A finish for the boys in 2018.

McClain had applied for openings for head football coaching positions in the past, but this one seemed fair.

“It was a dream of mine to come home and coach my alma mater,” he said.

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Leading a young team, McClain plans to build the team from the ground up, hoping to bring respect back to the program and involve the community more.

His coaching staff will include some of his former teammates and hope their brotherhood will carry over to the players.

McClain was the starting running back for the Class 3A state second-tier team in 1995. Another highlight for McClain was coaching the 2006 team that won the district title.

“I’ve been here through ups and downs,” he said.

The hope is to create an athletics program to match LaBelle’s excellent community and school administration, according to Cheresnick.

“There are only great things going to happen here in the future,” he said.

Follow sportswriter Dustin Levy on Twitter: @DustinBLevy. For additional Southwest Florida sports coverage, follow @newspresssports and @ndnprepzone on Instagram.

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