Road trip! Who's heading to Naples for spring scrimmage No. 2? The Canes expect a standing-room only crowd.
The Canes, like last season, will conduct their second spring scrimmage on the West Coast of Florida.
Last year it was at Fort Myers Bishop Verot Catholic High, with a standing-only crowd.
This year -- at 7 p.m. Friday -- it's at Naples High School, and expects an even bigger crowd, Naples High athletic director Ernie Modugno and head football coach Bill Kramer told me by phone.
Modugno said the stadium seats 4,000, but temporary bleachers will bring capacity to about 5,000, with up to several thousand fans expected to stand.
“Naples has very strong support,’’ Modugno said. “We have a lot of UM fans and graduates in the area.’’
Kramer coached at Hialeah American High for 11 years, the last three (1995-97) as head coach before he took over at perennial power Naples. The Golden Eagles, who were host to and got beaten by Miami Central in a 2012 Class 6A state semifinal, have averaged more than 10 wins a season for the past 14 years.
They’ll be watching the Hurricanes.
“Heck yes, we’re excited,’’ Kramer said. “I’m confident it will be standing-room only. This is big-time Division I football. We sell out our high school games. Folks want to see the University of Miami. How often do you get to be this close to an elite program?’’
Kramer said that last year he “took a busload of players’’ to watch UM in Fort Myers. “It really was great,’’ he said. “We want our kids to get a sense of possibility and a realistic snapshot of what college football looks like and sounds like.
“I know it’s a controlled scrimmage, but the size and speed of those guys, you really have to be there.
“And it’s good for the parents, too. When they’re trying to find out why their 5-10, 190-pound lineman son doesn’t have offers from BCS schools, they’ll start to get an idea why – kind of a reality check.’’
Basically, one more week of practices before the Spring Game at 3 p.m. on April 13 at Sun Life Stadium (ESPN3).
But before that, here's the info for Friday night's scrimmage at Naples High:
Directions: Take I-75 to Alligator Alley and get off exit No. 105, which is Golden Gate Parkway (note that the first exit after the toll plaza is exit No. 101; and exit 105 is after that one). Stay on Golden Gate Parkway (you'll be going west) for about four miles (about 10 or so minutes of driving -- be careful, I'm told, because the police like to give tickets for speeding) until you see school on right.
Gates open: 5:30 p.m.
Strong suggestion for parking: There is barely any parking at the school, so fans park directly across the street at Coastland Center Mall. I'm told Police will be there to help direct traffic and to escort fans across the street.
Friday’s scrimmage will also feature a family- and kid-friendly “Fan Zone” that features inflatables and a football toss. In-game, Sebastian the Ibis and the Miami cheerleaders will throw T-shirts and hand out posters to fans in attendance.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN