Twelve years ago North Fort Myers running back Noel Devine surpassed Earnest Graham as Lee County’s all-time leading rusher.
Devine newly joined forces with Cape Coral Indoor Athletics, a 10,000 square foot training facility.
“I used to watch Noel when he played for Cape Junior. I knew that if I got Noel on my team we could build something special here,” co-owner of the facility Jimmy Conti said.
Since opening their doors at the start of the month, the response has been great. Dozens of baseball and softball teams rotate in the batting cages during the afternoon, while Devine runs speed and agility training adjacent to the cages.
“God has given me a gift and I just want to give back what I’ve learned through the collegiate and professional levels. I always wanted someone to come back and do the same thing when I was younger,” Devine said.
He is making that exact wish come true for another North Fort Myers Alum. Toby Noland quarterbacked the Red Knights to an undefeated regular season in 2017. At the end of the week, he will head off to college at Carson Newman University. But before taking the next step to college, Noland is working with Devine to ensure he is ready.
“Once I knew that Noel was here it was a no-brainer for me. He’s one of the best in town to work out with,” Noland said.
While his professional football career wasn’t quite as successful as his time with the Red Knights and in college at West Virginia, Devine is perfectly happy with where he is. He loves working with the youth and being able to pass on the knowledge he has gained throughout the years to help better them in their own athletic endeavors.
“For some of the younger kids to look up to me, it’s a blessing,” Devine said. “My kids as well. They think the world of me so it means a lot to me to be out here with the kids giving back.”