HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Fresh Start: Citrus Park Christian Football Finding Its Footing Again

“At the end of day, as a young coach, I want to tell these guys they can do things outside of football. If we attack in that mindset the rest will take care of itself…”

~ Head Coach Rex Desvaristes, Citrus Park Christian Eagles

Tampa, February 21, 2019- Trust the process! The Eagles’ first ever season was their last winning season (7-3 overall) since the program was established a decade ago, but fear not because this team is receiving a facelift for the ages. With the guidance of a young (25 years old to be exact!), ambitious head coach and a tremendously supportive cast backing him and his vision, I genuinely believe he has all the right tools to lift this organization off the ground again. Let’s find out straight from the source, what kind of blueprint Coach Rex Desvaristes and his staff have in store for this historically struggling team and some shared thoughts about one E7TC camper in particular, invested in the big picture.

“It’s an exciting process, we have a unique situation as a smaller school but our offseason program has the luxury of having former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ strength and conditioning coach, Joe Vaughn as our own, as well as being our defensive coordinator. These kids can develop mental and physical toughness at a high level. We want instill a mindset of toughness and build our program off discipline and character; for me, it’s more than football, as we establish those core values for these young men so they can get ready to attack life respectably,” Head Coach Rex states.

“We want to be able to impact them not just as players, but as people and put them in a position to be an impactful public figure in the community. We understand it’s a process, but my mission is to win football games and how we can mold these guys into strong, young men in this community. At the end of day, as a young coach, I want to tell these guys they can do things outside of football. If we attack in that mindset the rest will take care of itself.”

The motivated mentor and athletic director continues, “Having the backing of the community is huge as well and as far as help I’ve had along the way, Larry King Jr, owner of Cheval Country club, is a guy who’s been able to build an athletic club up from the ground up. His mindset of management, accountability and people skills has showed me that those special qualities are significant in understanding the process of the business and I’m trying to implement that here.”

“Moses Plancher was a running back at USF and he’s someone who’s been very influential to where I’m at right now, too. Brandon Channer played over seas and he’s close videographer friend of mine and a like-minded guy, instrumental to the progressional growth in everything, especially in this day and age of social media presence. My parents among everything, have played a huge part in all of this as well, no doubt.”  Coach Rex closes enthusiastically,

Citrus Park spring training\

“We’ve built a big-small circle and it’s been a fun aspect; historically, the program’s been on the down-side athletically, but we’re going to build this flagship program around this community. I like to help the young mind- my favorite part has been taking the opportunity to build this from the bottom up and put my own twist on it. I wake up and think how can we get better and the journey gets me amped up; the fact I can put my own stamp on it with this cast around me is fun to me. I understand where we’re at, but eventually, I want people to knock on our door and want to join the process. I want to build a program that looks good, is organized and have that intimidation factor when schools come to our house, they know the high level of play they’re up against. It’s never been done before and that’s what I’m excited about.”

“Russel Marrs is a hard-nosed incoming freshman athlete for us that comes every day to work; he’s one of the smartest individuals in our school- truly has a no-nonsense personality. In terms of on the field, man, he’s very versatile; a Christian McCaffrey type player (NFL running back for the Carolina Panthers that catches out of the backfield just as well as he runs), and in this day and age of football, you need a guy like him. Russell is a leader and a guy that is fully capable of racking up first downs in multiple ways for this team and I’m excited to see what value he’ll bring down the line for this program.”

“He can play in the slot, under center at quarterback and running back, so it’s very exciting to build our offensive schemes with him. Those are the type of smart players you have to have contributing more so offensively. The biggest thing for him is the level of intensity and focus- an aspect he hasn’t experienced before; football is an everyday mindset we have to attack so he’s now understanding the every-day works of the training life. We want him to be a guy we can count on to be our staple, and I expect him to be a consistent part of our program’s future successes.”   

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor