Wednesday, September 30, 2020

MIA Welcomes New Coaches

By Jodi Pree

As the fall sports program gets underway, Marco Island Academy (MIA) welcomes new coaches to help attain their goals for their student athletes.

In addition to meeting fundraising goals and finalizing team schedules, new MIA Athletics and Activities Director, Ryan Roberts, has been busy filling coaching positions for cheerleading, swimming, volleyball, and football.

Kirsti Tranoris and Leslie Drake at a recent MIA football game.

Cheerleading

Kirsti Tranoris, a lifelong competitive cheerleader and former Florida Everbabe, steps up as head cheer coach with Assistant Leslie Drake to replace Allison Blanco and Lori Galiana.

“Allison wanted to focus more on her students, and Lori wanted to spend more time with her husband, which are both understandable,” remarks Ryan Roberts. “We are lucky welcome someone as qualified as Kirsti as a coach.”

“We now have a full squad and are ready to go!” beams Coach Tranoris at the MIA Rays season opener against Community School, who had been working to fill the squad just one week prior. Tranoris, who is getting married in November, continues, “Although I work as a full-time zookeeper at Caribbean Gardens and am busy with wedding plans, my assistant Leslie Drake, will be filling in, as needed. The squad will always be in good hands.”

Swimming

The newly named MIA swim coach, Morgan Joseph, is a former Division II athlete, who began competitive swimming at the age of seven. She recently moved to Marco Island following her graduation from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in biology.

“Swimming will always be a part of me and my life. Coaching is another way to share my love of the sport with others,” expresses a smiling Joseph.

“She has not only coached great swimmers, but she also worked with kids who have never swum before,” explains Roberts.

Volleyball

Lifelong Marco Islander and former Marco Island Charter Middle School and high school volleyball player, Alyssa Stolinas, has stepped into the role of head coach after serving as assistant coach last year.

“We are a little young this year, we only have two seniors. A lot of our players graduated last year. We are working on basics now. They are doing well and have improved so much already,” explains Coach Stolinas.

Football

Former Division II football player, Steven Kaplan, who signed on to be the offensive line coach in early July, is currently acting as the only coach for the MIA football team while continuing to work full-time at Carter Dock.

“I hadn’t coached in 17 years. Luckily, my mentor, Jim Kirwan, brought me up to speed. I’m still in contact with him at least three times a day, in fact, we just got off the phone,” laughs Coach Kaplan.

For more updates about Marco Island Academy, visit marcoislandacademy.org.

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