In 1907, a young man, 16 years of age sailed from Everglade to Fort Myers to catch a train for Gainesville. It was his first train ride. He was excited. His parents, George W. Storter, Jr. and his wife Nancy were not. They sadly parted from their son Neal Sommers Storter for the first time.
Mr. and Mrs. George W. Storter, Jr. at Everglade in 1915
Having been short the necessary credits to enroll as a freshman, Neal Storter was accepted as a subfreshman at the University of Florida. He played football on the university’s “scrub” team, the varsity team’s scrimmage partner, until the following year, when became a varsity player.
Neal’s classmates nicknamed the newcomer from Everglades’ pioneer stock, Brother Gator, which they shortened to Bo Gator. He played center offense and defense, became the team quarterback, and as captain in 1911, his team played an undefeated season.
After a local vendor had banners printed featuring an alligator to commemorate the team’s victorious season, the name Florida Gators was officially adopted. Neal Storter graduated, leaving a trace of his Everglades heritage in northern Florida, and in the annals of football history.
Neal Storter, Captain of the Florida Gators, in the center holding the football in 1911
It usually takes around 45 minutes to cruise from the Port of the Islands to the ocean. The journey includes navigating through a long, no-wake zone, canal, providing a delightful and unhurried ride. Bring a cover for sun protection during this slow and scenic route. About half an hour in, you’ll arrive at the expansive and naturally beautiful mangroves before reaching the open waters of the ocean.