The 3 D Running Club, Coach Sommer, and Estero Cross Country all go hand in hand. When did it all start how did it all begin? Estero Opened in 1987 making this its 30yr Anniversary, and if we look at the cross country record books for FHSAA we see that in 1992 the Team and an Individual were State Champions only 5 years after opening. Not only that but it is the only Male Cross Country State Champ Estero / DDD has had to date. Sadly, Jeremy Savinsky, the individual that won and led the team passed away in a motorcycle accident this past weekend at age 42. He was a Lieutenant in the North Ft. Myers Fire Department at the time.
Jeremy Savinsky led a team of upstart runners at a new school along with his best friend Brian Peachey. Very quickly on the local level Estero High and DDD made their presence known. "The Brotherhood" as they were affectionately referred to as were; Savinsky, Peachey, Steven Greim, Danny Clark, Sean Watson, and freshman twins Matt and Mike Whaley (soon to be legends in their own right). The Estero "Brotherhood" were able to win some of the larger meets that season in an area ripe with talent. This could not have been easy given how many good teams in the Tri-County area were back then, and still are today. Ft. Myers, North Ft. Myers, Cypress, Riverdale, Naples, Barron Collier, Lely, Naples, Charlotte, and Port Charlotte were all highly ranked teams and back then, only 7 Individuals, and 4 Teams made it out of the Regional meet to advance to FHSAA State Finals.
During that season very few were aware, but Jeremy actually broke his toe right after the Lee County Athletic Conference race, which is only a week before the State Series would begin. Broken toe and all he would not let his team down, as I read an article from the News-Press at the time Coach Sommer's is quoted as saying, "I want Estero cross country to be known throughout the state as a top notch competitive team who knows how to train hard and always displays Discipline, Desire, and Dedication." The origins of DDD.
When reflecting back on that season, everyone I spoke to about Jeremy seemed to have a common theme, selflessness. This was his senior year, he was winning every race, unless Peachey beat him, but as Matt Whaley remembers, "When my brother and I made varsity for the post season, we were known as his freshman. After Jeremy won Districts and Regionals and States, he would always tell the reporters that he would talk to them after he found out how his team and his freshman did. It was an amazing ride." The selflessness obviously was a life theme as he was a Firefighter as well.
This year he has been nominated for the Lee County Hall of Fame and though it would be posthumously, I do hope he gets in and this gives his immediate family, DDD / Estero family, and friends a nice Christmas gift to remember Jeremy by.