Home / Creole Connection: SWFL Haitian Football Stars

Creole Connection: SWFL Haitian Football Stars

Haitian-born running back was one of the most sought-after recruits in the SEC.

Southwest Florida is home to thousands of immigrants from Haiti, and their children are making quite the impact on the football field.

In Collier County, the language of football isn’t just english – it’s also Creole.

Several of the area’s biggest football stars are of Haitian descent and speak the country’s native language.

“It’s like a code that only we know,” said Naples running back and Tennessee signee Carlin Fils-Aime.

Fils-Aime was born in Haiti and moved to Naples at age 7 with his father.

“When I lived with him he would always tell me about his struggles in Haiti,” said Fils-Aime.

“What he went through, and and how he doesn’t want me to go through the same thing. How he raised enough money to bring me here – so I could make something out of myself”

Mackensie alexander and his twin brother Mackenroe are still the pride of Immokalee.

They helped the Indians reach the state championship game in 2012. Mackensie played for a national championship at Clemson. Mackenroe is currently training to play at South Florida.

“I feel like our parents, when they came to this country, didn’t have much. So we do our best to represent them and all our people in Haiti,” said Mackenro Alexander.

Lely High School  starting running back Calerb D’Haiti is one of many Haitians on the Lely football team.

“It’s like a family,” said D’Haiti. “because we’re all trying to make it out of the struggle we were raised in.”

For Haitian football players, speaking Creole is a way to connect.

“It’s awesome,” said Fils-Aime.

It’s also a way to remember.

“Because you don’t want to forget where you came from,” said D’Haiti.

And it’s also a source of pride.

“I am proud to be Haitian,” said Fils-Aime, “and no one can take that away from me.”