By Romi Bean

(CBS4) – When you hear the last name “Lindsay” in the football world, the first person that probably comes to mind is former Denver Bronco and CU Buff Phillip Lindsay. But when it comes to prep football in Colorado, the name Lindsay carries serious weight — and it all starts with Coach Tony Lindsay Sr.

Tony Lindsey, Sr. (credit: CBS)

Tony Lindsay Sr is the head coach at Far Northeast High School. On his staff are his four sons — Tony Jr., Gabe, Matt, and Dom.

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“Oh we argue!” Tony Sr. said.

“We’re so used to dealing with each other,” Tony Jr. said. “We clash quite a bit, but that’s something we did at home. So it’s not any different here on the field. It’s all fun, we like to get after each other.

After years of successful coaching in Colorado, including coaching Phillip Lindsay at Denver South High School, Tony Sr. and his sons embarked on a new mission a few years ago. Their goal: to take a program in dire need of TLC and turn it into a winning team, despite the many hurdles in their way.

“Everyone thought it was cute at first. The little Lindsay family coaching at South. When it was all said and done, we went to state, we were tops in the state for 5 or 6 years. So it wasn’t just the “cute little Lindsay family” anymore. We ended up being legit with it, and that’s the same thing we’re going to do here,” Tony Sr. said.

Tony Lindsey, Sr. with Romi Bean (credit: CBS)

The challenge at Far Northeast is the lack of a “traditional” school. Instead of a single campus where sports and academics are housed, there are multiple middle and high schools in the area. The result is many students choose to go to more traditional schools through open enrollment. Additionally, coaches at other schools often try recruit students from the area.

“The middle schools and high schools are really split. They are all in this area, but as the kids move on to high school, they don’t go to the same high school and some of them leave Denver. It splits this community up. So we’re just trying to keep it tight and cohesive as a community and neighborhood and get everyone involved again,” Tony Jr. said.

Tony Lindsey, Jr. (credit: CBS)

“We’re just trying to get our community back together and get our kids to stay home,” Tony Sr. said.

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Senior Emmanuel Nwaneto chose to stay at Far Northeast instead of going to a different school because of Coach Lindsay.

“When I was coming up, I had other options for high school. Nobody wanted to come here, but Coach Lindsay changed the culture,” Nwaneto said.

Family takes on new meaning when you play for Coach Lindsay. It’s not just a father and his four sons. For Tony Sr., every player on his team is part of his family.

“This is our family. These are all my kids,” Tony Sr. said.

“Coach Lindsay is a father figure to me. He really does love his kids. He would do anything for his kids,” Nwaneto said.

Tony Lindsey, Sr. (credit: CBS)

From the NFL down to Pop Warner, the phrase “Football is Family” is one of the most commonly used phrases. But at Far Northeast, “Football is Family” means something more.

“I know a couple of players that would have quit or wouldn’t have played, but they stayed and grinded it out. Coach Lindsay gives us the best advice. We look up to him and everything he’s done for us,” Nwaneto said.

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“I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to help these kids as much as I can. I want them to get an opportunity to go college. That’s what our goal is here,” Tony Sr. said.

Romi Bean