BY: SHAHAAN KHAN AND MARK BRENT
Cooper City High is experiencing a new brand of Cowboy football. Coming off a successful freshman season, sophomore Michael DiLiello has emerged as the starting quarterback for the Cowboys’ Varsity team. Gaining the support of his coaches as well as teammates, DiLiello looks to lead the Cowboys to another prosperous season.
“Being a leader for our team is, great.” said Sophomore Michael DiLiello on being named starting quarterback for Varsity Cowboy football.
DiLiello, who has been a QB since he was nine years old hasn’t had too much trouble adjusting to his new role on the team. Although he acknowledges the elevated playing style in varsity, citing the spike in game speed, and the overall size of players. DiLiello has taken it upon himself to elevate team chemistry. Over the summer, our Cowboys spent time at Florida Atlantic University for a football camp.
“… our team bonded very well over that experience.” said DiLiello when reflecting over the FAU camp.
DiLiello shows promise on and off the field. Identifying the importance of a cohesive locker room. It’s always a positive sign when the new quarterback is able to get the team as well as the coaches to buy into his leadership.
Head Football Coach Brandon Walker was more than willing to share information about his starting quarterback for the 2015-2016 year.
“Michael has been playing football, in essence, his entire life.” said Coach Walker when asked about why he selected Michael to play the role of quarterback. ”Due to the fact that he has been through the optimist ranks and has played a year on JV, it gives him a better understanding of football.”
Another reason Michael was selected to play the position was because of his leadership qualities. In order to play quarterback, one must be able to have the whole team truth and follow one’s decisions.
“Michael is the type of guy that I can throw into a huddle with 10 seniors and still get their attention.” said Walker. “When Michael is in a huddle, he exudes a level of confidence that I think is contagious. I think that you are either born a leader or not, and Michael was born into a leadership type role.”
DiLiello also has things he must improve on within his last three years of high school. One which Walker emphasized was his decision making. Reading the plays which a defense will run is key to playing quarterback and throwing the ball to open receivers.
“When playing on JV, each defense is going to give you relatively the same look 99% of the time however, playing on varsity, each team will give you a multiple of looks throughout the game.” said Walker. “So that adjustment to the different speed of the game and the ability to decipher the different looks defenses will give us has been challenging, however Michael has been working to get better every day of practice and will continue to improve throughout the year.”
Coach Walker has high expectations for Michael this season and believes he will have a great high school football career playing for CCHS.
With high expectations for sophomore quarterback Michael DiLiello, Cooper City High is expecting our Cowboys’ to earn their second district championship. Although this is a big thing to ask for from a sophomore, Michael’s teammates, coaches, classmates, and the rest of Cooper City High School believe he has the ability to lead the Cowboys to victory.