A new era of youth recreational football has begun in South Florida, as the Cooper City Cowboys and the Davie Broncos, merge their rival tackle football teams to create the Colts.
Both Cooper City Optimist and Davie football programs, not affiliated with local schools, have a history of community support and talented athletes. Now with the two organizations merging, they combine their resources, experience and fans into a force to be reckoned with.
With its level of physicality, football is an intense sport. Rivalries such as the Broncos and Cowboys have increased this tension, creating action-packed games that have friends and family on the edge of their seats. Uniting these two teams to become the Colts is a huge change for both communities, as it eliminates a level of competition while creating a potentially powerful combination to face off against other towns.
A merger such as this one is able to foster harmony rather than competition; players and parents from opposing teams may now be scoring and cheering alongside one another.
Many of CCO and Davie’s former players have gone on to join local high school teams, and recall the fierce rivalry of their younger years. One such person is Cooper City High’s varsity quarterback, Michael DiLiello, who played for the CCO Cowboys since peewees.
“I feel that a large rivalry will be lost, but merging the two programs together will better the chances to win a title,” DiLiello said. “Cooper City Optimist has taught me many things throughout my early football years, such qualities like commitment, leadership and accountability. Having these qualities at a young age has helped me many times throughout the years.”
Cooper City High’s varsity linebacker Brennen Reid played for both CCO and Davie, and has memories and experience from both sides, proving the benefits of the teams’ alliance.
“I learned a lot from both teams such as discipline, workmanship and leadership throughout the years,” Reid Said. “It’s sad to see such a great rivalry gone but in the end I feel it could make an even better team to win many titles.”
Spring practices for the Colts, which started in May, are held at the Cooper City Optimist’s original location, Pioneer Middle School. Information on the schedule and any changes are provided on both Davie and Cooper City’s website.
The Colts first preseason game was held on August 5, as Cooper City and Davie begin their journey towards the title together.
Photo courtesy of Cooper City Optimist Tackle Football League