In 2008, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) gave all of the lacrosse clubs around the state an ultimatum: either become an authorized high school sports team or cease to exist. This meant our very own Cooper City High School lacrosse clubs were at risk of being disbanded. But with help from parents, coaches, and players, the players were able to rally the school board. And in 2011, the CCHS Boys and Girls lacrosse teams finally became recognized as official school sports.
For the Cowboys, this is their first chance to represent Cooper City High School as an official sport.
“It felt great when I heard that we were a real team,” boys lacrosse captain Hunter Wild said. “It feels like we are finally part of the school, and not just looked at as some club sport anymore.”
Now that CCHS Lacrosse is an official sports team, there are some significant changes this season.
“Now that we are a real team, the school will be in charge of scheduling our games and referees,” Coach Mort Friedrich said. “Also we will always have a field at the school to play on.”
Another big change is fundraising. One of the stipulations that allowed CCHS to make their lacrosse teams official was that they had to become completely self-funded. While last year the only costs for Lacrosse was club dues, this year each player will be responsible for fundraising $150 to support the team. The coaches have come up with many ways to help the students raise this money.
“We plan to raise money by doing car washes, bake sales, and other things of that nature,” Said Coach Friedrich. “It will help the kids raise the money they need without making them take any money out of their own pockets.”
Also, players will have to go through tryouts in order to make the team as opposed to last season, when as long as you paid your dues you were on the team.
“With tryouts it will make all the girls who really want to make the team step up and perform,” girls lacrosse captain Cori Pratt said.
The biggest change of all however, is that of the practicing and conditioning. As an official team, the lacrosse coaches are prohibited from practicing with their players until January when the season starts. While players are not allowed to practice with coaches, they are still allowed to organize their own practices on their own time. And both the boys and girls teams are full of ambitious players willing to dedicate their time to staying in shape and working on their lacrosse skills.
“We plan on having practices at different parks since we can’t practice with our coaches before the season starts.” Pratt said.
The boy’s team is also taking measures to prepare for the season.
“We are going to be having early practices and conditioning sessions so we can stay in shape.” Wild said.
Both the Boys and Girl’s teams expect to do well in their first official seasons. What’s more is that there are expected to be 24 returning boys and 22 returning girl players to the team. This core group of players returning combined with their determination and dedication towards the team effort is a recipe for success. Cooper City High School is out to prove that even in their inaugural campaign, they will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.