With music blaring through two loudspeakers and Gatorade bottles stashed in the corner, the Cooper City High School football team held a “lift-a-thon” on Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. in the school’s gym. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams participated in the event, as well as prospective eighth-graders preparing to join the team in their next season.
As the squad is preparing for the 2019-2020 season, the lift-a-thon was held to raise funds for new gear, equipment, uniforms and travel expenses for games outside of the district. Donations for the event were made both at the event and online, where they could be made through the Online Donations website. The team reached their goal of $1,000 by the end of the event, rendering it a success in their eyes.
“The coaches want to do a lot of things next season,” sophomore Dylan Hilaire said. “We’re planning to go to Orlando for an away game, [as well as] many more trips in the future. Fundraisers like the lift-a-thon provide the funds we need to assist in covering some [of these] expenses.”
During the lift-a-thon, there were eight different lifting stations on the gym floor. Team members in different groups took turns using each of them. As one team member would use one of the weights, the group of teammates surrounding him would jump around, chanting loudly to cheer him on.
“Our kids are really invested in this.”
“It promotes camaraderie,” Hilaire said. “[It] gives us an opportunity to showcase our skills.”
Lift-a-thons are a common thing for many high school football teams, and this isn’t the first time that Cooper City High’s team has held one.
“Cooper City’s had a lift-a-thon for years, [even] when I was in high school we had [one],” head coach Daniel Carlisle said. “It wasn’t as big as [this one] in the basketball gym. We had an 800-pound club, 1,000-pound club and a 1,200-pound club. As Cooper City guys, we’ve always strived to get into that 1,200-pound club.”
Although the Cooper football team has had lift-a-thons in the past, this is the first time in years that they’ve held one.
“When I moved to Georgia, they did a lift-a-thon, [which gave me] the idea to do the lift-a-thon [here],” Carlisle said. “I kind of mixed the two ideas, and we took it to the next level in the basketball gym.”
“I personally think that the team is on an upward climb towards great things.”
For the 2018-19 season, the varsity football team’s overall record was 3-7— a record the team hopes to improve on in the upcoming season.
“All of our kids are very goal-oriented, and they’ve got to see something at the end of the tunnel,” Carlisle said. “We’ve been training since December, and overall, our kids in the major lifts have gained over 13,000 pounds, so our kids are really invested in this.”
With all of the intense training the football team’s been doing since December, and the newly renovated weight room at their disposal, the team expects to have a memorable season next year.
“There has been a clear shift in energy from both the coaches and players for this upcoming season,” sophomore Daniel Edelman said. “With the energy at an all-time high, my biggest hope is that it’ll carry out into games as well. I personally think that the team is on an upward climb towards great things.”
Photo by Carly Cuoco