BY HAILEY BROWN
Last year on October 10, the Cooper City Cowboys football team beat South Broward 34 to 27, ending the season with a record of 5-5 and bringing them to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. With the new season coming up, the Cowboys are going to have to work hard to get them to playoffs.
The preseason practices began on July 31, and Monday through Thursday from seven to nine in the morning, the team has workouts in preparation for the new season, along with yoga on Wednesdays. The preseason practices ended on August 14th when the varsity team started practices for game play. Yoga is done to increase flexibility, help reduce chance of injuries and increase athleticism in players. This preseason workout has been said to be one of the best in years.
“I think this is the best off season workouts that the team has had since I first started coaching here five years ago,” coach Al Diliello said. “The team has worked hard and we have a great group of seniors coming back to add experience to the team.”
This summer the whole team, varsity and junior varsity, attended a three day camp at Keiser University in West Palm Beach. At the camp they scrimmaged against other teams to prepare them for game-like situations and better their team skills. The Cowboys additionally had a 7 on 7 tournament at Florida International University.
“The season is going to be huge for the Cowboys,” senior Mike Diliello said. “Our goal is to win the district championship and make a run in the playoffs.”
This year, there are several returning players who have played and worked together for all four years. This could affect how the team works together and plays as a whole as opposed to not working together at all.
“We have lots of returning seniors, and [we] are going to have a lot of team chemistry, which should help us hopefully make a push into playoffs,” senior Mark Brent said. “What’s special about this team [compared to] the past seasons is that a lot of us seniors have been playing together since we were eight or nine years old.”
The team’s first game is on Wednesday, August 16 at Flanagan High School against the Flanagan Falcons. With everything they have done so far to prepare, the team is hoping it will help them win their first game and start a good season. The coaches, just like the players, are also hoping for that win and to get farther this season than in previous seasons. Coach Walker has coached these seniors for all four years, and others believe that will help them this coming season.
“Coach Walker has had these players for four years now and they all understand and buy into his philosophy,” coach Al Diliello said. “He has the team in a position to contend for a district championship. If we are successful, this will be one step further than the second place finish in playoffs the Cowboys accomplished last year.”
Photo by Thomas Emoff