BY MARNI ROSENSTEIN
The crowd goes silent. Holding their breath in anticipation, onlookers watch as the play that could change the course of Cooper City athletics forever ensues. The Cowboy Bandit, clothed from head to toe in a red and black polyester suit, gives an earth-shattering cheer in tune with the game-winning touchdown. Just one jump from the Bandit started a riot. The crowd was in awe, cheering and celebrating like never before. The Cooper City Cowboys had become district champs!
But who is behind this enigmatic figure? Cooper City High School’s very own Kevin Mone. What most people don’t know is that there is an interesting story behind the renowned body suit.
One of CCHS’s varsity Cross Country runners, Mone ran a 5 Kilometer this past summer, and his attire ultimately changed his high school experience. Mone happened to come across a full body polyester suit with an American flag motif and wore it during his run. The pictures he took in this suit landed on the Internet, and they caught the attention of the company who produced it. They offered him another free suit in exchange for his publicity. He immediately opted for a red and black one to show off his CCHS Cowboy pride. The Cowboy Bandit was born.
School began, and with that came football season. With new coaches and an enthusiastic team, the season was looking good. Mone promised himself one thing: he was going to make sure everyone enjoyed the football games just as much as he did.
Every football game, Mone stepped into his Bandit body suit, put on his cowboy hat, and got pumped to energize the crowd. His goal was to get the crowd roaring. He wanted his friends on the field to feel the support from their fans throughout the game.
“People’s reaction to my outfit and enthusiasm is priceless.” Mone said. “I live to see people get their heads in the game and go crazy.”
Mone spent his time focusing on the crowd’s energy as he started cheers and dances to make sure that everyone was getting into the spirit of the game.
“I’m not happy unless every person in the crowd is having the time of their lives.” Mone said.
Mone makes sure he supports the team during the game, but off the field as well. Before each game, he sent inspirational videos and quotes to the players via Facebook.
“There are no second chances, there is only this moment,” Mone wrote in a message to inspire his friends. “If you get a shot at victory make sure you take it and seize the moment.”
Mone loves what he’s doing, but graduation is impending. Thinking about the future of the Cowboy Bandit, he has a lot to consider. He doesn’t ever want to part with his polyester friend, but he does expect someone to step into his spirited shoes.
“I want someone to always be there making sure the crowd is loud and enthusiastic,” Mone said. “But the giant body slider is mine.”
Being the Cowboy Bandit really enhanced Mone’s senior year. Every game gave him something to look forward to; he couldn’t wait to be in the crowd cheering and having a blast. He is a naturally enthusiastic person, and to see everyone joining in gave him great pleasure.
When it came time to vote for the senior superlatives for the 2010-2011, there was one category that was a dead give-away. The award for ‘Most School Spirited’ unsurprisingly went to Mone.
“Spirit is important at this school,” he said “And being the Cowboy Bandit made my senior year the best year of my life.”