The Cooper City Cowboys varsity water polo teams have made astonishing improvements and accomplishments in these past two months of training since their first match in early February.
The girls team has been eager to make a comeback after experiencing a devastating loss in their first home and district game of the season, against Cypress Bay High School. It seemed as if this is what sparked a new fire in the team’s game.
“It really made us open our eyes as a team and how we need to improve,” starter Kristina Smith said. “We went into this game expecting to win, this loss brought us into a new realization.”
As the next game approached, tensions were high because it was their second district game and they needed to redeem themselves. The game started off in the Cowboys’ favor, with a lead of five at halftime. Flanagan came back stronger, putting two goals. Flanagan’s efforts were strong, but they could not keep up, finishing off the game with a score of 8-4. Proving themselves once again, just a day later the Lady Cowboys did it again, bringing home the victory. This game really showed the girls what they were capable of with a little bit of hard work. It was a tight game down to the wire, when in the fourth quarter the Cowboys finally gained some headway, finishing off the game 9-6. As weeks passed, intensity and strength grew individually and as a team. By the time the Cowboys were faced with back to back full length games, hosting their own mini tournament, they were able to benefit from all players, including some who may have been considered “second string” at one time, allowing each player to feel the glory of scoring and being a part of the game.
“We’re really excited about this season,” Captain Jordan Cook said. “We are hoping to keep our title as district champs and [are] setting our sights on regionals and hopefully even states.”
As for the boys, they were able to defeat Cypress Bay and win their first district game to kick off the season. Winning this game has played a key role in how the the team has had to develop and set the tone for the season. In an interesting turn of events, every single goal scored that very first night out was scored by underclassmen.
”I think this game helped our confidence but we still have a long journey of tough games,” Sophomore Joaquin Guarisma said. “And we have to see where it takes us.”
Guarisma was absolutely right when he claimed them having a journey ahead. While the girls’ defeat made them stronger, the boys struggled to manage a steady record. On February 11, the boys participated in a local tournament at Miami Country Day High School. The Cowboys won one out of three games. Frustration and sadness filled the team.
“It was truly a rough showing for us but we can only get better from here on,” Cameron Pritchett said.
But change was in the air – two weeks later, the Cowboys hosted their home tournament and changed the game for the better. Everyone got a chance to play and show their skills. This is how their redemption to victory came, when everyone gave it their all while dead tired and after a full day of school. The Cowboys finally gained a lead in the last few minutes of their second game, winning 15-13.
The girls and boys teams both suffered invigorating losses, a tough battle on both ends, on March 7. The boys ended up going into double overtime and penalty shots after they had tied the game up with nine seconds left. Senior Jordan Cook managed to score three goals after severely injuring her fingers, showing her true strength. A nail-biter to the last second, it may have been a loss, but it showed major improvement and work ethic to come back when down and to stay strong.
Overall the season for water polo has gone well, exemplifying team growth and success. Improvements continue to happen and mistakes are learned from. As they gear up to celebrate senior night on Tuesday, the season will hopefully continue on as the girls and boys CCHS water polo teams head into districts.