Colt Roundup

Colts Improving On and Off the Field

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Cottonwood's football field.

Cottonwood's football field.

Josh Parker

Josh Parker

Cottonwood's football field.

Tomas D'Anella, Editor-in-Chief

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Coming off of a taxing 0-10 season, Cottonwood head football coach, Bart Bowen made it clear that he is not leaving this team until his goal is met. Despite having numerous underclassmen on the varsity squad, the Colts will be losing some important seniors.

Those important seniors include some valuable starters. Their starting quarterback will leave Cottonwood along with multiple linemen, receivers, linebackers, and other defensive positions. The Colts won’t let those losses bring their team down.

The team still stands in good shape with the new seniors. Hunter Workman, projected starting QB, got some varsity reps last season, throwing for two touchdowns on 17 attempts. The running back core won’t be deeply affected as only one back will depart, leaving a deep class of young athletes.

Also returning to the Colts is First Team All-Region offensive linemen Sammy Duran and wide receiver Eli Reynolds. Bowen describes Duran as a “high energy guy, with natural leadership abilities.” Running back Ammon Sofele was also an Honorable Mention on the All-Region teams. The Colts plan to use Sofele as “a guy we will rely heavily on in the run game.”

Coach Bowen doesn’t want his team’s success to end with those three players on the field. At the first academic quarter mid-term in 2017, Bowen implemented an early-morning study hall for athletes who are not at the team-required 3.0 GPA. Students who were above that mark had the option to sleep in an extra hour since they have met expectations.

The coach says these study sessions offer “a chance to sit down and get organized, study for tests, finish work, etc.” Bowen acknowledges the displeasure from the team. “Very few players like study hall. Many know it is expected and do it. However, those players meeting the standard of a 3.0 GPA, don’t have to come to study hall. It gives them a little push to try harder.”

The coaching staff has their players strive for greatness everyday through an ‘Earn It System’ to accumulate points that dictate their standing on the team. “Players all start out at the bottom. It doesn’t matter if they are a returning starter or an incoming freshman. They wear the same clothes to workouts and earn points daily to get enough to be able to wear a Cottonwood shirt again.

“These points earn their uniform number, their equipment, etc. We track everything from attendance, grades, community service, behavior, understanding of the core values, etc.”  Players use these points to their advantage. When the time comes to issue equipment, players line up in order of points. The players in front receive the nicest gear of their choice, and players at the end can end up with the scraps that no one else wanted.

The athletes understand that these points matter to the team. During the 2017 summer, those with the highest points got special perks and didn’t suffer from the penalties. “If they don’t meet expectations, they lose points. These lost points result in possibly losing their number, equipment, chance at being a captain, or result in getting kicked off the team,” states Bowen.

The Colts are improving beyond the academic and athletic guidelines. Bowen and his staff have worked to improve these athletes as humans. “We strive to develop men of character. We have character lessons daily. We also work to develop leadership among our team.

“Leaders are those who have influence over others. Not all leaders lead the right way. It is up to us to teach them how.” The Colts reiterate their goals in their mission statement.

“Our mission is to build men of character, who demonstrate empathy, integrity, responsibility and leadership so they can influence their community in a positive way.””

— Cottonwood Colt's Mission Statement

The Cottonwood Colts are vastly improving as the season approaches. The team’s numbers are growing as evidenced by their morning workouts. “We are light years ahead of where we started. We have over 40 people working out 4 times a week now. When I started, we were lucky to get 8.”
The Colts have created a website to post important announcements and keep the public updated on the team. Visit their website at http://cottonwoodcoltsfootball.weebly.com/

              

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Colts Improving On and Off the Field