By Tamas Mondovics
East Bay High School Girls Flag Football has done it again. With a 13-6 victory against Bloomingdale, for the fifth time in seven seasons the Indians have once again became their district conference champions.
To most who follow the sport, which has been gaining momentum over the past few years thanks to people like Indians head coach, Michael Cooper, the win was somewhat expected. Even Cooper had to take note of the much-improved and talented Bloomingdale Bulls with program head coach, Michael Lankford, at the helm.
At the end, however, there is only one trophy to be won, which will once again remain at East Bay high.
Hosting this year’s District 13 tourney, Cooper’s Girls welcomed Spoto, Newsome and Bloomingdale and sported an exciting three-game event, which ended with East Bay’s 26-13 victory over Newsome, and Bloomingdale’s 37-0 win over Spoto, setting up the tourney’s final game between the Indians and the Bulls.
The last time the two programs met in the final was during the 2008-2009 season, which ended with a 12-7 East Bay victory.
While acknowledging a mistakes-filled game, Copper did not hide his thoughts of his team’s performance following this year’s bout against the Bulls.
“We dominated. Period,” Cooper said. “Bloomingdale’s defense played okay, but we drove all over them.”
While East Bay was able to defeat longtime rival, Plant City, in the first round of regional play, the girls’ state-appearance hope came to an end after a 32-6 loss to Robinson High in round two, which finished EBH’s season with an 11-4 and overall 67-25 record.
Summing up the program’s six-year-long success, Cooper shared a simple recipe.
“What we do is what we have always done,” he said. “We focus on fundamentals-catching the ball and pulling flags. The rest is just loving the game and having fun playing it.”
But, make no mistake. It is safe to say that Cooper’s love of the game and attention to the sport itself has no match in the region and possibly in the entire state, but has everything to do with its local growth and success.
For more information about East Bay Flag Football, please visit www.ebhsgirlsflagfootball.com.