By Tamas Mondovics
The high school spring athletic season has no shortage of great programs to follow. But when it comes to flag football, the East Bay High School Indians, led by program head coach, Michael Cooper, has earned its rightful spot on top of the list.
Excluding the 2011 season, the Indians have enjoyed the limelight as district champions in 2008, 2009, 2010 and in 2012 leading the competition and simply playing for the love of the game and thrill of amateur competition.
“This is what I like about coaching girls flag football,” said Cooper, who played rugby in college and in the army. “It is a sport like rugby. There are no professionals. There are no college scholarships at the end of the season. We play for the love of the game and nothing more.”
Cooper is convinced that it is this mentality and focus that draws the athletes to the sport and in turn reaps many benefits.
The current season sports 16 girls on the varsity roster, and while the loss of former senior QB Stephanie Williams, forces the Indians to find a replacement, the program is by no means short of talented players who have both the heart and the desire to step up to the plate in hopes of holding on to their district title.
This year, the Indians’ offense will be counting on junior Madeline Hornacek, who is ready to fill the vacant QB spot.
Seniors Tyler McFarlane and Nicole Lock is also on hand to lead the team with the focus on offense throughout the season which is to began with a pre-season classic game against Strawberry Crest, followed by a game against Steinbrenner High.
“This will be a challenging season while filling the QB spot for Stephanie,” Hornacek said, but added, “It is a challenge that I am ready to accept.”
East Bay will face off league rivals Bloomingdale and Newsome, with Lennard, Spoto and Riverview completing the list.
For more information about the Indians program, please visit www.ebhsgirlsflagfootball.com.