By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
“Every Friday night, just being with all my friends,” said Morgan Carter, #71, when asked about his favorite moment of being a Madison Cowboy; every Friday night, when the team comes together and takes to the field for another game of crowd-pleasing football for Madison Cowboy fans.
Carter, who plays tight end and has two years on the starting lineup, speaks of friendship, part of the team cohesiveness that head coach Mike Coe has also spoken of on other occasions, including his address to the Rotary Club last month. It is part of the spirit of trust and team building, of working together as a unit.
Left tackle, Van Thompkins, #56, who has been a starting offensive lineman for a year, sounds a similar note of unity when talking about his favorite moment: the Gainesville game, because, he said, “We became stronger. We played as one.”
There is also the pride they take in a job well done, as when left guard Gerard Brown, #55, spoke of last week’s game: “When we won the district title.” Like Carter, Brown has been two years on the starting offensive line.
But even when the occasional loss happens, the Cowboy spirit of not being defeated by defeat, something else Coe has tried to instill in his players, comes through when center Gavin Stephens, #53 (three years in the starting line-up), talks about the Cocoa game: “Even though we lost, I played my hardest. Coach Coe slept good after that game, and I did, too.”
Along with occasionally losing with dignity, they have also learned to deal with adverse situations, especially when it comes to rising above poor behavior from opponents. Right tackle Ira Denson, #74, recalls a favorite moment from the Pine Forest game: “One of the (Pine Forest) players took a swing at me. But I didn’t swing back.” That he was able to step back from a potentially explosive situation instead of reacting without thinking was a powerful moment for him, enough so that it has become a favorite moment from his time, so far, as Madison Cowboy.
Right guard Hank Hall, #72, likes the rough-and-tumble aspect of the game, especially any time he gets to lead block for the runner. “Anytime he gets to knock things around,” said someone to a round of laughter. Hall is another three-year man on the starting lineup.
They are part of a team and also a group of guys who can kid each other about their likes and dislikes. Carter, whose favorite movie is “Forrest Gump,” laughed at some good-natured ribbing. “That’s fitting!” someone said. Denson, smiling, said his favorite TV show was “Home Improvement.”
When it comes to their favorite foods, Carter loves steak, Thompkins prefers Hamburger Helper, and Denson likes pork chops. For Brown, it’s hot wings, for Stephens, it’s stewed chicken with grits, and Hall is a fried chicken man.
Then it was time to get out to the field for the practice session.
As for what they plan to do after high school, Coe says that he expects that each of them will go on to college. “They’re all a pretty bright group of kids,” he said as he watched them go.