Four Plant City Dolphins teams ended the regular season on a high note.
The Plant City Dolphins are looking to make a statement in the 2018 Tri-County Youth Football and Cheerleading Conference playoffs: Superbowl or bust.
The Mighty Mites, Pee Wees, Midgets and Junior Varsity Dolphins ended the season with perfect 6-0-0 records in American Conference play and a combined total of 36 wins and four losses. The Midgets were the only team of the four to post a perfect 10-0-0 record and beat the fearsome East Bay Bucs.
All four Dolphins teams are working hard throughout the bye week to be ready for the first round, which begins Nov. 3. Playoff seeding and games were not determined by press time, though the TCYFCC should have the information available on its league site, tcyfcc.com.
Armand Cotnoir returned to the Dolphins in a head coaching role to work with the Mighty Mites and so far things have gone well.
Teaching the game is the most important part of his job leading the youngest players in the Dolphins organization. Cotnoir and his staff have done a pretty solid job of that thus far, as the Mighty Mites have won seven shutouts and averaged 24.8 points scored per game.
“Just seeing some of the little guys who didn’t want to play that cried at first starting to make tackles and get in games, a couple of them have even scored touchdowns,” Cotnoir said. “Now they’re really coming along.”
They’ll spend the next few weeks learning the fundamentals of tackling and blocking and hope to keep up the good work throughout November.
Chad Morrow’s Pee Wees don’t exactly make their game plan a secret: these Dolphins are going to run the single-wing offense and they’re going to run it well.
When the offense is clicking, it can put up some serious points. It scored 142 points on the Brandon Cowboys, Brandon Broncos and New Tampa Wildcats in the three-week span from Sept. 15 to 29 and most recently pulled off a 20-13 win against the Lakeland Gators.
“We don’t have that fast, elite player but we’ve got 11 kids that, when they’re on the field, they play together as a team for one ultimate goal, and that’s to win,” Morrow said. “The chemistry’s strong. They’re like family.”
When Marcus Springfield moved up to lead the Dolphins’ JV team, defensive coordinator John Broome stayed to take the reins as the Midgets’ head coach. Broome is best-known as the architect of the “Purple Rain” 5-3 defensive scheme, which has allowed just 28 points this year. In fact, the Midgets posted shutouts in seven of their 10 regular-season games.
“Any time I’m on a staff, it’s always defense,” Broome said. “You know the deal. Defense wins championships. This is my third year on the Midgets level and we just broke the Tri-County wins record, which was 26 consecutive wins, so I’m proud of that. But we’re not finished.”
If the “Purple Rain” keeps pouring on opposing offenses like it has, Broome and the Midgets could win their third consecutive Superbowl championship.
Springfield is gunning for his fourth Superbowl championship in five tries, this time with his new JV team.
The JV Dolphins have taken to his spread offense like, well, dolphins to water. They average 28.8 points scored per game and scored at least 32 points in three of their last four games. Springfield is confident in his players and cites the team’s strong bond as a reason why they’re so successful this year, even beyond the effective passing game. Now they’ve got their eyes on the prize and are ready to work together to win.
“We’re gonna bring everything to the table, the kitchen sink,” Springfield said. “Everything. These guys out here right now, they’re working hard, they’re focused and have high expectations. They’re looking forward to the task ahead of them.”