2021 Cocoa Tigers

Posted On: 03/30/21 8:35 AM

After winning 10 straight games in the pandemic-altered 2020 season, it’s the 45-15 playoff setback in the final game of the season that will stick with Cocoa in the coming months.

Despite rolling over some quality competition – such as Palm Bay Heritage (49-0), Palm Bay (56-0), Melbourne (46-0), Palm Bay Bayside (53-8), Viera (36-10), state-rated 5A Eau Gallie (27-13), rival Rockledge (45-34) and Satellite (41-7) in the regular season – and Hudson (62-0) and Tampa Catholic (44-8) in the playoffs, the sting of that home loss to Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons is something that truly altered the way the Tigers are approaching 2021.

What the eventual 4A state champion Chiefs did to Cocoa is beat them up – on both sides of the ball and control the lines of scrimmage. They did that in beating national power St. Thomas Aquinas and Miami Gulliver Prep in the playoffs.

As head coach Ryan Schneider and his staff dissected that loss, they saw a team that was not complete, and that is what much of this off-season is all about. Trying to put everything together – and prepare for every opponent and not just those you know are part of your schedule.

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