To say football in Texas is huge would be an understatement. Football is KING and the Coastal Bend Bison led by quarterback Sebastian Flores and coached by Cooky Rosales. The team became the first team from this area to win the Texas All Star Showcase since it’s inception five years ago. The tournament brings teams from as far as Arizona, Oklahoma and Louisiana and includes Texas teams from Houston, Dallas, El Paso and Central Texas.
The team is comprised of nine and ten year olds from the region.
“Coastal Bend is our region,” Rosales said. “You got kids from Alice, Falfurrias, Rockport, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Sinton, Orange Grove.”
“All these little towns make up one team,” said Rosales, adding that the team competed against teams from Dallas and Oklahoma before facing El Paso to advance to the finals and ultimately defeating Central Texas 7-6 in a game where the Bison trailed until the final two minutes of the game.
According to Rosales, the Texas All-Star Showcase is the biggest event in the nation when it comes to raw talent.
“This was a very historical day today,” said Rosales, “it was a very good day for our region.” “Five years to be the first team to win this championship, being from the Coastal bend is very special to all of us.”
“ We competed against the biggest and baddest and you had these boys that came from all these small towns able to come together and win it,” Rosales said.
This particular team has been together since August, having practices on and off to coincide with other leagues his players are part of throughout the area.
They held practices once or twice a week, even three times if lucky and probably totaled 25 practices in all, playing 14 games throughout the season to prepare for this tournament.
Rosales added that the biggest challenge was bringing his players together for practices.
“They’re spread out so it’s hard to meet for practice from all these towns,” Rosales said. “Victoria is a two hour drive, so trying to get them over here…it was a struggle but we were able to pull it off and it was a lot of sacrifice for sure.”
For this tournament, all the teams were named after the HBCU, Historic Black Colleges and Universities. The Bison were named after the Howard University Bison.
Next up for Rosales and the Coastal Bend 9U team will be preparing for spring football and the Alliance League, which starts March 21.
“The biggest and baddest teams are in this league,” said Rosales. “That’s what we want. We want to play the toughest and the best.”
“At the end of the day, we’re preparing these kids for the big stage.”
Rosales added that every one of his players performs at a very high level and is definitely a team to follow in the Coastal Bend.
“If you ever watch these kids play, you’d be amazed at the level of football these kids play, especially our quarterback” Rosales said. “You would never believe Sebastian is only a fourth grader the way he throws that football and the way he plays, being that young.
Currently, the team holds practice in Robstown and once the Alliance games start, local games will be held at Pope John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi.