Cougars try to overcome losses on and off the field - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Cougars try to overcome losses on and off the field

Head Football Coach Daniel Finn is helping the team move forward with football, and with life. (Source: WECT) Head Football Coach Daniel Finn is helping the team move forward with football, and with life. (Source: WECT)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

High school football teams are battling the heat this week as they get ready for season openers Friday night. Not many teams are looking forward to the new season more than the Cougars of South Brunswick High School. The team had a tough year on and off the field.

South Brunswick has only won two games in the past two years, but they lost even more off the field.

Two players, Isiah Randolph and James Prince and a coach, affectionately known as "Pops" all passed away within the past two years.

The school's new Head Football Coach Daniel Finn is helping the team move forward with football, and with life.

Finn left the athletic director position at Southeast Raleigh High School, took a pay cut, and moved his family to Southport to take over as the new head coach.

"When you lose two players and a coach, it's tough on everybody," Finn said. "Our kids have been strong and we're really preaching this Cougar Family thing. We have a tight knit group and that's good for me because that's something I haven't had in the past."

Finn says he also wants to bring a new winning attitude to the squad.

"Everything you do, you have to do it like a champion and that's the attitude I'm bringing here to South Brunswick," Finn explained. "Nobody has said anything good about us and we should take offense to that. I'm playing that edge. We should be sick and tired of that and play with a chip on our shoulder."

While the outside expectations are low, inside this program there is the sense of togetherness, and family. The players have experienced many losses, and Finn wants them to start thinking like winners.

"State champs on three...1,2,3, State Champs," chanted the team as they finished practice on Wednesday afternoon.

Finn has a dozen years of experience as a head football coach.

In his six years at Southeast Raleigh, he held a record of 56-21.

South Brunswick starts its season this Friday with a tough game at Wallace Rose-Hill.

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