Together, Toughness, and Love. The Motto Behind Cozad's Success

Haymakers take the court in the community wellness center to practice Wednesday.

In his second season leading Cozad boy's basketball, Drew Danielson has transformed the program to be a top notch contender in C1.

After defeating North Platte St. Pat's, the Haymakers have won nine straight, becoming one of only seven teams in their class with ten wins.

It's been a Cinderella start to the basketball season for Cozad, driven by just a few words.

"Toughness, Love, and Together," Trestian Siemering said. "Those three words".

Those terms defining the new mentality for the Haymakers on the hardwood floor, developing a team culture to play as one unit.

"Those three words, they're words, but they mean a whole heck of a lot to our players," Danielson said. "If you would ask our kids what those three words mean, they would define it thoroughly."

"Toughness helps us win games, love, love our teammates as much as possible, help them encourage," Siemering continued. "Together and love kind of run as the same thing, you work together as a team, you do things as a team. If someone says a cuss word, we run as a team like a culture basis."

This new environment comes as coach Danielson enters his second year leading the Haymakers on the court, transitioning the practices to more teamwork and playing with full passion.

"From the time we start, till the time we leave the court it is energy and effort," Danielson stated. "Those two things you can control every single day, we may not make shots in practice, we may not do the little things, but we're going to have 100% effort."

"Making us come as a whole and if someone has a test we encourage them," Siemering said. "Help them study and stuff like that, so teamwork is our culture."

Returning with a roster heavy in upperclassmen, Cozad credits their nine game win streak to player leadership and determination to win as a family.

"You know the old saying a player led team is better than a coach led team," Danielson continued. "I firmly believe our upperclassmen, seniors and juniors who play a whole lot have really done a good job taking ownership on themselves."

"After that loss happened, we knew we had to work harder," Sierering stated. "Focus more and be ready for closer games, better teams and help us win."

Sitting at 10-1 the Haymakers return to action Jan. 11th on the road at Gothenburg. With the same success through districts, Cozad is poised to make their first appearance in the state tournament since 2014.

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