Danny McCooey is naturally a great leader. That’s apparent to anyone who’s ever seen his work on student faculty or community groups. However, it’s his work as a leader on the football field that’s been getting the spotlight lately. I sat down to speak with Danny recently while he prepared for one of the biggest games of his Friends Academy sports career. With the Quakers starting off the season with 3 straight losses, Captain McCooey looked forward to getting his team on track with a big “Under the Lights” victory. Prior to the big game, Danny had participated in “Friday Night Lights” twice in his FA Football career, both times being quite significant for him: “In 10th grade I had my first start against Malverne under the lights. I was really nervous and played to not make any mistakes. We wound up losing that game in a tough effort. Last year I came back and took another loss. Both times were really great experiences for me and I enjoyed playing in front of the crowd.”
Danny, a veteran in the FA football department, now leads his team in front of the FA community in a primetime game in what’s been a long time coming for him. The senior captain described playing in front of the crowd as “incredible” and laughed about “not being able to breathe during the first couple plays.”
When asked about what being named Senior Captain has been like Danny described it as “a huge honor”. “It’s a lot of fun but there’s definitely a new level of responsibility. Sometimes, it’s tough to have everyone happy and playing together.” Danny elaborated on this responsibility by comparing this position to an extension of the coaching staff: “In my opinion, it’s an extremely important position to hold because you can relate to the players more.” When asked if this position has taught him anything, he replied by saying: “It’s taught me that in order to get things done, you need to get people to respect. That doesn’t always mean everyone’s going to like you.”
Danny knew that this game would be tight. His score prediction was that Friends Academy would win by a touchdown.