By Barron Demons
Shawndarius “Elmo” Cowart played basketball at Pensacola High school and has decided to stay home to play for Head Coach Pete Pena and the Pensacola State Pirates.
A freshman starting for a varsity team doesn’t happen very often. In the case for Cowart, at the point guard position, he started for PHS his freshman to his senior year, causing him to become mature and take on more responsible role for the Tigers.
Although Cowart is not the strongest or the fastest, he led the Tigers in scoring in each of his years for PHS. In each year with Cowart as a starter, the Tigers have won their district and reached the playoffs. The Tigers reached the Florida High school Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Semifinals in 2016, Cowart’s sophomore year, losing a nail-biter to Largo High school.
Cowart has never been one to shy away from big moments.
He has made a few crucial shots himself late in games, including a last second shot against rival Milton Panthers this past season. Cowart made a shot as time expired to give PHS the win and a District 1-7A title. The Tigers went on to play Crestview in the Region 1-7A quarterfinals but were defeated by the bulldogs 71-56.
Despite the outstanding accomplishments by Cowart, his basketball career is just beginning.
On April 10, 2018, Cowart decided to pass on six other offers and signed with PSC, to play in the Region 8 of the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA). Region 8 include teams such as Northwest Florida State College and Chipola College, both teams who played each other in this year’s FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 State Championship Final.
Cowart will likely be a big addition to the Pirates Roster in strength and size at the point guard position.
The tallest player on the Pirates roster who is listed as a true point guard is Mike McDougal.
McDougal is listed at 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds. The second tallest player listed as a true point guard is 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds. Cowart stands at 6-foot-3, and weighs in at 170 pounds. Size and strength should never decide a team, but Cowart’s size could help this Pirates in different aspects on the court.
The PNJ Player of the year award was awarded to Cowart, and he will look to continue building on his game with his new team.