I don’t take myself too seriously.
I watch people play sports for a living — it’s one of the greatest jobs in the world. And for one full athletic calendar year now, I’ve been lucky enough to do it for the greater Copperas Cove area.
Having said that, with the final UIL-sanctioned activity completed for the trio of high schools I primarily cover — Copperas Cove, Lampasas and Gatesville — it seems only appropriate to put together an awards banquet of sorts to recognize all the year’s standout performers.
So, without further ado, and to be taken with a grain of salt, here are my honors from the preceding school year.
And as a notification, the opinions expressed regarding the following awards belong to me and in no way reflect the feelings of the Killeen Daily Herald.
BEST SUSPENSE: Copperas Cove boys basketball — Bulldawgs junior guard Montre’ Williams hit a game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime against Shoemaker in the District 8-5A finale to clinch the program’s first playoff berth since 2008.
MOST IMPROVED: Gatesville football — One year after going 4-6, head coach Kyle Cooper guided a team anchored by 28 seniors to the program’s second-best record in school history, winning 13 consecutive games before falling to Graham in the Class 3A, Division II quarterfinals.
MOST ENTERTAINING: Billy White Jr., Copperas Cove boys head basketball coach — This could easily be called the Stuart Beckwith Award in honor of the former Lampasas girls basketball and girls golf coach, but White has claimed the title thanks to his fiery attitude, intense stare-downs and larger than life personality on the court.
MOST CONSISTENT: Gatesville volleyball — The Hornets made their 10th consecutive playoff appearance this season with seven squads producing district championships and the last four seasons ending in either the regional quarterfinals or regional semifinals.
BEST SEQUEL: Lampasas girls soccer — After posting just two wins in 2011, the Lady Badgers won three playoff games in 2012 under first-year head coach Tracy Brantley. This year, behind District 34-4A MVP Analise Watson, who is only a sophomore, Lampasas won its first district title since 1993 and advanced to sectionals before being eliminated.
Rickey Phillips, Gatesville head vollyeball coach — Phillips goes above and beyond the call of duty by sending out daily emails regarding all the school’s activities, keeping parents, fans and sports writers constantly informed. Additionally, his maintenance on the school’s athletic website makes it one of the most informative found anywhere on the Internet.
Cole Edmiston, Gatesville QB, and Vondareaz King, Copperas Cove RB — Had to go with co-winners for this one because virtually no situation could stop the Hornets quarterback from leading his team to victory and virtually no defense could stop the Bulldawgs running back from finding the end zone.
Celneque Bobbitt, Harker Heights boys head basketball coach — He’s not from one of the three schools I cover, but c’mon!
Teresa Durham, former Copperas Cove girls head basketball coach — After winning a state title at China Spring, she took the Lady Bulldawgs back to the playoffs for the first time in three years before unexpectedly stepping down from the position. While more than capable, her replacement — Eldridge McAdams — has big shoes to fill.
Kenneth Peiser, Lampasas head tennis coach — Despite working in virtual obscurity, the coach has spent 14 years with the program, taking the team to state in 2012 and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.
MOST DRAMATIC MOMENT: Gatesville girls golf — A controversial disqualification following the final round of the Class 3A state tournament dropped the Hornets from second to third in the final standings.
OFFENSIVE COACH OF THE YEAR: Jimmy Randolph, former Lampasas head football coach — He’s full of verbal ammunition and has a clever quote for any situation. Hated to see him go.
DEFENSIVE COACH OF THE YEAR: Jack Welch, Copperas Cove head football coach — Nobody does a more thorough job of looking out for their team and protecting their players from any and all distractions.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:
Blayne McGhee, Gatesville softball — After missing virtually the entire nondistrict portion of the schedule following labrum surgery on her throwing arm last September, the sophomore was named District 8-3A MVP — an award she did not even know existed prior to winning it.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS:
Qiana Canete, Copperas Cove volleyball — Led the Lady Bulldawgs to their first undefeated district championship in school history and was named District 8-5A MVP and KDHpressbox.com All-Area MVP as a junior.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR:
Cory Scott, Copperas Cove boys basketball and track — He was named District 8-5A offensive player of the year after helping the team end a four-year playoff drought. He became the first player in program history to sign a national letter of intent to play at a Division I school, and despite competing in only four meets, he won the Class 5A state championship in the high jump.
So, there you have it. That’s my take on the year in area high school sports. Congrats to all those who were lucky enough to land on this oh-so prestigious list.
I’m sure some were snubbed in the process, but we’re talking about a numbskull writer dishing out his less-than-expert opinion on made-up awards. Let’s try not to take it too seriously, OK?
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org