Cove vs. A&M Consolidated

Copperas Cove High School football player Floyd Connell attempts to avoid A&M Consolidated tackler Makel Williams during a game Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

The Bulldawgs returned to the playoffs in 2017, and eleven players were recently recognized for their roles by landing on the 8-6A All-District Team.

Highlighting the group is senior receiver Floyd Connell, who was named offensive player of the year after catching 72 pass for 922 yards and nine touchdowns. Additionally, Connell was recognized as a second team cornerback.

Bryce Ranes also earned a pair of accolades after being named to the first team as a returner and the second team as a receiver. The senior returned 17 kicks for 411 yards

Senior running back Dylan Taijeron rounded out Copperas Cove’s first-team selections, being recognized as a utility player on the heels of producing 463 yards and three touchdowns on 92 carries.

Eight more Bulldawgs were placed on the second team, including five on offense.

Jaylen Smith, a senior quarterback, junior running back Shontez Simmons and tight end Daveon Thomas, a senior, claimed three spots, while linemen Josh Smith and Austin Duenas were recognized at center and guard, respectively.

On defense, tackle Juan Jimenez, cornerback Tommy Connell and safety Andy Riley landed on the second team.

Waco Midway senior quarterback Tanner Mordecai received the highest honor, being named most valuable player, while teammate Jaxon Player earned the accolade of defensive player of the year.

Ellison sophomore Breezion Spiller and Belton sophomore Jason Stephens were named offensive and defensive newcomers of the year, respectively.

Copperas Cove finished the season with a 5-6 overall record after going 3-3 in district play, including a 37-35 victory at Belton in the season finale that captured a postseason berth.

Girls basketball

After a two-week hiatus for the holiday break, the No. 16 Lady Bulldawgs resume District 8-6A competition tonight, when they travel to face Shoemaker. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Copperas Cove will attempt to bounce back from its only district loss after falling to then-No. 12 Ellison 45-35 on Dec. 19.

The Lady Bulldawgs (3-1) are tied with Killeen for second place in the standings behind the unbeaten Lady Eagles (4-0). San Angelo Central and Waco Midway are each 2-2, while Harker Heights and Belton are 1-3, and Shoemaker is winless through four district games.

Despite being removed from district play, however, the Lady Bulldawgs have not been idle.

Copperas Cove traveled to Bryan-College Station for last week’s Aggieland Invitational, reaching the Division I, Silver Bracket semifinals before falling to eventual champion Katy Seven Lakes.

The Lady Bulldawgs began the 32-team tournament with a 59-29 victory against Victoria East, but a 49-40 loss to Wylie East in the second round dropped Copperas Cove into the Silver Bracket.

Facing host Bryan Rudder in the first round, the Lady Bulldawgs trailed 15-11 following the first quarter before advancing with a 57-50 win. Seven Lakes convincingly ended Copperas Cove’s hopes of reaching the finals, though, cruising to a 61-35 victory.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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