Being a student at Copperas Cove cannot be easy right now.
With a series of bomb threats at different campuses causing chaos around the city, daily routines are a thing of the past. As of Tuesday, nine separate incidents occurred within the span of six school days, and despite police investigations and an escalating number of students being detained and charged in connection with the crimes, the threats continue.
Seemingly, at any given moment, students can be whisked away from their studies. School days are being prematurely ended or canceled altogether, and there is a lingering fear in the air.
Students and parents alike are living with uncertainty and unease.
From an outsider’s perspective, it appears as if the threats are merely a hoax concocted by kids who simply do not want to go to class. After all, if there was any legitimacy to the threats, evidence would have been discovered or, in an absolute worst-case scenario, an explosion would have occurred, but try telling that to the hundreds of students, teachers, faculty and administration living in an ongoing cycle of unrest.
The school district is making the right decisions. The safety and well-being of its students is its most important responsibility, and if schools must evacuate every soul from every building every single day, then so be it.
In the wake of the threats and subsequent reactions, however, educations are not the only things suffering. To a lesser degree, athletics are affected.
All of this week’s athletic events scheduled to occur on Copperas Cove campuses were relocated. The Bulldawgs basketball teams made an impromptu trip to Lake Travis on Monday, and the Lady Bulldawgs’ district opener was moved to Killeen High.
Regular practice schedules were destroyed, and coaches who thrive on routine had to adjust to the unknown. Should the threats continue into next week, more sudden changes will most certainly occur.
There is always pressure involved in athletics, but the current situation at Copperas Cove is almost unheard of. Amidst the madness, teams are still expected to succeed on the court, and, so far, the Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs have risen to the challenge.
With very little warning, Billy White Jr.’s team made the 70-mile trek to Lake Travis, where it delivered a 52-46 victory. The next night, Copperas Cove’s girl’s basketball team, coached by Teresa Durham, dominated the Lady Roos 67-54 on their home floor.
Such performances say a lot about the kids who play the game and the coaches who prepare them. In general, winning is not easy. In uncommon situations, it can become exponentially more difficult.
Say what you will about the level of competition Copperas Cove was facing, but the community should be proud of everyone associated with these programs for showing a high degree of maturity, responsibility and dedication — something sorely lacking from the students who are guilty of terrorizing the school system.
Across the state, every team’s goal is to reach the postseason and it can only be achieved by winning district games. The ongoing uncertainty is indirectly jeopardizing the Lady Bulldawgs’, who have already begun district play, and Bulldawgs’, who are in the home stretch before opening their district schedule, chances to end their programs’ respective playoff droughts.
It might not sound like a big deal when considering the bigger picture, but, to the players and coaches, it is. They have spent countless hours preparing for the season by honing their skills, perfecting their plays and integrating specific systems.
It is a shame a group of deviants is throwing all their precise planning and hard work into a blender and flipping the switch to frappe.
So far, the teams have risen to the added challenge. Perhaps the 32 minutes spent playing a simple game is the lone opportunity the teams have to forget about what is going on within the community. Maybe the game is therapeutic in a time of stress and disorder.
But can it last? If the bomb threats continue to occur, can the teams continue to adjust on the fly? Hopefully, it is a question that will not need to be answered. Hopefully, for the sake of every student at CCISD, normalcy will return to Copperas Cove soon.
Again, when compared to the safety of students, the performance of any athletic team is a distant concern during this situation, but the Bulldawgs’ and Lady Bulldawgs’ play on the court is a prime example of Copperas Cove overcoming adversity.
Regardless of whether they win another game or not, their collective maturity is impressive and stands in stark contrast to the adolescent behavior of a number of their classmates.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org