It does not get much closer.
Competing at Midway, where Copperas Cove thrower Gabe Perez recently won bronze at the District 8-5A meet, the senior improved dramatically, qualifying for the upcoming 5A-Region I meet by placing first in the discus at the area meet.
Perez delivered a throw of 165 feet, 1 inch — more than 14 feet farther than his district showing — to secure his spot at the two-day regional meet starting April 25 in Lubbock.
But Perez will not be alone as teammate David Castillo finished in second place, missing out on defending his victory in the event at district by one inch. The junior’s toss measured 165-0.
While the duo’s distances were less than an inch apart, they clearly separated themselves from the competition. The Bulldawgs were the only throwers in the field to clear the 160-foot mark with Killeen junior T’Mond Johnson placing third with a throw of 156-8.
Also advancing to the regional meet are Copperas Cove pole vaulters Jayson Cole and Mikayla Blount.
Cole finished second among the boys, clearing 12-6, while Blount earned a silver medal with a height of 9-6.
Dewald falls just short of state
Playing in unfavorable conditions that included near-freezing temperatures and 30 mph wind gusts, Drew Dewald delivered a strong showing, but finished one stroke shy of qualifying for the state tournament.
Dewald shot an opening-round score of 77 at Lubbock’s Rawls Golf Course, putting him two strokes off the lead, before following with an identical performance in the second round, giving him a 154 total score to place him fifth overall.
Only the top four individuals advanced to the Class 5A state tournament at Onion Creek Golf Course in Austin.
Bulldawgs lose grip on playoff berth
Copperas Cove’s hopes of finally ending their postseason drought were virtually extinguished Tuesday evening.
The Bulldawgs suffered a 14-0 run-rule loss at Belton, dropping them to 11-10-1 overall and 4-7 in District 8-5A play. Copperas Cove is sitting three games out of fourth place with only three games remaining in the regular season.
Fate is no longer in the Bulldawgs hands as Harker Heights and Temple, which are tied in the standings at 7-4, can clinch a playoff spot with a win.
The Bulldawgs fell into an immediate hole at Belton, allowing the Tigers to score five runs in the first inning before following with a four-run second inning.
Belton inflicted the remainder of its damage in the fourth inning, scoring five runs to push its leads to 14-0, and the Bulldawgs were unable to respond and extend the game beyond the top of the fifth.
Jayson Cole went 2 for 2 in the loss, while teammate Bryce Delano collected a hit and stole a base, in addition to striking out three Belton batters in three innings of work on the mound.
Copperas Cove concludes the regular season with a game at Temple on Tuesday before playing its home finale against Harker Heights next Friday.