Brittany Gamble and Elliana Doubleday are leaving with a sense of achievement.
After each began high school with their respective teams struggling, both have been instrumental in turning their program’s fortunes around. Following years of committing themselves to their teams, the pair of Copperas Cove seniors committed to their futures Wednesday morning during a joint signing ceremony at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
Gamble, the Lady Bulldawgs leading hoops scorer last season, signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, while Doubleday — Copperas Cove’s center fielder — committed to Western Texas.
“These four years have been kind of rough,” said Gamble, who played under three different head coaches during her four years with the program, “but I used it as motivation. It is like my legacy. Being with all these girls during my four years has been a blessing, and we went through it all together. I feel accomplished.”
The Lady Bulldawgs had not reached the postseason in two years, but with Gamble serving a complementary role to then-senior Shawnte’ Goff, the team broke the streak in 2013. Last season, Copperas Cove fell just short of returning, and although Gamble would liked to have produced one more run to the playoffs, she believes the program is moving in the right direction.
“I am confident they will continue to be successful,” she said. “I can’t stay in high school forever, but I wish nothing but the best for the girls that are here. I will come back and cheer them on because once a Dawg, always a Dawg.”
Doubleday had a similar experience.
Copperas Cove failed to reach the playoffs for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2009, but behind a strong performance from Doubleday, the drought ended in 2013. Cove returned to the playoffs in 2014.
Like Gamble, Doubleday cherishes her time spent playing for Copperas Cove, but she is eager to start her collegiate career.
“I am so excited to play at the next level,” she said. “I’m very thankful for getting this opportunity. When I visited there, I knew it was the place for me to be. It felt like home.”
Although Doubleday only played one year under Lady Bulldawgs head coach Bryan Waller, her abilities were obvious throughout the season.
“Even though she is signing with a junior college, during our playoff series, she played like a Division I athlete,” he said. “She has that kind of talent.”
Lady Bulldawgs’ first-year head basketball coach Eldridge McAdams praised Gamble in a similar fashion.
“She’s worked hard,” he said. “She was first-team all-district for us, second team all-area, she made the academic all-district team. I was just glad to have the opportunity to coach her.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org