T he Lady Bulldawgs have become Copperas Cove’s main attraction.
While the boys typically dominate the conversation in a small town obsessed with football, the Lady Bulldawgs are doing all they can to grab some of the attention the best way they know how: By winning.
Back in the fall, when the Bulldawgs football team was backed into a corner and forced to fight for its playoff life until finally clinching a berth with a 34-6 win against Harker Heights in the regular-season finale, the Lady Bulldawgs volleyball team was making history.
Guided by head coach Cari Lowery and junior sensation Qiana Canete, the Lady Bulldawgs produced the best season in program history, earning the program’s first ever district championship and completing the only undefeated run through district in school history.
Additionally, the Lady Bulldawgs, who finished with an overall record of 37-7, ranked 12th in the final regular season poll and went on a 23-match winning streak that spanned two full months.
Now, the Lady Bulldawgs basketball team is sitting pretty with a playoff berth in hand two full weeks before the conclusion of the regular season, while their counterparts are struggling to fight their way into the postseason picture.
The girls soccer team is off to a 6-2 start to the season with both of its losses occurring in tournament championship games. Meanwhile, the Bulldawgs are sitting at a mediocre 2-2-2 through six matches.
So, why are the Lady Bulldawgs providing so much bite this season? Easy, it is simply their time.
Everything seems to be coming together perfectly for the girls this school year as each of the programs mentioned has an ideal balance of established coaches who use streamlined philosophies to accentuate rosters highlighted by a few standout players and a hard-nosed complementary cast.
Sometimes programs must wait for those special seasons when everything from top to bottom comes together harmoniously. It just so happens the planets are aligning for multiple Copperas Cove teams right now.
And thanks to repeated seasons of shortcomings and disappointment, there is an x-factor of willpower and determination. Each of the girls teams to suit up thus far this season has embarked on a quest for respect.
Lowery worked her volleyball team extremely hard during the offseason with the specific intentions of bringing Copperas Cove its first district championship. Girls head basketball coach Teresa Durham desperately wanted to snap the program’s playoff drought stretching back to 2010 and pounded it into her players’ skulls it is up to them to make this season different than the previous two.
Girls head soccer coach Hagen Streckel has a revamped roster, but is out to prove his young players can continue the trend set by their elders, who reached the postseason in each of the last two seasons.
This does not mean the boys sports are lacking in heart, leadership or determination because they are not. Tears flowed freely from the eyes of players after loses on the football field. Talent oozes out of the gymnasium when the Bulldawgs take the court, and the boys soccer team’s only real problem is a continuing trend of massive turnover season after season.
For whatever reasons, however, the boys teams are simply not gelling the way the girls are. The exact opposite has occurred in numerous years past as programs tend to ebb and flow, and, during those times, the Lady Bulldawgs found themselves residing the athletic program’s shadows.
But not this year.
The Lady Bulldawgs have stolen the show during the first half of the school year, and there is plenty of time remaining for them to add to their banner year. And having girls athletics thrive only benefits Copperas Cove as a whole.