Copperas Cove multisport athlete Destiny Henderson helped the volleyball program achieve its first undefeated run to a district championship in the fall before helping the softball team secure its first playoff berth in four seasons earlier this week.
The Lady Bulldawgs third baseman scored two of her team’s runs in a 13-3 loss to Temple on Tuesday. Despite the loss, Copperas Cove clinched a playoff appearance thanks to Harker Heights’ loss to Waco Midway.
How did it feel when you found out you made the playoffs?
“When coach first told us, I was actually in the circle getting ready to bat. I was on deck, and when she told us, I felt relief because I knew we had already done our job and everything we had to do. We were just playing to play (against Temple). It didn’t come out like we wanted it to, but we still get to go to the playoffs for the first time (since 2008).”
After being on varsity since your freshman season, what was it like to finally reach the postseason?
“It is really exciting because no one on the team has ever been to a playoff game. The seniors that graduated last year went as freshman, and now we’ve proved ourselves to everybody, and we finally get to go and show everybody what we can do. We’ve been like a game short every year that I’ve been on the team, and I’m excited that we proved ourselves and did everything we needed to do to go to playoffs.”
How do you prepare for the playoffs when nobody on the team has ever played in a postseason game?
“I just want to relax and play like I know we can. We have nothing to lose and no one expects anything out of us right now, but they should.”
Do you like being viewed as the underdog?
“Yes because a lot of people will look over you like, ‘Oh, its just Cove.’ No, its not ‘just’ Cove, it is really Cove. We are here to play, but a lot of the older teams we play don’t expect it. They don’t expect us to do good or come out from the bottom and win. It is good. People can underestimate us, and we will show them what we can really do.”
What are your expectations for the playoffs?
“To go as far as we can. We might not go to state our first year, but I’m pretty sure we can go a few rounds deep if we play the way we can and don’t ever get down on ourselves.”
How nice is it to be on such a young team and know the core will be returning for another run during your senior season?
“It definitely takes some of the pressure off because the freshman from when I was a freshman are still here, and they are still playing. There are a lot of us that have been playing together our whole high school career and doing everything together. We play with sophomores and a freshman too, and we know how everyone can play. We’ve played with them since little league.”
You were also on the district championship volleyball team. What is it like having good season with both teams?
“With the volleyball team, it is expected of us, and I want it to be like that for softball. I want people to expect us to go to playoffs and expect us to do really good. I had to play the way I could and get my team to play the way it could, and just like in volleyball, we never gave up … and we got the job done.”
As a school, Copperas Cove has been very successful and the girl’s sports have been a big part of that. How does it feel to see your school doing so well as a whole?
“Actually, I thought about that the other day. Almost every sport at Cove has gone to playoffs except for a few. It is exciting to know that there are a lot of the girls doing it and not just the guys. This is a football town here, so people expect a lot out of the football team, but by getting the girls sports out there and other sports too, people know we are an athletic town. It is not just football. There are a lot of athletes in the school. It is not just the girls or the guys or football or anything; everyone is doing really well in everything.”
What is one thing you want to accomplish athletically before graduating?
“Personally, I want to make it to regionals. I’m not sure if softball ever has, but I want to make it there so we can say, ‘We started it. We got it there, now y’all take it farther when we leave.’”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org