Hopefully you enjoyed it, Copperas Cove, because the Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs just completed an outstanding year.
It began in the fall with the volleyball team achieving the best season in program history and ended with the school’s first championship at the state track and field meet in two years. In between, six teams made the playoffs with half snapping lengthy postseason droughts in the process, several players received all-district superlatives and a couple of district championship trophies were added to the display case.
Along the way, there were plenty of dips, turns, twists and flips, but one thing remained constant throughout – the athletes produced at high levels.
The volleyball team set the tone, opening the school year by delivering the most successful season in school history, going 37-7, including the program’s first undefeated run to a district title.
A couple weeks later, the football team’s fourth-quarter rally against Cedar Hill came up just short, and the Bulldawgs were eliminated from the playoffs in the bi-district round. Despite the loss, the postseason appearance was the team’s ninth consecutive — a mark exceeding all other current streaks for Copperas Cove team sports.
Then, perhaps the most bizarre feel-good story of the school year began to unfold as the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams opened district play amid chaos as a number of bomb threats were reported at Copperas Cove campuses.
The threats threw practice and game schedules into disarray, but, somehow, the Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs overcame the odds to both make the playoffs.
For the boys, it was the first time they reached the postseason since 2008, while the girls snapped a drought stretching back to 2010.
During the spring, one playoff streak was extended while another began to take form.
The girl’s soccer team reached the postseason for the third straight year, while the softball team reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Individually, Cory Scott – a standout on the Bulldawgs basketball team – unexpectedly resurrected his high jumping career and went on to win at state in the event, while Girod Fluelen broke the school’s 50-year old discus record, and the Bulldawgs won their third consecutive district track and field championship.
Additionally, Julian Doubleday and Adrienne Burson both advanced to the state wrestling meet.
But despite experiencing such a wealth of success, no Copperas Cove athlete I encountered was anything other than humble. They were confident, not cocky, about their abilities. They were reserved when in the limelight and forthright when the mood soured.
Some adults I know, myself included, could learn from their examples.
Copperas Cove has a lot of good programs and a lot of good athletes, but, more importantly, they have a lot of good kids, who are intelligent, grounded and respectful citizens.
So, while most will remember this school year for all the wins on the field, court, diamond and track, in my opinion, it is simply the result of a lifetime of being raised right.
Dedication, hard work, selflessness and confidence are traits that come from the home. They can be enhanced with the aid of sports, but they are instilled long before anybody arrives at Copperas Cove High.
Athletes and coaches deserve plenty of recognition for all they have accomplished this school year, but parents and other family members are owed a debt of gratitude as well for grooming respectable young people, who happen to be athletic.