Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs
Last season: 13-12-1, 7-6-1 12-5A bi-district finalist
Outlook: In 2012, Copperas Cove created a playoff streak. This season, the Lady Bulldawgs hope to continue it. After making the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, Copperas Cove looks to extend its run with a new-look roster. All-district first team selections Alyson Sinclair and Dani Parsons and second-team member Marissa Roest are all gone, but head coach Hagen Streckel has plenty of young talent to work with and build upon.
Player to watch: Shelbie Letzer, Jr. — A two-time all-district first team selection, the midfielder obviously has the talent to lead Copperas Cove, but her leadership skills will be put to the test following the graduation of 11 teammates.
Gatesville Lady Hornets
Last season: 4-14, 1-11 34-4A
Outlook: First-year head coach Amanda Johnson inherits a program that has nowhere to go but up after winning only four games in 2011. Although Johnson is new to the role, she is familiar with the team after being an assistant last season, so the transition should be rather seamless. It does not hurt to have 14 returning lettermen and a complementary cast of young players who are talented enough to contribute regularly before season’s end.
Player to watch: Veronica Mendez, Sr. —After landing on the all-district second team as a junior, Mendez appears poised to make a run at making the first team this year. She scored four goals in the Hornets’ first scrimmage this season.
Lampasas Lady Badgers
Last season: 16-8-1, 7-5 34-4A, regional quarterfinalist
Outlook: It will be difficult for Tracy Brantley to top herself. In her first season as head coach, Brantley guided Lampasas to its first playoff victory in school history. In fact, she revived a program that won only two games in 2011 and took it three rounds deep into the playoffs, marking the Lady Badgers’ first postseason appearance in three years. Lampasas finished third in district.
Player to watch: Analise Watson, Soph. — On a team full of fresh-faced talent, Watson stands out after being named newcomer of the year during her freshman season. The midfielder was critical to Lampasas’ offense in her first high-school season, and there is no reason for her role to change in 2013.