COPPERAS COVE — Rashaun Gibson and Chans Colbert don’t display much emotion, but their brief smiles spoke volumes.
The pair of reserved and straight-faced Copperas Cove football players let loose ever so slightly Wednesday morning, allowing grins to momentarily accent their faces as they secured their playing futures by signing letters of intent during a ceremony inside Bulldawg Gymnasium.
The small, but joyful expressions were not much, but it was about all anybody expected.
“Chans was asked if he was excited (to be signing),” Copperas Cove offensive coordinator Tracy Welch said, “‘Yes, sir.’ That is about all you are going to get out of him. Rashaun, I don’t think he said a word (when asked the same question).”
“I think Rashaun said he was excited,” Bulldawgs head coach Jack Welch added. “I think.”
Gibson signed to play for Prairie View A&M – a Division I Football Championship Subdivision program – and Colbert committed to Division III power Mary Hardin-Baylor. The duo was joined by teammate Blake Holmes, who inked a letter of intent to play for Cisco College, bringing Copperas Cove’s total football signings to 10 after seven Bulldawgs committed on National Signing Day in early February.
The trio helped Copperas Cove to a 7-3 overall record, finishing second in district (5-2) before losing to Cedar Hill in the opening round of the playoffs.
After spending his high school career as a leader by example, Gibson intends to continue letting his actions do his talking as he prepares for the next level.
“I’ve got to work harder,” the receiver said. “I’ll continue to work out so I can keep my speed and compete.
“(The Panthers) are more of pass and run team, its 50-50, so I just need to work on my game and stay on top of it.”
As a senior, Gibson led the run-heavy Bulldawgs with 827 yards and 11 touchdowns on 49 receptions, while adding 63 rushing yards and a pair of running touchdowns, finishing second to junior running back Vondareaz King (19 touchdowns) in scoring.
Additionally, Gibson served as the Bulldawgs’ primary kickoff returner, producing a 35.2-yard average, and was named to the District 8-5A All-District First Team as a receiver and a returner.
Colbert also earned all-district first team recognition as a fullback after producing 229 yards and four touchdowns on 46 carries, while complementing the Bulldawgs’ rushing trio of King, Daniel Ruff and dual-threat quarterback Robbie Seybold, who committed to play for the Crusaders last month.
“I’m going to try to do twice as good at UMHB as I did at Copperas Cove,” Colbert said.
In addition to his rushing production, Colbert caught seven passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
“Defensively, people try to gameplan for you based on your personnel sets,” Tracy Welch said. “By having Chans and the things he could do for us, teams could not because we could play “I” formation with two backs in the backfield or use one back in the backfield with a receiver. It really allowed us to do some things offensively.”
Left tackle Holmes joins teammate and fellow offensive lineman Nick McGee at Cicso College after helping the Bulldawgs produce the district’s second most prolific offense during the regular season. Copperas Cove averaged 447 yards per game, finishing with 2,989 rushing yards and 1,481 passing yards, and was the only district team to conclude the season with players listed among the top four individual rushers, passers and receivers.
For Holmes, the decision to play for the Wrangles was simple.
“The coaches liked me,” he said. “That was the biggest thing. I don’t want to go somewhere and play if they don’t want me, so it just fit.”