COPPERAS COVE — Over the past two years, Elijah Sobers and Montre’ Williams created some memorable moments.
In 2013, Williams hit a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer in overtime against Shoemaker in the regular season finale, sending Copperas Cove into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Last season, in the final District 8-5A game, Sobers did almost the exact same thing, scoring in the paint right
before the buzzer to beat the Grey Wolves and earn the Bulldawgs’ second consecutive postseason appearance.
After producing unforgettable individual highlights in their careers, the pair shared the spotlight Wednesday morning as they inked collegiate letters of intent.
Once the commitments were official, Sobers, who signed to play at Texas Lutheran, admitted he will cherish the moment with his teammate.
“It feels really good because we are together,” he said. “To be signing on the same day means a lot. We are really good friends, so that just makes this day that much more special.”
Like Sobers, Williams, who committed to Eastfield College, enjoyed the experience more because his teammate was by his side, but he was quick to point out the memory he will always treasure occurred on the court.
“That shot,” he said of his game-winner. “When everyone stormed the court, that was the best part of my high school career.”
Seven other Copperas Cove athletes signed letters of intent during the joint ceremony held inside Bulldawg Gymnasium, including Lady Bulldawgs guard Brittany Gamble.
The senior, who led Copperas Cove in scoring last season with 17 points per game, signed with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, crediting an instant bond with the players for her decision.
“I went up there and worked out with them a couple of times, and it felt like they were already my sisters,” she said. “They made me feel like I was already on the team, so that felt really good.”
A pair of standouts on Copperas Cove diamonds also made their commitments as Bulldawgs pitcher Bryce Delano and Lady Bulldawgs center fielder Elliana Doubleday signed with Cisco and Western Texas, respectively.
“I’m just really excited to extend my baseball career beyond high school and see how far I can make it go,” said Delano, who went 5-3 on the mound with 46 strikeouts as a senior.
For Doubleday, the day brought mixed emotions as she officially said goodbye to the program she helped resurrect. As the team’s leader in hits (43), runs scored (31) and stolen bases (23), she helped guide the Lady Bulldawgs to a second consecutive playoff appearance after suffering through a drought stretching back to 2008.
“I feel really great that we got to go to the playoffs,” the senior said. “My freshman and sophomore years, we didn’t even get close, so just to have the opportunity to go along with my teammates makes this really bittersweet.”
Bulldawgs soccer player Antonio Loffredi, who was an 8-5A All-District First Team selection as a senior, is making one of the biggest moves to begin his collegiate career after signing to play at Westminster College in Pennsylvania.
“I’ve never gotten many awards for athletics,” he said, “and now I’m signing for college, so I’m pretty excited.”
Bulldawgs golfer Drew Dewald, who missed reaching the state tournament by one stroke in each of the past two seasons, track standout Gabe Perez and tennis player Jamie Chacon also signed letters of intent. Dewald committed to McLennan, while Perez and Chacon will compete for Texas-Tyler and Midland University in New England, respectively.
For Dewald, the decision was easy.
“McLennan was a great fit for me,” he said. “It is only an hour from home. I fit real well with the coaches and players. They are ranked No. 1 in the entire nation and just won regionals by like 30 strokes, so I feel it will prepare me for a big-time Division I program.”
Regardless of where each is going, Copperas Cove athletic director Jack Welch knows they all earned their place.
“Opportunity arises when you make opportunities happen,” he said. “When someone gets to the top of the mountain, you have to realize, nobody dropped them off there. They had to work to get there.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org