Josh Canete watched it develop.
In 2013, Copperas Cove senior basketball player Cory Scott emerged from a year-long hiatus in the high jump to clear 7 feet at the district meet, propelling him to a state championship in the event. Then, Rashard Odomes spent two seasons as the Bulldawgs top high jumper, winning a district title last season.
Now, it is Canete’s time to carry the program’s legacy, and the junior is excited for the opportunity to make his mark.
“They set the tone,” Canete said. “I used to jump with Rashard, and he helped me out a lot, and I remember watching Cory a lot, so this event has history for me. I feel I have to keep this going for Copperas Cove.”
Canete will attempt to cement his place in Bulldawgs’ lore next week, when he competes at the UIL Class 6A Track & Field State Meet in Austin after winning the Region II-6A title Friday.
Getting to this point, however, was not easy.
Despite qualifying for the area meet as a sophomore, Canete was unable to participate due to his grades. This year, he placed third at district for the second consecutive season after clearing 6-4.
Then, Canete posted a height of 6-5 to win the area championship, and instantly, he knew a goal was within reach.
“I honestly didn’t even think I was going to make it to state,” Canete said. “I didn’t even know if I was going to make it regionals.
“But after area, I decided I was good enough to reach state and set my sights on that.”
Canete clinched his berth with a personal-best showing at regionals, clearing 6-6 to finish first.
Along with pointing toward Canete’s athleticism and dedication to the high jump, Copperas Cove head coach Keith Stifflemire attributes the string of success to a schedule geared toward peaking around the district meet and high jump coaches Travis Boyce and Chase Dommert.
Stifflemire believes there is an intangible aiding Canete’s performances as well, though.
“Tradition plays a huge part in things,” Stifflemire said. “Once you get a tradition going, young guys in junior high start looking up to the older guys and want to be like them.
“It is like that in most sports, and track is no different. Kids grow up wanting to be part of that tradition.”
The state finals for the Class 6A high jump will be held May 14 at 8 a.m. inside Mike A. Myers Stadium located on The University of Texas campus.
Between now and then, Stifflemire intends to do whatever is necessary to make sure Canete is prepared to compete for a state championship.
“There is always something to improve on,” Stifflemire said. “Nobody is ever perfect, but they can always strive for perfection. Whether it is his technique during takeoff or whatever, there is always something to tweak.”
While Canete wants to follow in Scott’s footsteps and earn another gold medal in the high jump at state for Copperas Cove, regardless of how things play out, he feels the experience will be beneficial.
“I’ll see what it takes to win at state no matter what,” Canete said. “This is only going to help me next year, because I think I’ll be even better.”
CLASS 6A STATE HIGH JUMP FIELD
May 14, 8 a.m. at the University of Texas’ Myers Stadium
Name, School Qualifying jump
- Quillan Haughton, Fort Bend Dulles 6-9
- Jack Scarborough, San Antonio Johnson 6-8
- Michael Tolds, Manvel 6-8
- Dreshon Govan, Converse Judson 6-7
- Andre Cowans, Houston Langham Creek 6-7
- Brandon Bowen, Northwest Nelson 6-7
- CJ Gilmore, DeSoto 6-7
- Josh Canete, Copperas Cove 6-6
- Darius Love, Conroe Oak Ridge 6-6