By Kristine Favreau
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs play for more than just victories – they play for pride as well.
When the Dawgs take the football field for the first time today, they will do so knowing that they carry with them the support of an entire city.
"It's great knowing Cove is behind us," said varsity tight end Logan Brock. "It gives the players more desire and drive to produce and win."
The Cove Dawgs will be playing the season-opener against the San Angelo Central Bobcats tonight. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at San Angelo Stadium.
For one Cove fan, the trip to San Angelo is one that will be reminiscent of his own football career. Copperas Cove Independent School District Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott played at the San Angelo Stadium during his years as a football player at Angelo State University. The university shares the stadium with the Bobcats.
"I'm looking forward to putting on my blue and gold and getting out there yelling for the team," Ott said.
All over Cove, signs of support for the much-loved football team are evident. Local businesses, houses and cars are proudly displaying Bulldawg blue paw prints and "Go Dawgs!" signs.
The team's opening the season with an away game doesn't lessen the amount of spirit and support for the players. Cheerleaders spent Thursday afternoon making signs and practicing for tonight's performance in San Angelo.
"We have to cheer harder at away games," said varsity cheerleader captain Sarah Woods. "We want to make sure we all cheer and get people in the crowd involved."
After a near-perfect season last year, the Bulldawgs are entering this season ranked No. 3 in 4A football for the state.
Varsity free safety Joseph Leary is well aware of the city's high expectations for the team.
"We're so happy that this town loves and supports us," Leary said. "It helps us play harder. The town expects it from us."
Leary added that every time the team plays, it does so with the intention of making the coaches proud, making the town proud and having a successful season.