Shawnte’ Goff hasn’t been in a classroom since Tuesday.
Neither have any of her teammates.
But she has been on the basketball court representing her school, Copperas Cove.
The district’s campuses have been closed since Wednesday, after the district experienced nine bomb threats at its high school and two middle schools in a span of six days. The multiple threats caused evacuations and a disruption for students, staff and parents.
The games were still played, but with the threats at different campuses causing chaos around the city, there was a lingering fear in the air.
While most believed the threats were a hoax, the question had to be asked, “What if one of the threats is real?”
Friday, the extreme measure of Copperas Cove closing it schools seemed more than justified as the entire nation watched in shock and awe as the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, unfolded in Newtown, Conn.
No one will ever understand what prompted Adam Lanza to kill his mother in their home and then slaughter 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school before taking his own life.
That’s why Copperas Cove had to shut down its schools.
Despite police investigations and an escalating number of students being detained and charged in connection with the crimes, the threats kept coming.
Something had to be done.
They couldn’t take the risk of a bomb going off, no matter how remote the chance. Yes, in the short term, it seems the deviants behind the threats have won.
If it is students, like most assume, they got out of school. But, in the long run, they won’t win. Those lost days of school will be made up. Superintendent Joseph Burns said the district still plans to reopen schools Monday, with new security measures in place.
Rumor has it that students will lose part of their winter or spring break.
Life will go on as scheduled — everything except the games, of course.
Those got moved.
Last week’s scheduled athletic events on Copperas Cove campuses were all relocated. The Bulldawgs made an impromptu trip to Lake Travis on Monday, and the Lady Bulldawgs’ district opener was moved to Killeen High on Tuesday.
Regular practice schedules were destroyed, and coaches who thrive on routine had to adjust to the unknown.
Winning is not easy. In trying times, it becomes exponentially more difficult.
Still the Dawgs played.
Still the Dawgs won.
With little warning, the Copperas Cove boys basketball team traveled 150 miles round trip to Lake Travis and defeated the Cavaliers 52-46. The next night, the Lady Dawgs crushed the Lady Roos 67-54. The Lady Dawgs were even more dominant Friday, hitting the road and defeating Shoemaker 64-43.
Goff, who led Cove with 20 points in its district-opening win against Killeen on Tuesday, had her second straight 20-point night, finishing with 21 for Cove.
“We’ve just had a tremendous week with a lot of ups and downs,” Lady Dawgs coach Teresa Durham said after the win Tuesday. “We’re going through some crazy things at school with different bomb threats and just trying to keep the kids focused (is difficult). I was very proud of the kids because it has been a crazy week for our schedules.”
Despite the crazy week, Goff and her teammates kept playing.
In the big picture, athletics don’t matter.
But for those involved, sports are something to rally around, something they have spent countless hours preparing for and something therapeutic in a time of stress and disorder.
Goff will more than likely see the classroom Monday morning.
After that, she will see the basketball court she never left.
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569