By Monty Campbell
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE Nearly four and a half months have passed since the Copperas Cove Bulldawg football team gave its fans a memory of a lifetime, reaching the Class 5A Region II finals.
As special as last season was for the Bulldawg community, the team must move forward and strive to produce bigger and better results.
That goal resumed on Monday as Jack Welch and his staff brought the new look Bulldawgs onto the practice fields for the start of spring practice.
Not only will the Dawgs be attempting to replace the starting quarterback that led them to a 23-3 record the past two seasons, but the Dawgs offensive line was decimated due to graduation for the second consecutive year.
Take the personnel issues and couple with them the fact that Cove has to assimilate itself into an entirely different classification and district, and the result is going to be a large task for the Cove coaching staff to handle.
Based on Welch's track record, the Dawgs will find replacements for the key players that have graduated and Cove will adjust to the new six-team District 16-4A.
The Bulldawgs' spring practice culminates with the annual spring football game at Bulldawg Stadium on May 19.
Track team excels at qualifying meet
The Cove track teams took full advantage of having one last meet before the Region II Championships at Baylor University by having great success in the Region II Qualifiers meet Friday.
Valerie Hancock (100-meter hurdles), Robert Griffin (110 hurdles and 400), Donald Buckram (100) and Rashad Hawk (200) all boosted their confidence levels by picking up individual victories in their respective events.
The strength of the boys team, its relays, also did well in the meet, winning the 400 and 800 relays while finishing second, behind Mineral Wells, in the 1,600 relay.
Everything will be put on the line Friday at the Region II Championships. The field events begin at 9:30 a.m., while the running events start at 4:30 p.m.
Baseball team's fate rests on one game
Friday evening, the Copperas Cove baseball team will be trying to accomplish something that three decades worth of Bulldawg baseball teams were unable to do qualify for the playoffs.
The Dawgs will meet the Belton Tigers in what amounts to a one-game playoff for the final spot in the postseason. Belton leads the Dawgs by one game in the standings, after its victory over Harker Heights on Tuesday night and Cove's loss to A&M Consol, but will lose the tiebreaker if the Bulldawgs win the game, by virtue of a season sweep by Cove.
The first pitch of the showdown is set for 6:30 p.m. in Belton.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Valerie Hancock, senior, track and field. Hancock set a school record in the 100-meter dash by running a 14.17, breaking the old mark of 14.38 set in 1992 by Monica Hays.
STATISTIC OF THE WEEK: 11, The number of victories that the Bulldawg baseball team has handed head coach Brian Jost. It marks the largest number of victories they have compiled while he was at the helm, seven off of the school record of 18 wins.
Contact Monty Campbell at email@example.com