Copperas Cove female coaches and athletes speak out on Title IX 50th Anniversary
By Wendy Sledd
Special to Leader-Press
Copperas Cove ISD Athletic Director Cari Lowery played volleyball, basketball, and ran track in high school, attended college with an athletic scholarship, and has continued the game with nearly 900 wins as a high school volleyball coach.
Lowery celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX this month remarking that she would not be in the position of CCISD’s athletic director without the passage of Title IX.
“Think of the millions of girls that have been able to play sports over the last 50 years and how it has changed their lives,” Lowery said. “Sports are not just about the X’s and O’s of the game. They are about the life lessons learned…the lessons that have helped women in their careers or with their families. How many girls have been able to get college educations because they were athletes?”
Copperas Cove High School alum, basketball standout, former WNBA star, and now the women’s basketball coach of the University of Texas at Arlington Shereka Wright attended Purdue University with an athletic scholarship. Wright says the passage of Title IX means the door has opened well-deserved opportunities for women.
“We can now be the head of those tables instead of just occupying a seat. When we speak, our voices are heard and now we can be examples for generations to come,” Wright said. “Playing sports has allowed me to use my platform to speak on important issues and mentor young girls who look up to me. It also instilled confidence and toughness to fight for what’s important.”
Title IX, passed in 1972 and celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs or activities that are federally funded, allowing females the same access to opportunities as males.
Copperas Cove High School graduate and golf standout Elle Fox now plays golf at the D1 level at Tarleton State University with a golf scholarship.
“I have been non-stop working for the past 11 years. College was a very big step for me that I honestly wasn’t expecting golf-wise and academically,” Fox said. “Female sports need to be more recognized at all levels. The (Ladies Professional Golf Association) is finally coming around with starting to pay the females just like the males. Something needs to change and with Title IX, it is starting to be fairer and more realistic.”
Copperas Cove High School junior Ella Crawley plays soccer, golf, and runs cross country.
“Sports teach me much more than just the skills it takes to play well,” Crawley said. “Through competition, I have the opportunity to interact with other competitors and learn good sportsmanship of how to win with the same grace as you when you lose…something the boys could learn from us girls.”