Athletes sign letters of intent for college
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Five Copperas Cove High School athletes signed letters of intent to compete at the collegiate level during a special ceremony held Wednesday morning at Lea Ledger Auditorium.
The students range from a dancer to a powerlifter to a wrestler and basketball players.
The five students who are continuing their athletic journey at the collegiate level are:
Amari Snead, who will be attending Stephen F. Austin University for dance.
Tyler Morrow, who will be attending University of Texas-San Antonio for powerlifting.
Mya Watson, who will be attending Texas Woman’s University for wrestling.
Samaria Bostick, who will be attending Temple College to play women’s basketball.
Yvonna Drayton, who will be attending Dallas College at Richland, also for women’s basketball.
Each student’s coach shared a few words about their respective athlete.
Copperettes Director Antonia Parrish-Brooks, who has coached Snead since he was a freshman, said that he has set himself apart as a natural leader to the team.
“He always stepped up,” she said. “He was always the first to take charge, and when it came time to fall in line or get out, he took it a step further and he decided he wanted to lead that line.”
She added that four years later, Snead is still stubborn and headstrong as he was his freshman year, but he has channeled this into every goal he has set and then accomplished, including getting a job, joining the step team and becoming the first African American male captain in Copperas Cove High School Copperettes history. He also held a goal of wanting to dance at the collegiate level for Stephen F. Austin State University, which he will accomplish in the fall, and he will hopefully help the team bring home more national titles, Parrish-Brooks said.
“I can definitely say that I am beyond proud of Amari as not only a person but as a leader and a dancer, and I know for a fact he’s going to excel at the collegiate level,” Parish-Brooks said.
Snead said that he hopes to open his own dance studio one day and chose Stephen F. Austin University because they have a minor in dance, plus a winning dance team.
Powerlifting Assistant Coach Karl Koether said that Morrow’s work ethic is the reason why he won the title of State Champion for his weight class (114-lbs) in 2021 and went back-to-back this year and became the first ever back-to-back state champion in Copperas Cove history.
Morrow lifted a combined 1,010 pounds at state competition in 2021. He beat his own regional record this year with a combined weight of 1,095 pounds and lifted a total of 1,180 pounds at state competition this March.
“He’s going onto the next level,” Koether said. “I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”
Mya Watson is the second ever female wrestler from Copperas Cove to earn a scholarship for wrestling in college, following behind Leeann Edmond who signed her letter of intent last month. Watson will be pursuing a degree in education and hopes to become a special education teacher and also coach wrestling after college.
Wrestling Coach Ryan Robbins said that Mya is someone who has been in the wrestling program for a while, for three years, who has given it her all.
“She’s been a regional qualifier all three years,” Robbins said. “She placed as a junior, and she is a huge, huge part of the women’s wrestling program’s success at this school. The first time ever either team was ranked in the state, it was mainly from her. She ranked the highest anybody in Cove has ever ranked, at fourth in the state, and if you ask me she was the best…I watched the other girls wrestle, and everybody was afraid to wrestle Mya.”
Watson suffered an injury that kept her from competing at the state level, which Robbins said broke his heart. Watson approached him and told him that Texas Woman’s University still wanted her to wrestle for them, he added.
“I’m so happy that she’s blessed enough to be able to go and continue her career at Texas Woman’s,” Robbins said. “I know they’re getting a steal up there, as soon as she gets healthy and gets her shoulder back. No doubt that she’s going to be competing for national championships too.”
Watson later shared that she feels her short cut season will “be a past memory” when she begins her next chapter at TWU.
Lady Dawg Basketball Coach Tiffney Barnes-Graham spoke about both Samaria and Yvonne.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barnes-Graham said she considered this year’s season the first one where she could really get to know her players.
“You truly blessed me, and I’m so grateful that you trust me 100 percent,” Barnes-Graham told Samaraia. “Samaria not only played for me, but she helped build our program. Getting up early on Saturday mornings to help with our free clinics for our community, helping out with Parks and Rec, getting up before school to help out with our junior high programs. My goal has always been to help develop strong, independent females and I believe you have showed me that I’ve done that.
Temple College is receiving an amazing individual. I can’t wait to watch you play, and I can truly say we, your Lady Dawg Basketball family, helped you develop those moves.”
Barnes-Graham called Drayton the “hardest working individual” she has ever witnessed.
“You are a prime example of how height and size does not compare to hard work,” Barnes-Graham said. “Yvonne is undersized, and she plays the post. She plays like she’s six-foot though. After 90 percent of our games, coaches would come up to me and compliment her. They would ask, ‘How is she so strong?’ or ‘How is she out-rebounding our posts?’ or most importantly, ‘How is she getting shots off over 6’0” players?’ I would answer, ‘Well, it’s because she’s a Lady Dawg.’ Here at Copperas Cove, we set high expectations.
No one will ever outwork us in the weight room or on the court. This is why Dallas College is blessed to have you be the example for your future teammates of what hard work looks like and what the outcome of hard working is.”