Bulldawgs hold first football banquet under new coaching staff

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

Copperas Cove athletic director and head football coach Jack Alvarez led his team to a 7-4 record in his first year at the helm and that success was recognized during Alvarez’s first banquet since taking over the program.
“I want to say thank you to this senior group,” Alvarez said during the banquet. You had a chance to back down because I know what I did to you. I pushed you and tried to teach you some things. You know you earned to be on the team this year. No matter what role you had, you earned it. I appreciate you seniors buying in that fast. Junior, sophomore and freshmen standing on the sides, it’s going to take us all to get where we want to go. 
“Every year I do one of these, I make a true effort to thank every guy that played for us because there is a lot of time, effort and hard feelings. You know, but nobody else knows, how much hard work you put into it.”
Alvarez wanted to infuse the current program with the great players from Cove’s past by renaming the awards for stellar players at each position. Former standouts Josh Boyce and Brelan Chancelor were in attendance to give away their namesake awards and Alvarez hopes that many more former players attend in the future.
Taking the top honors were Senior quarterback Easton Simpson, senior running back Shontez Simmons and senior lineman/linebacker Jaylan Brown.
Simpson received the Charles “Peanut” Tillman Most Valuable Player Award for the top player on both sides of the ball. Simpson was also selected to the Academic All-State Team and received the Copperas Cove High School Superintendent’s Award from superintendent Joe Burns for the highest grade-point average on the team. His is 19th in his graduating class with a 4.139 GPA.
To earn Academic All-State or Honorable mention is quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Joe Burns. “Especially with the number of hours these young people spend practicing football, thinking about football and recovering from wounds earned in football.”
Simpson finished the year 129 completions on 220 attempts for 1,799 yards 20 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
Simmons was given the Robert Griffin III Award for the Offensive MVP. Simmons finished his varsity career with a combined 2,062 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.
Brown was given the Lamar Morgan Award for Defensive MVP. Brown was also given the Howard Hodges Defensive Line Award. He led the team with 76 tackles, 18 tackles for losses and six sacks in the 2018-19 season.
Also doubling up on the honors was senior Tommy Connell. He received the Brelan Chancelor Award for Most Valuable Special Teams Player and the Tim Atchison Defensive Back Award. Connell led the team with four blocked field goals, including one returned for a touchdown. He also had four interceptions from the cornerback position and had a receiving touchdown on offense.
Junior linebacker Nate David was given the T.J. Hollowell Linebacker Award. David also finished with 76 tackles and had 14 tackles for losses and an interception.
Junior Micah Cox received the Vontez Duff Running Back Award. He finished the season with 125 rushes for 902 yards and nine touchdowns.
Senior tight end Trevor Troy received the Logan Brock Big Skill Award. Despite being injured for a good portion of the year, Troy finished third on the team in receptions with 17 for 289 yards and four touchdowns. 
Senior Quentin Lewis received the Josh Boyce Wide Receiver Award. He finished first on the team in receptions and yardage with 39 catches for 532 yards and six touchdowns.
Sophomore lineman McKenzie Agnello was named the Sophomore of the Year and senior Tigris Stewart was named Scout Team Player of the Year. 
Joining Simpson on the Academic All-State Team Second Team were: senior Winston Vasquez and senior Mark Gastelo. Receiving Honorable Mention were senior Tyler Bailey, senior Dylan Orr, and senior Darrell Quichocho.

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