Copperas Cove commits six more to collegiate athletics
By Clay Whittington
It was the perfect scenario.
Based on her academics, Copperas Cove senior Jiya Edwards knew her collegiate destination for months after being accepted to study at Texas to study nursing.
Then, the unthinkable occurred.
While competing with the Lady Bulldawgs at a recent powerlifting meet, Edwards struck up a conversation with a judge for the Longhorns program, who saw potential.
Now, her athletic career will continue as well after being offered a scholarship to lift at Texas, and Edwards feels she stumbled into the perfect scenario.
“It feels like destiny,” she said. “I didn’t even think powerlifting was an option for me, but this is a program that lifts all year around, and they carry the program with pride. I’m really excited to be a part of it.
“Then, the fact that they picked me to take part is really important to me as well.”
Edwards was one of six athletes to take part in a joint signing ceremony Wednesday morning inside Copperas Cove High School’s Lea Ledger Auditorium.
Along with Edwards, a pair of Bulldawgs football players secured their spot at the next level.
Wyatt Nelson, a receiver, signed to play at Sul Ross, while teammate Bray’dyn Brooks-Smith will make his collegiate debut at Killeen’s Mission Tech Prep. The program will field a team for the first time during the upcoming season, playing against junior college and junior varsity teams.
Copperas Cove baseball standout pitcher Antonio Espinoza also committed to play for Kansas Wesleyan during the ceremony, while cheerleader Hailee Thompson signed with MidAmerica Nazarene.
Leeann Edmond rounded out the group of signees, inking a letter of commitment to Schreiner, and like Edwards, the decision was unexpected.
Despite advancing to the University Interscholastic League Class 6A State Wrestling Tournament, Edmond believed her time with the sport was complete, but she was wrong.
In a similar scenario, while competing at a meet, a coach expressed interest in Edmond’s potential, opening her eyes to the possibility of a collegiate career. As a result, instead of potentially enlisting in the military, Edmond is the first female from Copperas Cove to sign a wrestling scholarship.
“It finally clicked,” Edmond said. “I realized that I have the ability to compete at the next level. I didn’t know I could keep wrestling after high school.
“Now, I just want to keep getting better from there.”