Dawgs scrimmage Vipers as they get set for Thursday’s opener at Stony Point
By TJ MAXWELL
After 18 days of spring practice, almost two weeks of fall, and two intrasquad scrimmages, the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs football teams finally got their opportunity to go after someone in a different color uniform when they hosted the Vandegrift Vipers last night (results and information not available at press time).
The Bulldawgs kicked off their second full season under head football coach and athletic director Jason Hammett on August 9 before holding their annual Soap and Towel scrimmage on Saturday.
The Bulldawgs have a lot of youth on this year’s squad, despite having the experience of senior quarterback Shane Richey starting under center for the third season to lead the offense and third-year linebacker/defensive end Benjamin Shumaker as an experienced cog on the defensive side.
The Dawgs, as usual, have a plethora of talent at the running back position and this year’s no different as last year’s Scout Team Player of the Year senior Malcom Roberts will be providing a burst of speed with junior Craig Brown bringing the heavy load. Junior speedster Trey Fossett, senior newcomer Bra’Dyn Brooks-Smith, and junior newcomer Markis Nash are likely to see some touches as well.
Richey has a veteran target in senior Wyatt Nelson and some new receivers with potential, including senior Jaylen Donnell and underclassmen Demetrius Pearce (soph), Anthony Jackson (soph), Jalien Thomas (soph) and freshman standout Trishstin Glass.
The Dawgs return several offensive lineman as well with seniors Tyrese Hale and Ricktavius Moore along juniors Christopher Garcia and Marc Rodetis.
Leading the way up front with Shumaker and the Dawgs’ defense will be senior defensive tackles Zerrick Triplett, Terrell Tardy and newcomer Dylan Cahill from Georgetown. Returning seniors Devin Burson, Tyrese Francis and Aleczander Patterson will lead the linebacking corps and seniors Jovan Barnes, Donnell, Chandler Gastelo, Benjamin Izquierdo and junior Dayne Holden will man the Cove secondary.
The Bulldawgs have 12 juniors, eight sophomore, and two freshmen listed among the nearly 60 expected to suit up for the varsity Dawgs this season.
In Saturday’s scrimmage, both the offense and the defense had some highlight reel plays, giving the coaching staff reason to be optimistic. The true test, however, comes when you face another team and that began last night at Bulldawg Stadium.
This should be a tough test as the Vipers are coming off strong season where they advanced to the Class 6A Division II Region IV Quarterfinals where they lost Buda Hays.
The Vipers are expected to be a dominant force again this season with Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine predicting them to finish atop District 25-6A where they finished second behind Round Rock last year.
Last night’s scrimmage against the Vipers likely exposed some areas that need to be addressed and some others that need to be reinforced and the coaches will have just six days to reevaluate and adjust before traveling to Austin to open the regular season against the Stony Point Tigers.
The Stony Point Tigers, like the Bulldawgs, are coming off a season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic where they had to cancel games and had one of their worst seasons in recent history and both are looking to get the 2021 season started on the right foot.
Look for results from last night’s scrimmage between the Dawgs and Vipers in Tuesday’s edition of the Copperas Cove Leader-Press.