Texas Football picks Copperas Cove to finish 7th in revamped 12-6A
By TJ MAXWELL
As begins every Fall sporting season, the Texas Football Magazine releases its annual magazine and with it the predictions of how their staff believes to season will play out.
This year’s predictions have the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs finishing 7th in front of 12-6A newcomer Bryan with the Temple Wildcats taking the top spot followed by Shoemaker, Harker Heights and Ellison in what is expected to be a very competitive district should the COVID-19 virus allow the season to play out in its entirety.
The Bulldawgs return four players on each side of the ball including a pair of players that didn’t see much playing time in 2019 but are expected to make a huge splash in 2020 under first-year head coach Jason Hammett who was promoted to head coach after the departure of Jack Alvarez.
Senior signal-caller Russel Cochran broke his hand in the season opener as a junior and returned later in the season as a tight end. He is expected to compete with junior quarterback Shane Richey, who did a solid job filling the position as a sophomore, for the starting job.
Highly touted offensive recruit McKenzie Agnello is also expected to make a big impact on this year’s team after missing his entire junior season in an injury-plagued 2019 season after receiving high praise in Texas Football Magazine’s 2019 fall edition.
Senior running back Brandon Ortega is expected to big a big contributor for the offense as well. He finished with 184 yards and a touchdown last year despite backing up district leader Micah Cox who finished with 229 carries for 1543 yards and 19 touchdowns and Elijah Delacruz who finished with 667 yards and seven touchdowns on 86 carries.
Ortega will get some help with a pair of solid sophomores in Craig Brown, Brody Sanders and Warren Fleming.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive tackle Thomas Holman is expected to lead the way with junior Benjamin Shumaker and senior defensive end Ayden Paquette. Sanders is also expected to play at the linebacker spot.
The Temple Wildcats return three on offense and six on defense including wide receiver AJ McDuffy, RB/QB Samari Howard, QB/DB Mikal Harrison-Pilot, QB/WR Luke Allen and offensive lineman Colby Rice as some of their players to watch on offense with linebacker taurean York and, defensive lineman Jayven Taylor and DB Devan Williams leading the defense.
Shoemaker returns eight on offense and six on defense with QB Ty Bell, RB Devin Brown, WR Monaray Baldwin and athlete De’Andre Exford l3eading the way on offense. LB Keith Cunningham, DB Adonte Crayton and DB Darmell Hollins expected to lead the defense.
Jerry Edwards’ Harker Heights Knights are picked to finish third with five returning starters on both sides of the ball including DB Savonte Sanford-Paige, QB Terrance Carter, WR La Princeton Dixon , WR Marcus Maple DE Jack byse and QB Shyan West expected to lead the way.
Ellison, under head coach Todd Wright, is picked to take the fourth and final playoff spot with five starters returning on offense and four on defense. RB Damasha Harris, WR Traelen Williams, OL Keanu Rameriz and WR Trejon Spiller leading the offense. DE Devonte Tezino, along with linebackers Xavion Davis-Alexander and Calvin Harper are the players to watch on defense.
Killeen is picked to finish fifth with Belton in the sixth spot followed by Copperas Cove and Bryan.
We will know more on the status of the 2020 sports season soon as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is expected to make an announcement this week on the future of athletics in Texas. No announcement had been made as of press time on Monday.