Three more Cove seniors sign with colleges
By TJ MAXWELL
Two football players and an athletic manager participated in a signing ceremony Wednesday morning in the Copperas Cove High School’s weight room in front of friends and family.
“It’s a great opportunity for these guys to get to further their education,” said athletic director and head football coach Jason Hammett. “That’s the number one goal – education. Athletics is an important part of it, but to take the next step in the career they’re going to choose, this is a great opportunity.”
Offensive tackle McKenzie Agnello signed to play football for the Division II Texas A&M Commerce Lions while defensive back Isaiah Chisholm will play for RPA College Prep in Euless, and four-year manager Trent Davidson will attend Texas A&M University.
After Agnello was named a top junior by Dave Campbell’s Texas football Magazine and a top Texas recruit coming into his junior year, a knee injury on one of the first plays of the first game of the season left him unsure of what his future would look like.
“I was getting recruited by the big schools, so I was really distraught and upset about it,” said Agnello. “I knew I was going to go somewhere, whether it was a big school or not I was still grateful. I knew I was going somewhere, and I knew I just had to keep going. I had a dream, so I just kept going with it.”
He just worked hard, fought his way back, and earned a place with the Lions.
“I talked with head coach (David) Bailiff and (offensive line) coach Famika Anae and they were all really willing to let me join their family and they have team bonding so it’s going to be nice to have that out there,” said Agnello.
Agnello fully rehabbed and was ready to go on opening day this season, but a series of unfortunate events resulted in a less than ideal season for the senior and the rest of the Bulldawgs’ squad losing two games entirely to COVID-19 and finishing with just one win.
He just feels fortunate to get to continue to play the game he loves.
“I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to continue playing ball. I’ve been playing since I was little and I’m just grateful that I’m able to keep going with it.”
Besides his obvious size and strength, the coaching staff also liked his attitude.
“They said they like my aggression on the field and how I can turn it on and off so when I’m off the field I can be this nice guy pretty much,” said Agnello.
Chisholm, a one-year varsity starter, is looking to build on what he started in Cove at RPA Prep in Euless and eventually at the next level and just excited to continue his football and educational career.
“It feels great really,” said Chisholm. “I dreamed about it since freshman year. To see it come to light was a great experience and a great accomplishment for me.”
Chisholm hopes to improve academically and on the field while at RPA before continuing his education at a higher level.
“At the prep academy, I’m going to study agricultural business,” he said. “Then after prep school when I get somewhere bigger, I’m probably will change my major to kinesiology.”
He’s also grateful at the opportunity given him.
“The last four years at Copperas Cove have been great and I’m grateful for the experience,” said Chisholm. Now, I move on to the next chapter in my life.
Despite the small body of work, the RPA coaching staff liked what the saw.
“They said they liked the fact that I’m a 6-foot-2 athletic corner that, despite the one year of experience, still showed out and did great things for the team.”
Davidson is following his Mathematics dream to Bryan/College Station.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me, because I’ve always strived to get my grades up and go to a college I really wanted to go to. A&M is one of those colleges that is local, so I can always stay with family and at the same time follow the major and career path I’ve always wanted (Mathematics).
“A&M is one of the better schools to get in, especially locally, and I just wanted to go to a college where I could achieve more and feel like I belonged. These programs that have these elevated students and they’re accomplishing a lot. I want to be among those students and help the communities around there if anybody else is struggling and help my friends if they’re struggling.”
Davidson looks back fondly on his four years working as a manager under coach Tony Jones.
“Coach Jones is a great guy,” he said. “Under anybody else, these circumstances get a little long or a little boring, but he always makes it worthwhile. He makes it great and fun and worthwhile.”
Hammett hopes Davidson is also able to continue his manager career.
“Hopefully the opportunity will rise for him to join the equipment staff at Texas A&M.”