A new beginning

Coppell starting District 6-6A campaign at Plano


Blanche Harris

Coppell junior wide receiver Anthony Black and senior wide receiver Gavin Osteen runs their routes at the Highlander Stadium on Oct. 9. Coppell will travel to Plano on Friday for its first district game.

Meer Mahfuz, Co-Sports Editor

Coming off of an intense non-district schedule, the district-wide bye week meant two things for the Cowboys: rest and recollection

Coppell (2-1) needed this week of rest after putting up three strong performances against Mesquite (36-21), Sachse (42-35), and Highland Park (42-36), only losing the latter. 

“The focus on the bye week for us was to get healthy, we had some guys that had some minor injuries and it was good for everyone to get their legs under them,” Coppell coach Michael DeWitt said. “We [also] needed to focus on some areas that we needed to improve on [and] the guys [got] two really good weeks of practice improving on those things.”  

While mental busts in terms of coverages and penalties and lack of aggressiveness have hurted the Coppell in their first three games, the bye week provided the perfect opportunity to concentrate on perfecting these areas, even changing up practice style to aid in improvement. 

“The main thing we needed to work on was aggressiveness,” Coppell junior defensive back Miles Hardy said. “Usually we don’t go full pads [but Dewitt had us going full pads for the last two weeks]. We really tried to change our mindset throughout the week by just being aggressive and trying to go hit people.”

A bye week could, however, be a cause of concern, considering just how dominating some individual performances were put up by the Cowboys. Coppell senior quarterback Ryan Walker is ranked fifth in the Dallas area, throwing for 888 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions on 60% completion while Coppell senior wide receiver KJ Liggins sits at fourth for receivers with 370 yards on 22 receptions and five touchdowns. In reality, though, getting fresh legs in these streaky players will be best going into an intense district matchup vs Plano tomorrow at John Clark Stadium at 7 p.m.

“This week of rest will definitely help us because we had a long week just to process everything and get our stuff together because we can’t come out with another one-half performance since we have tougher opponents and games coming up,” Coppell junior wide receiver Dylan Nelson said.

Coppell’s passing game against Plano’s pass defense will be the highlight of this game considering Coppell is ranked sixth in pass offense (averaging 296 yards per game) and Plano is ranked sixth in pass defense (allowing only 141 yards per game), both in the Dallas area. Plano also has quality at its other skilled positions and will provide adverse competition to Coppell.

“They’re a good football team, they’ve got some really good players,” Dewitt said. “They have a dual-threat quarterback, a running back that might be the best back we’ve played this year, they do a good job defensively, one of the best pass defenses in the area and they are very well coached.”   

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