Beginning again: Cowboys face McKinney to open Class 6A playoffs

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Meghna Kulkarni

Coppell senior cornerback Zach Cody makes a tackle against Plano on Nov. 3rd at Buddy Echols Field. The Cowboys host McKinney tonight in the Class 6A Division II Region I bi-district playoffs at 7 p.m. at Buddy Echols Field.

Sahith Mocharla, Staff Writer

Past, present, future –the Coppell football team seeks to turn its playoff fortunes around by advancing through the bi-district playoffs – something it has not done since 2017.

 The Cowboys regular season concluded with a 9-1 record, with blowouts and nail biters aplenty. None of it matters anymore. 

Coppell’s first playoff clash comes against McKinney (6-4) tonight in the Class 6A Division I Region I bi-district playoffs at 7 p.m. at Buddy Echols Field.

“I don’t want to sound too arrogant or anything, but I’ve never based my goals on getting to the playoffs,” Coach Antonio Wiley said. “It is a big accomplishment to be in the playoffs  because there’s a lot of teams that hung up the shoulder pads this week. But we’re not complacent, we’re not content with being where we are. We want to keep grinding and keep getting better and keep pressing every week, trying to get as many weeks out of the season as we can.”

The Cowboys enter on a five game winning streak, understanding that its game hasn’t been perfect and focusing on tightening its defense.

“We focused on the run[ning game] this past week, every morning at practice has been tailored to stop [McKinney] and we should be able to stop the run now,” senior cornerback Braxton Myers said.

Wiley is using his playoff coaching experience to prepare his team for what it will face in the postseason.

The ultimate goal when you start the year is to play 16, and I think that hasn’t wavered in our kids confidence.”

— Antonio Wiley.

“I’ve been in [a playoff] environment before,” said Wiley. “There’s always a lot of nerves and anxiety involved in it and it’s our job as coaches to settle them down early and get them back focused on understanding that it’s just another game at this point. You can’t let the pressure of the win-or-go-home scenario dictate how you play the game, you have to go out and execute like you’ve done for the last 10 weeks and make sure that you give yourself an opportunity to win the game.”

Wiley does not want his team looking ahead, 9-1 is a successful regular season, but in the postseason you must take every game one at a time.

“If you don’t get this one, you don’t get any more,” said Wiley. “Your ultimate goal gets crashed in one week if you don’t take care of business. We have to stay focused on the task at hand. You have to take out one opponent at a time and once you’re in the state playoffs, you can only think about what’s in front of you.”

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