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October 26, 2023

Column: From underlooked to the team to beat

Looking back on Coppell’s season
Namir Awan
Coppell senior wide receiver Baron Tipton rises over senior safety Ashton Williams for a touchdown reception on Saturday at Choctaw Stadium. The Cowboys season ended with a 52-45 loss to the Bobcats in the Class 6A Division II Region I semifinals.

Not one, not two, but three. Three schools set their homecoming dates against the Coppell football team.

Underestimated coming into the season, Coppell had a lot to prove, and coach Antonio Wiley also had a lot to prove. 

13 weeks later, the 12-0 Byron Nelson Bobcats and the 12-0 Coppell Cowboys faced off in the Class 6A Division II Region I semifinals on Saturday at Choctaw Stadium, and the game did not disappoint. With a combined 13 touchdowns and two field goals, the contest was a high-scoring affair, with both sides displaying highly superior talent. 

After being down 45-24, the Cowboys started fighting back, scoring a touchdown and then forcing a three and out. The ensuing drive they once again find themselves in the end zone with 2:14 on the clock and a timeout in hand.

After stopping Byron Nelson on first and second down, Coppell called a timeout with a minute and 20 seconds in hand. One more stop was all they needed. Byron Nelson, however, did not feel like giving Coppell a chance, closing the door on the season with a 47-yard touchdown by senior wide receiver Landon Farco to effectively end the game. 

Now that the season for Coppell is over, let’s take a look at what is to come and what has happened over 14 weeks of play. 

Starting off the season shaky against a tough fought victory over Sachse followed by another high-scoring game against Grand Prairie. Their third nondistrict game against Keller Timber Creek at Buddy Echols Field was canceled at halftime due to lightning. 

After a week to rest up and get all the players healthy, Plano West fell victim once again to Coppell, this time with defensive mistakes cleaned up. Up to this point, many critics had started talking about Coppell as a serious contender for a deep run in the playoffs. There was only one problem with that: its schedule strength.

Shutting the critics down was on Coppell’s mind. The next week they faced Lewisville and with an upset victory over last year’s district champions, it was firmly the team to beat. 

The next five weeks were more of the same. Defeating Flower Mound Marcus, winning its homecoming game against Plano East, shutting out Hebron, taking down Flower Mound, and their final season win by blanking Plano signified its first 10-0 season since 2012. 

Being district champions, the Cowboys firmly established themselves amongst the best in Texas. However, many had doubts about the team and whether they would survive Texas high school playoffs. Coming into the matchup ranked No. 29 in the state, they had everything to prove. Defeating No. 23 Denton Guyer 35-21 in the bi-district playoffs at Buddy Echols Field after comeback efforts fell short by Guyer in the fourth put Coppell on the map for a deep run. 

Dallas Jesuit in the area playoffs at the Ford Center in Frisco was no match for Coppell as it would get close in the third quarter, but the defense held once again. Coppell would face the No. 6 Byron Nelson. 

With the season now officially over, what’s next for the Cowboys?

Many notable seniors such as wide receivers Baron Tipton, Luca Grisoli and Ayrion Sneed along with many senior defensive players have played their last game of high school football. However, there are many players returning for their senior year of football. Most notably, quarterback Edward Griffin, corner Seth Carethers and linebacker Weston Polk along with many others are returning.

With the season now finished Wiley has already started looking forward to the next season.

“The loss hurts but we have to focus on next year starting now,” Wiley said. “We still got to play next year so we will come back better.”

Follow @namir_awan and @sidekicksports on X

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About the Contributor
Namir Awan
Namir Awan, Staff Photographer
Namir is a junior and a 2nd year staff writer for The Sidekick. Namir loves to watch and play basketball and football. Namir enjoys learning about history because he likes learning about the past. He also loves to play video games with his friends; his favorite game is Rocket League. Namir also works at Kumon; he enjoys working there because he enjoys helping kids learn math and reading. Namir is excited for this upcoming year as he goes into his second year of being on The Sidekick. You can contact him at [email protected].

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