Cowboys’ season shaken up by Rattlers

Coppell ends its playoff run in state semifinals

Nicholas Pranske, Sports Assignment Editor

GEORGETOWN – It all happened in the blink of an eye, if a blink lasted three minutes. In the first minutes of the second half of the Class 6A semifinals, the Rattlers of Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio scored two goals to take the lead over Coppell.


With another goal late in the game, the Rattlers took the win over the Cowboys, 3-1, at Birkelbach Field. Reagan will play in the UIL 6A championship tonight against the Rams from Alief Elsik High School in Houston.


Contrary to their last few games, the Cowboys started off this one with a quick goal. On a foul inside 30 yards, senior forward Wyatt Priest put in a goal on a free kick, giving Coppell a one-goal advantage early on.


Going into the half, the Cowboys were en route to the state championship. That route came to a dead end in the second half.


Throughout the five rounds and one half of the playoffs to that point, Coppell had not conceded a goal. That all changed in the first minutes of the second half, when the Rattlers put two up against the Cowboys. After drawing junior keeper Austin Simigian out from the goal, a Reagan midfielder lobbed a shot up. The ball slipped out of Simigian hands and into the goal.


“It’s just soccer, it’s how it goes,” Coppell senior center back George Ackling said. “Weird things happen and that kind of thing will happen.”


Two minutes later, in the 43rd minute, the Rattlers struck again on a free kick almost identical to that of Priest earlier in the game.


Just like that, the team that had not been scored on was losing, 2-1.


Despite attempt after attempt in the closing minutes of the game, the Cowboys could not find the net. In return, Reagan scored once more in the 71st minute to close out the 3-1 victory.


Just after the game, when a lot of teams could be found blaming each other, yelling in anger, or giving the ultimate silent treatment, the Cowboys could be seen comforting and consoling each other – as a team.


“Each guy is like your best friend. You know you best friend inside and out, you spend every day together. I can’t believe it was my last game with them,” Ackling said.


The fellowship of the team is not only what comforted the players after the loss, but also what brought them to that point. From beginning to end, the Cowboys played as a team.


“We talked about the possibility of losing, but we weren’t going for another shutout or anything. Our goal was to play together as a compact unit and that’s what we did,” Coppell coach James Balcom said. Sometimes, things don’t go your way though. I would say that fired them up more than anything.”