Category: Cooper Cougars

GAME STORY: First-quarter struggles doom Cooper in 37-14 road loss to Brewer

 WHITE SETTLEMENT — A disastrous first quarter put the Cooper football team in a 21-0 hole that it could never climb out of in a 37-14 loss to Fort Worth Brewer in a key District 3-5A Division I game Friday at Bear Stadium.

The Cougars, now 4-3 overall and 2-2 in league play, gave a game effort in the second half, outscoring the Bears 14-9 over the final two periods. But coach Aaron Roan’s squad was facing a 28-0 deficit by the time it went to the locker room for halftime, making a comeback unlikely against a talented Brewer squad (6-1, 4-0). 

Cooper pulled within two scores (30-14) early in the fourth quarter and appeared to recover a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff, but an offsides penalty wiped out that potential momentum shift, and the Bears scored on the resulting drive to put the game away and preserve their firm standing in the district title race.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Roscoe travels to Ralls for crucial district game (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 40-7, .851
SEASON TOTAL: 287-63, .820

Week 8? Are you kidding?

I ask the same question, or some variant of it virtually every year. We just finished with two-a-days. How can we possibly be this deep in the season so quickly?

Yet hear we are. A cold weather snap approaching. Thanksgiving right around the corner —as are the playoffs.

This week’s Game of the Week will see me traveling north to Ralls where the surprising Roscoe Plowboys, off to their best start in years, will be in a showdown for the district lead.

The column hit at 85 percent accuracy last week and is now up to 82 percent on the year. So we’ll see if we can keep the momentum going through the home stretch.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks: 

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 8)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games, in addition to the results of Evan Ren’s Twitter polls for each matchup.

For those interested in voting, polls go up on Monday night each week and close Thursday morning.

Disagree with our picks or the Twitter consensus? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 12)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Young takes spotlight with monstrous effort

Who says defensive players can’t be the Player of the Week?

That’s certainly not true at Big Country Preps, where our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week helped push Stephenville to a stunning 35-7 rout of perennial power Waco La Vega on Friday night.

Senior linebacker Reese Young takes our weekly accolade after charting an almost unbelievable 25 tackles to lead an SHS defensive effort that saw the Yellow Jackets hold La Vega to just 94 yards rushing on 44 carries.

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GAME STORY: Cooper defense has near historical night in win over Arlington Heights

The Cooper football team has played 677 games in its 62-year history, and Thursday night against Fort Worth Arlington Heights the Cougars had the opportunity to break a school record that had stood since the third year of the program’s existence.

Cooper’s defense was two plays away from breaking the school record of fewest yards allowed (31 by Sweetwater in 1962) before allowing 15 yards on Brian Furch runs to put the Yellow Jackets to a grand total of 46 yards for the game.

The dominant effort led to a 43-0 win in a District 3-5A Division I game at Shotwell Stadium, leaving the Cougars one win shy of the 400th in program history.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF WEEK: Unbeaten Early, Jim Ned clash in huge district opener (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 39-4, .906
SEASON TOTAL: 247-56, .815

Gramps Ren is back in the groove, hitting over 90 percent of his picks a week ago, to push this column’s season percentage to .815 as we head into district play across the area.

Whether or not I can keep the momentum remains to be seen, entering what might be the toughest week of area picks I’ve seen this year, with multiple games that I would rate as near-tossups.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see us heading to Tuscola where Jim Ned will begin its District 3-3A DI title defense against a red-hot, unbeaten team from Early.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks …

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FEATURE: Talented Cooper quarterback Warren a quick study

As is always the case with new starters, Chris Warren’s first year as Cooper’s quarterback has been a learning experience. 

But five games in, it’s not hard to see why coach Aaron Roan was excited about the junior when the season began.

In leading his team to a 3-2 record, including wins over crosstown rivals Abilene High and Wylie, Warren has emerged as one of the area’s top dual-threat quarterbacks. And while his first year as a starter has had its share of challenges, the growth he’s shown through them has positioned him — and the Cougars — well for a strong second half.

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GAME STORY: Cooper can’t close out Coronado, drops five-set heartbreaker

In a key District 4-5A match full of extended rallies, wild momentum swings and roaring comebacks, the Cooper volleyball team found itself on the short end of each just a little too often in a 33-31, 14-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-9 loss to Lubbock Coronado on Tuesday at Cougar Gym.

Entering the contest with an opportunity to pull into a third-place tie with the Lady Mustangs in the league standings, the Lady Cougars appeared to be well on their way to doing so up two games to one with a 19-17 lead in Game 4. But Coronado closed out that set with an 8-2 run to force a deciding fifth game and took control of that one quickly to hand Cooper a tough home loss.

The outcome leaves the Lady Coogs at 14-19 overall and 1-3 in district play, in a tie with Lubbock Monterey (15-18, 1-3) for the fourth and final playoff spot. Coronado’s come-from-behind win, meanwhile, keeps the Lady Mustangs (12-20, 3-1) tied with Wylie for second — one match behind league-leader Lubbock Cooper.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 5)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Steers plays host to Littlefield, Gramps Ren rebounds (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 45-6, .882
SEASON TOTAL: 208-52, .800

After a disastrous night of picking football games on Sept. 19 that saw his season percentage dip below .800, Gramps Ren has rebounded. Thank you, thank you. 

Last Friday saw this column hit with more than 88 percent accuracy on games throughout the Big Country, pulling its season percentage to an even .800 as we hit the season’s midpoint. 

This week I’ll be heading west — way West — to the very edge of our coverage area to get a first-hand look at the Big Spring Steers in their matchup with Littlefield in our Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks, shall we? 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Snyder’s Benitez takes the top spot

Defensive specialists seldom get the attention they deserve in volleyball. Not unlike offensive linemen in football, who do the dirty work behind the scenes that enables the glamour positions to shine. 

That isn’t the case at Big Country Preps, where we take pride in giving credit to those willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. 

Snyder libero Abby Benitez, perhaps the best defender in the entire Big Country, fits that mold and has captured our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the week ending Sept. 25. 

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GAME STORY: Cooper has best start of the year, hammers Granbury

The Cooper football team has consistently been slow starting this year, entering Friday’s homecoming game against Granbury having scored just seven points in the first quarter all year.

The Cougars found their quick-strike offense Friday night at Shotwell Stadium, though, scoring on the first play of the game and three times in the opening five minutes as they rolled to a 56-34 win in District 3-5A Division I play.

Cooper’s defense also came up with four turnovers — three of which gave the offense the ball in the red zone — as the quick start by the offense let the defense attack the Pirates offense relentlessly.

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FEATURE: Roan, Cooper ready to put slow starts in rearview mirror

During his team’s 2-2 start, Cooper coach Aaron Roan has seen enough from the Cougars to conclude they have the tools to compete at a high level.

What he hasn’t seen from this group quite yet is four full quarters of football.

The Coogs, who are 0-1 in District 3-5A Division I play heading into Friday’s homecoming game against Granbury, have been plagued in the early going season by a slow starts that have consistently had them playing from behind. And that’s a trend Roan is ready to put an end to this week.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned, Snyder clash in battle of unbeatens (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country picks)

LAST WEEK: 36-16, .692
OVERALL: 163-46, .779

After four straight weeks of picking 80 percent or better, the USS Ren ran aground last Friday, bottoming out with a season-low .692 percentage and dropping my season tally to .779.

I generally like to be above 80 percent by midseason, so last Friday served as a wakeup call. Actually, it was more of a gut punch. But I’ll get over it.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see me traveling to Snyder, where the unbeaten Class 4A Tigers will play host to 3A DI state champion Jim Ned in what should be an absolutely electric atmosphere. 

You all set? Let’s dive in to this week’s picks. 

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 21)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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GAME REPORT: Slow start sinks Cooper in district opener at Justin Northwest

JUSTIN — A disastrous start was too much for the Cooper football team to overcome in a 33-21 loss to Justin Northwest in the District 3-5A Division I opener for both teams Friday at Northwest ISD Stadium.

The Cougars, who have been slow out of the gate in every game this year, fell behind 19-0 by halftime and were unable to work their way back into the game after the break.

Cooper (2-2 overall, 0-1 in district) outgained the Texans 303-295, but some special teams miscues and a pair of turnovers allowed Northwest (3-1, 1-0) to pull ahead 33-7 early in the fourth quarter. Coach Aaron Roan’s squad did battle back with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull within two scores late, but by then the deficit was too large.

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FEATURE: Inexperienced receiving corps catching on quickly for Cooper

Coming into the season having lost almost 90 percent of its production to graduation or transfer, the Cooper receiving corps was a glaring question mark for the Cougar offense.

Coach Aaron Roan believed he had the talent on hand to build a reliable group, but he wouldn’t know for sure until he saw those players perform on the field under the pressure of Friday night lights.

Three games into this season, the picture is still incomplete. But with each puzzle piece that’s been put into place, Roan has grown more and more confident that his original faith in that group was well-placed.

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GAME STORY: Clyde volleyball tops visiting Cooper in three sets

With district play approaching for both squads, the Cooper and Clyde volleyball teams met Tuesday at Bulldog Gym hoping to continue their progression and build some momentum heading into the matches that will decide their postseason fate.

At the end of Tuesday’s nondistrict clash, it was the Class 3A Lady Bulldogs celebrating a 25-17, 25-18, 25-16 sweep, having succeeded in putting their 5A counterparts on the defensive and taking the visiting Lady Cougars out of their game plan.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 14)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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