Category: Cooper Cougars

Evan Ren’s 2022 BCP Baseball/Softball All-Hustle Team: The hardest-working players in the area!

OTHER 2022 ALL-BIG COUNTRY PREPS TEAMS

Character, grit and work ethic aren’t seen in a box score. And it is with our Big Country Preps All-Hustle Team that we wish to honor those players (male and female) who exemplify those qualities. 

The All-Hustle team isn’t about who the best baseball and softball players were. It honors the best teammates. 

It is here where effort, discipline and coachability — traits that coaches wish they had in every player and upon which championships are built — are honored.

It is for that reason that this team is largely selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the best team players (boys and girls) that the Big Country had to offer during the 2022 baseball and softball seasons.

The players below are listed in no particular order. 

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LOCAL TRACK ROUNDUP: Wylie high jumper Maroney statebound after second-place region finish

Wylie sophomore Indiah Maroney punched her ticket to the Class 5A state meet over the weekend in Lubbock, finishing second in the high jump at the Region I-5A meet to earn a trip to the Austin in two weeks.

Maroney, the only local athlete to earn a spot at state, cleared a personal-best of 5-foot-5 to match region champion Anaya Potter of Justin Northwest, but she took a silver medal on attempts.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore, who also starts for the Wylie girls basketball team, accounted for eight of the Lady Bulldogs’ nine team points and the bulk of the 14 points earned by Abilene high school athletes at the Region I-5A and I-6A meets.

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GAME STORY: Gay one-hits Cooper as Wylie scores run-rule win on Senior Night

Behind a dominant effort by starter Brooks Gay, the Wylie baseball team cruised to a 10-0 win over crosstown rival Cooper on Tuesday, using a three-run third and a five-run fifth to break open what was a close game in the early innings at Bulldog Field.

Gay, an Abilene Christian University signee, struck out eight batters in a six-inning complete game, allowing just four baserunners in the contest. The tall right-hander pitched around an error and a hit batsman in the first, before limiting the visiting Cougars to a single and a walk the rest of the way.

The Wylie lineup did the rest, overcoming a slow start against Cooper pitcher Colin Reed to score at least one run in each of the final four frames and earn a run-rule victory on Senior Night.

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GAME STORY: Wylie softball routs Cooper in wacky, windy regular-season finale

The Wylie softball team closed out its regular season in dominating fashion on Friday, scoring early and often in a 23-1 rout of crosstown rival Cooper at Bulldog Field.

Battling heavy winds all afternoon, the Lady Bulldogs pounded out 12 runs in the first two innings to knock out the Lady Cougars’ top two pitchers, and the visitors had to turn to position players in the circle for the remainder of the game. This allowed the score to get even more out of hand, as Wylie took advantage of eight combined walks in the third and fourth innings before ending the game in the the fifth by way of the 10-run rule.

The victory improved the Lady Bulldogs 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the District 4-5A play, while the Lady Cougars wrapped up a tough campaign at 13-11-3 and 2-8.

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LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Farrar pitches Wylie past Coronado; AHS routs 2-6A leader Frenship

The Wylie softball team picked up a big win over District 4-5A co-leader Lubbock Coronado on Tuesday, riding a complete-game gem from junior Reese Farrar to a 2-1 victory at Bulldog Field.

Farrar gave up just three hits and four walks while striking out 11, putting up zeros in the final three innings to allow the Lady Bulldogs to go ahead for good on Hanna Hood’s RBI single in the fifth.

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LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Abilene High routs Legacy for third straight win; Wylie, Cooper fall

MIDLAND — The Abilene High softball team won its third consecutive game Friday, using a four-run third to erase an early deficit before exploding for eight fifth-inning runs to pull away for a 14-3 victory over Midland Legacy.

With the victory, the Lady Eagles improved to 13-10 overall and 4-4 in District 2-6A play, keeping pace with Odessa High for third place in the league standings while pulling a game ahead of Permian, which lost to first-place Frenship on Friday.

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LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie rolls to season sweep at Coronado; Monterey run-rules Cooper

LUBBOCK — The Wylie baseball team completed a season sweep of Lubbock Coronado on Friday, scoring 11 runs over a three-inning span to turn an 4-2 deficit after three innings into a comfortable 13-6 victory. 

The Bulldogs, who defeated the Mustangs 7-6 on March 17 in Lubbock and 7-5 on Tuesday in Abilene, avoided any late-inning drama in the third meeting, using a two-run fourth to tie the game, before answering a one-run Coronado fourth with four runs in the fifth and five in the sixth.

The victory improved the Bulldogs to 15-3 overall and 8-1 in District 4-5A, keeping coach Grant Martin’s squad within a game of league leader Lubbock Cooper (16-6, 9-0). 

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LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie downs Coronado for fifth straight win, Cooper falls to Monterey

The Wylie baseball team rode a fast start Tuesday to its fifth consecutive victory, scoring three runs in the first and two more in the second to set the tone for a 7-5 home win over Lubbock Coronado.

The Bulldogs, now 14-3 overall, pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of four Mustang errors in improving to 7-1 in District 4-5A play.

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GAME STORY: Wylie softball downs rival Cooper to extend winning streak to three

The Wylie Lady Bulldogs picked up a big win over crosstown rival Cooper on Tuesday, outlasting the Lady Cougars for a 6-4 victory to close out the first half of District 4-5A play on a three-game winning streak.

WHS, now 14-6 overall and 3-2 in district, never trailed in the game, but it wasn’t until the final out was recorded at Cougar Diamond that the Lady Bulldogs could finally breathe easy knowing the outcome was secure.

Leading 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Wylie saw Cooper pull within two on a leadoff home run by Karrigan Parrott and threaten to do more damage before finally running out of outs to play with. The Lady Cougars sent three batters to the plate as the tying run in their final at-bat, but following a 50-50 call on a sacrifice bunt that resulted in the first out of the inning, Wylie pitcher Rylee Moore induced a pair of ground outs to  close out a complete-game victory.

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GAME STORY: Abilene High snaps losing streak with strong showing against rival Cooper

Stepping outside of their respective district races for a rare April nondistrict game, both the Abilene High and Cooper baseball teams were hoping to snap losing streaks in the crosstown matchup Saturday at Cougar Field.

With a strong pitching performance from Danian Martinez and three big innings at the plate, the Eagles were able to accomplish that.

Trailing 1-0 after an inning, AHS scored four in the second and three in the third to take control early, before holding off a late Cooper rally in a 10-4 win over the Cougars. The Coogs pulled within four at 7-3 with two runs in the sixth, but the Eagles countered with a three-run outburst in the seventh to pull ahead by a game-high seven runs and held on from there for their fist win since March 10.

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LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Cooper falls in 10 to Coronado; Wylie routs Lubbock High

The Cooper softball team dropped another heartbreaker on Friday, falling 7-4 to Lubbock Coronado in a 10-inning thriller at Cougar Diamond.

The Lady Cougars, who gave up four seventh-inning runs in an 8-6 walk-off loss to Monterey last Friday, were tied with the Lady Mustangs this week from the end of the fourth inning through the top of the 10th. But a three-run outburst by Coronado in that half-inning left Cooper with a deficit it couldn’t overcome.

The loss dropped CHS (12-6-3 overall) to 1-3 in District 4-5A play, leaving them alone in fifth place after Friday’s games.

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LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Cooper run-rules Lubbock High, Wylie edges Lubbock Cooper

LUBBOCK — Coming off a difficult 8-6 road loss to Lubbock Monterey on Friday, the Cooper softball team needed a win at Lubbock High on Wednesday to avoid an 0-3 start to District 4-5A play.  Playing a day later than scheduled due to heavy winds in the Lubbock area Tuesday, the Lady Cougars had little trouble accomplishing that, dominating at the plate and in the circle in a 10-0 run-rule victory over the Lady Westerners.

Summer Simmons and Jahlissah Marquez combined to pitch a two-hit shutout, and they got 14 hits from their offense, with six of those going for extra bases.

Cooper scored four in the first inning and two in the second to take control early, before tacking on a seventh run in the fifth inning and putting the 10-run rule into effect with a three-run sixth.

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LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie rallies past Monterey, Cooper falls at Lubbock Cooper

LUBBOCK — The Wylie baseball team improved to 5-1 in District 4-5A play on Wednesday, scoring five runs in the fourth to rally from a 3-1 deficit and defeat Lubbock Monterey 6-3 at Moegle Field. 

Playing a day later than scheduled due to heavy winds in the Lubbock area Tuesday, the Bulldogs saw an early 1-0 lead erased by a three-run Plainsmen third. But the visitors answered with their offensive outburst the next half-inning to take the lead for good.

That big fourth inning made a winner out of Grayson Bearden, who relieved starter Tye Briscoe in the third and pitched the Bulldogs into the sixth. JT Thompson then put up zeroes in the final two innings for the save, completing 4.1 innings of scoreless relief.

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GAME STORY: Gay’s pitching, offensive outburst help Bulldogs rout Cooper

Brooks Gay threw four no-hit innings and the Wylie offense capitalized on six errors by Cooper as the Bulldogs took a 17-1 win at Cougar Field in District 4-5A play on Friday night.

The top three hitters in Wylie’s lineup — Braden Regala, JT Thompson and Landon Williams — were a combined 3 for 8 with six walks, five runs scored and four RBIs.

That dominance at the top of the lineup set the tone for the Bulldogs offense early, allowing Gay to atone for a loss last week to Lubbock Cooper.

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LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie, Cooper drop district openers; Abilene High falls to Odessa High

A seven-run bottom of the first wasn’t enough to fuel the Wylie softball team to a win over Lubbock Monterey on Tuesday as the Lady Plainsmen countered with 12 unanswered runs to hand the Lady Bulldogs a 14-7 loss in the District 4-5A opener for both teams at Bulldog Field.

Monterey scored at least one run in every inning, using a five-run fourth to take a 10-7 lead it would only add to from there.

Wylie, which was coming off a 1-0 walk-off win over Stamford on Saturday, fell to 11-5 overall and 0-1 in district play with Tuesday’s loss — the first meeting between the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Plainsmen since Monterey ended WHS’ season in the Region I-5A quarterfinals last season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: C-City pitcher Kaci Rivera takes the top spot

It’s difficult to top back-to-back shutouts when searching for a Player of the Week, especially when one of the vanquished is a solid team from a higher classification.

That was the case last week for Colorado City softball pitcher Kaci Rivera, who held both Big Spring (7-0) and Borden County (6-0) to a goose egg, with 23 strikeouts in 14 innings of work. 

Our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week allowed only five total hits in the two games, to go with two walks. 

“Kaci has really started to show her dominance on the mound,” coach Krysten Marr said. “She is a fierce competitor on both sides of the ball and we are excited to see how she does going into district play.”

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GAME STORY: Cooper blasts way to 22-10 softball win at Brownwood

BROWNWOOD — The Cooper softball team closed out nondistrict play with a 22-10 win over Brownwood on Friday, taking advantage of 18 hits and 11 Lady Lions errors to turn a two-run lead after three innings into a run-rule victory.

The Lady Cougars never trailed after scoring four runs in the first inning. But holding just a 7-5 lead after three, it wasn’t until after an eight-run fourth that they were able to finally pull away.

The victory improved coach Stacey Herring’s team to 12-6-2 on the year heading into Tuesday’s District 4-5A opener against Lubbock Cooper.

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GAME STORY: Stamford rides four-run first, ace Gutierrez to 5-2 win at Cooper

A four-run first inning was all Citlaly Gutierrez needed to pitch the Stamford softball team to a 5-2 nondistrict win over Cooper on Tuesday at Cougar Diamond. 

Taking advantage of the early run support, the future University of Texas hurler limited a tough Lady Cougar lineup to just one earned run on three hits and a trio of walks, striking out nine Cooper hitters to eclipse the 900-strikeout mark for her career.

Cooper battled the standout pitcher, putting runners on base in six of the seven innings and getting the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. But Gutierrez got slugger Kaleigha Kemp to strike out to close out a complete-game victory.

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GAME STORY: Canyon Randall hits late 3 to rally past Cooper, end Coogs’ season

POST — Leading Canyon Randall by four points in the final minute after rallying from a 10-point second-quarter deficit, the Cooper boys basketball team looked poised to earn its first playoff victory since 2017 on Tuesday at Antelope Arena.

But hope turned to heartbreak as a series of unfortunate events resulted in a painful reversal of fortunes in a 46-45 bi-district loss.

After Randall scored to trim the deficit to 45-43 with just under 21 seconds remaining, a Cooper turnover gave the Raiders the ball right back with a chance to tie or take the lead. The Cougars forced a missed runner on the ensuing possession, but Colin Reed collided with a teammate on the rebound, resulting in a traveling call.

This gave Randall yet another chance, and KJ Thomas cashed in this time, nailing a high-arching jumper from well beyond the 3-point line to put the Raiders up with 7.4 seconds remaining. That proved to be the game-winner when Reed’s coast-to-coast drive ended with a miss and Cooper couldn’t secure the offensive rebound for a putback opportunity.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper boys rout Monterey, claim outright district title

LUBBOCK — Entering Tuesday’s regular-season finale tied with Lubbock Monterey and Wylie for first in District 4-5A, the Cooper boys basketball team needed a road win over Monterey to clinch at least a share of their second league title in as many years. 

Not only did the Cougars get that win, routing the Plainsmen 66-36 on the strength of a big second half, they also got the help they needed from Lubbock Coronado to claim the district championship outright.

While Cooper was knocking off Monterey, Coronado rallied past Wylie 59-55 at home to leave the Cougars alone atop the standings — one game up on Wylie, Monterey and Lubbock Cooper, which all finished tied for second.

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Abilene High, Cooper, Shotwell Stadium in line for facility upgrades

In a video released on Monday afternoon, Abilene Independent School District Superintendent Dr. David Young announced several upgrades coming to both high schools and Shotwell Stadium.

During a specially called meeting on Feb. 10, AISD school board members voted to use surplus funds from the school district to update the facilities at Abilene High and Cooper as well as the Shotwell Stadium pressbox.

These are in addition to a new video scoreboard at Shotwell Stadium in the north end zone that will be similar in appearance to the one in place at Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer Stadium.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Wall’s Richardson is in this week’s spotlight

With big numbers spaced over three games, Wall senior guard Jacob Richardson claims the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending Feb. 12. 

Helping the Hawks to clinch a District 6-3A title with a 3-0 mark, Richardson poured in an average of 26.7 points in wins over Clyde, Ballinger and San Angelo TLCA. 

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GAME STORY: Cooper Cougars move within one win of District 4-5A championship

With a two-possession lead and under a minute to play, Jalen Cherry posted up in the corner, took a pass and unleashed a 3-point attempt.

The ball hit nothing but net, cementing a 58-51 win for the Cooper Cougars over Lubbock Cooper in a raucous environment Friday night at Cougar Gym.

The shot, which sent the crowd into a frenzy and pulled the Cougars into a tie for the District 4-5A lead, was one Cooper coach Bryan Conover didn’t mind seeing one of his four seniors take. Continue reading “GAME STORY: Cooper Cougars move within one win of District 4-5A championship”

GAME STORY: Cooper boys hold off Wylie rally, pull even with Bulldogs in 4-5A standings

Needing a win over crosstown rival Wylie to avoid its fourth loss in five games, the Cooper boys basketball team played about as well as it could for 26 of the 32 minutes Tuesday. But after going up 45-24 with about 5:40 remaining in the game, the Cougars had to stave off a furious Bulldog rally to get out of Wylie’s gym with a 53-48 victory.

Cooper, which still led by 18 with 2:19 to play, saw its advantage trimmed to four (52-48) with just over five seconds remaining. But the Coogs did just enough from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to avoid collapse and pull out an important District 2-6A win.

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GAME STORY: Wylie girls pull away from Cooper on Senior Night, lock up third place in District 4-5A

The Wylie girls basketball team overcame a slow start to pull away for a 49-27 win over Cooper on Tuesday, clinching third place in District 4-5A with its fifth win in seven games.

The Lady Bulldogs, who opened league play at 0-3, finished with a flourish, routing their crosstown rival at home one night after locking up a playoff berth with a 38-35 win at Lubbock High.

Sophomores Micayla Reed and Indiah Maroney both had 14 points in Tuesday’s victory, helping to make Kenyah Maroney’s Senior Night a victorious one.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper swept at Lubbock Coronado; AHS teams victorious in Midland

LUBBOCK — The Cooper boys basketball team dropped a tough one at Lubbock Coronado on Monday, losing to the Mustangs 50-47 to fall out of a three-way tie for first place in District 4-5A.

The Cougars, who were tied with Lubbock Monterey and Wylie entering the day, moved to 17-10 overall and 4-3 in league play with their third loss in four games.

The setback leaves coach Bryan Conover’s team a game back of the district co-leaders, in a tie with Lubbock Cooper for third heading into Tuesday’s game against crosstown rival Wylie.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains sophomore takes this week’s award

When Cross Plains’ Cadence Wedeking has the range zeroed in, the scorer’s table may want to have a spare pencil handy just in case. 

Our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week had one of “those nights” last week in a 69-20 win over Moran, connecting with five 3-pointers and finishing with 33 points. It was the third time this season the sophomore guard had connected from beyond the arc five times in one game.

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Big Country Girls Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Feb. 3)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

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

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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UIL REALIGNMENT: Abilene schools avoid surprises, welcome new challenges

While many coaches across the area and state were scrambling Thursday after being thrown a curveball by the University Interscholastic League, the leaders of Abilene’s three largest programs enjoyed a relatively peaceful realignment day, free of any major surprises.

Having learned in December that Abilene High would be dropping to Class 5A Division I and Cooper would be moving to 5A DII,  all AHS coach Mike Fullen and his Cooper counterpart, Aaron Roan, were waiting on was to find out their district. And both landed in leagues they expected.

Abilene High was sent to District  2-5A DI with Amarillo High, Amarillo Caprock, Amarillo Tascosa, Lubbock Cooper, Lubbock Coronado and Lubbock Monterey, while Cooper joins Wylie in District 2-5A DII, along with Amarillo Palo Duro, Lubbock High, Plainview and Wichita Falls Rider.

Fullen, Roan and Wylie’s Clay Martin all ended the day happy with their placement and relieved that their weather-impacted realignment went about smoothly as it could have.

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UIL REALIGNMENT: Big Country football landscape will change dramatically

While icy road conditions may have changed the UIL’s method of delivering the news, the results of its biennial realignment still offered the usual mix of surprises on Thursday. 

Held via live feed over the internet, area coaches learned their fate on the web. 

Topping the list of stunners for area teams would be the shift of Brownwood from its centralized home in District 5-4A DI to the far west in District 2.  There, the Lions will join Big Spring, Lubbock Estacado, San Angelo Lake View and Andrews — the last of which will produce a 480-mile round trip.

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SIGNING DAY: Trio of Cooper players choose Hardin-Simmons

Cooper linebacker Jacob Deax joined offensive linemen Elie Casarez and Hagen Davilla at a signing day ceremony Wednesday at Cougar Gym to announce their commitment to Hardin-Simmons University.

The trio, who helped the Cougars to a 6-5 record and their 15th consecutive playoff berth this fall, all made their college decisions official on National Signing Day, continuing a pipeline from Cooper to the North Abilene university.

CHS coach Aaron Roan, who watched all three of those players contribute to his program for multiple seasons, was beaming with pride after seeing them get to realize a dream of continuing their careers collegiately.

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GAME REPORT: Cooper boys pull into tie for district lead with blowout win over LHS

The Cooper boys got back on track Tuesday, snapping a mini two-game losing streak with a 58-35 home win over Lubbock High.

The Cougars led the Westerners 14-7 after a quarter, before outscoring LHS 31-16 over the middle two periods to all but put the game away.

The victory, when combined with Wylie’s 53-51 loss to Lubbock Cooper and Lubbock Monterey’s 73-72 triple-overtime loss to Lubbock Coronado, pulled coach Bryan Conover’s squad (17-9 overall, 4-2 in district) into a four-way tie for first place in District 4-5A with Wylie, Monterey and Lubbock Cooper.

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