Category: Cooper Cougars

BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Linebackers

After taking a look at the area’s top defensive linemen on Wednesday, it’s now time to examine those who will backing them in 2019.

Continuing with Big Country Preps’ eight-part preseason position rankings series, here’s our top 10 linebackers to watch this fall as well as a list of the others we’re expecting big things from.

We hope you enjoy our list.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 58: Evan, Daniel discuss predictions for upcoming football season

With the 2019 high school football season now less than two weeks away, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood have decided to utilize this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast to break down every 11-man district race and dive deeper into their predictions for the upcoming season.

In this episode, Evan and Daniel share who they think will win each district and why, and go into deeper detail why they picked they teams they did to advance to the playoffs.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

BCP PODAST ARCHIVE 

BCP GOLDTHWAITE PHOTO ARCHIVE

BIG COUNTRY PREPS FACEBOOK PAGE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Defensive Linemen

With football season fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at the players who will be making the biggest waves in 2019.

For the first installment in an eight-part series that will cover all position groups, we’ll be taking a look at the area’s top defensive linemen, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

As with any such list, these rankings are subjective. We hope you enjoy reading through them.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

DISTRICT PREDICTIONS: Evan and Dan make their picks

Without further ado it is time for us to make our Big Country predictions, district-by-district.

This is the culmination of several weeks of research and two solid months of summertime labor, so we’re more than ready to post it. 

So dive in and study our take on the upcoming season, along with the more than 80 preseason stories we posted earlier today.  Enjoy!  We’ll see you on the road. 
You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Cooper’s Diaz eager to hit field, lead after injury

After starting every game for Cooper as a sophomore in 2017, LaDainian Diaz had every reason to be excited entering his junior year.

But that excitement turned to disbelief and then grief when a torn ACL in his right knee ended his campaign in the opening week of the season.

Now fully healed from that setback, Diaz is set to return to his free safety position when the Cougars kick off the 2019 season Aug. 30 in Keller. And though that’s now just two weeks away, the wait hasn’t gotten any easier.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

COOPER TEAM PREVIEW: Experienced Coogs looking to take big step forward

While their 6-6 record was hardly a head-turner, the Cooper Cougars made significant strides last year in coach Aaron Roan’s first season as head coach.

The Coogs rebounded from a rocky 0-3 start to come within a game of sharing a district title and picked up a playoff win over a scrappy El Paso Eastwood squad before bowing out in the area round to North Richland Hills Birdville.

Now, with 28 lettermen back from that team, including eight offensive and seven defensive starters, the Coogs are determined to take the next step in their progression. And the call for improvement goes all the way to the top.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Cooper Cougars

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Wylie on Sunday, we move to District 2-5A Division I with the Cooper Cougars. We will wrap up our series with a look at the Abilene High Eagles later today.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 54: Evan, Daniel talk San Saba football with Andreas Aguirre

After serving as the defensive coordinator on coach Jerod Fikac’s staff during San Saba’s breakout 2018 campaign, Andreas Aguirre was hired in February to replace Fikac when the former Armadillo coach left to take over the Georgetown East View football program.

Earlier this week, Aguirre took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood on inheriting a 14-1 team, maintaining last year’s momentum and his vision for the program in this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the upcoming football season and their work on the Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview. 

BREAKING: Geter tabbed to take over Cooper girls basketball program

Cooper athletic director Aaron Roan announced on Tuesday that former Hondo boys basketball coach Arsenio Geter has been hired to lead the Lady Cougar girls basketball program.

Geter, who replaces Lauren Ash, previously spent time at San Angelo Central, Brenham, Brownfield, Borger, McCamey and most recently Hondo, where he amassed a 45-28 record in two seasons as the head coach.

Continue reading “BREAKING: Geter tabbed to take over Cooper girls basketball program”

BCP BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AND SUPER DOZEN: Yeager claims top spot

On the heels of announcing our first-ever Big Country Preps Girls Athlete of the Year, it’s now time to announce our first boys winner.

Again, our Athlete of the Year and subsequent “Super Dozen” represent the Big Country Athletes who contributed the most to their athletic programs — most often over a broad range of disciplines. 

So, at this time, Big Country Preps proudly announces its Boys Athlete of the Year: Kevin Yeager of De Leon. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AND SUPER DOZEN: Masonheimer takes top spot

An Athlete of the Year award for the Big Country has been a long time coming, and Big Country Preps is officially ending the wait. 

What better way to end our first school year than by honoring our top all-around athletes. By that, we mean those athletes who competed at a high level over a broad range of disciplines and had the biggest overall impact on their athletic programs (as nominated by area athletic directors). 

So without further ado, we proudly announce our first Big Country Preps Girls Athlete of the Year: Anna Masonheimer of Eula. 

From start to finish, Masonheimer was a key contributor to Eula’s athletic success during the 2018-19 school year, beginning with her helping the EHS cross country team reach the regional meet. 

She was the MVP of Eula’s district champion basketball team, earning all state honors from both the Texas Association of Basketball coaches and the Texas Girls Coaches Association. But she was just getting started at that point. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 52: Evan, Daniel take look at ‘Texas Football’ projections

The arrival of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine means the high school football season is just around in the corner.

In this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood break down Texas Football’s projections for Big Country area schools, looking at team rankings, key district races and some local and area individuals honored by the publication. 

All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: First-Team Roster

Here are our first-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: Second-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our second-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for fastpitch softball — I admit it. 

A long time ago, it was common for men to play the game. My dad played it. I played it. So I still thoroughly enjoy getting to as many girls softball games as possible — just to see some fastpitch again.

So, it is with pleasure that I review the the 2019 season — the top teams, the top games, the top surprises and the clubs that are about to make a splash in 2020.

 That said, it’s time to dive in.

Continue reading “2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)”

BCP Podcast No. 51: Evan, Daniel discuss Baird’s move to six-man, look back at 2018-19 athletic year

With Baird’s decision this week to join the six-man football ranks, which follows a trend set in recent years by fellow Big Country Class 1A schools Rotan, Gorman, Bronte and Roby, the Bears will be entering a whole new world this fall.

On this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood explore that transition from all angles. 

Also in this week’s episode, Evan and Daniel take a look back at the 2018-19 athletic year and discuss some of their highlights from the football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball seasons.

BCP Podcast No. 44: Daniel Youngblood, Brandon McAuliffe discuss baseball, softball playoffs

The high school baseball and softball playoffs are in full swing, and the Big Country has a number of promising teams and intriguing story lines on both sides.

With Evan Ren out of pocket for the week, Daniel Youngblood is joined by contributor Brandon McAuliffe to discuss all of the top developments and matchups involving local and area baseball and softball teams in this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Daniel and Brandon chat about recent football coaching moves and give a rundown on all the programs that will have new faces in 2019. 

EVAN REN: The baseball horses are at the post and Big Ev makes his picks

How many Big Country baseball teams, if any, will see action at this year’s state tournament? 

We’re about to settle that issue — at least, on paper. 

With high school baseball’s second season getting underway this evening, let’s take a quick peek ahead and narrow it down to the Big Country teams that have the best chance claiming a regional title. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?  Keep in mind, I’m restricting my selections to teams within our coverage area. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie sweeps Randall, Monterey too much for Cooper

LUBBOCK — Bailey Buck’s three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Wylie Lady Bulldogs to a 6-4 win over Canyon Randall on Saturday the Lubbock Cooper softball field, completing a sweep of the Region I-5A bi-district series for coach Heather Collier’s team.

Trailing 4-3 heading into its final at-bat, Wylie got a single from Kaylee Philipp and a double from Halle Arbilera to lead off the inning, setting the stage for Buck, who hammered an 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence to end the game.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie, Cooper close out regular season on high note

After edging Wichita Falls High 6-4 on Friday at Hoskins Field, the Wylie baseball team had a much easier time with the last-place Coyotes on their home field Saturday, scoring a 21-2 victory to close out the regular season at 15-7 overall and 9-3 in District 4-5A play.

The Bulldogs outhit the Coyotes 20-2 and got solid pitching efforts out of Walker Piland, Cooper Hrbacek and Cade Weaver in wrapping up their district’s No. 1 playoff seed.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME RECAP: Late Cooper rally not enough as Monterey walks off with 7-6 win

SNYDER — The Cooper Lady Cougars rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh Friday to pull into a 6-all tie with Lubbock Monterey. But the Lady Plainsmen got a one-out RBI single from Savannah Castilleja in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a 7-6 win in Game 1 of the Region I-5A bi-district series.

After allowing two runs in the top of the first, Monterey tied the game with a two-run third, before taking a three-run lead in the fifth. The teams then traded single runs in the sixth before an eventful final frame.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: With area softball teams at the starting gate, Big Ev makes his picks

I can’t help but compare a playoff bracket to a horse race, with the bi-district round serving as the starting gate. 

There are favorites, there are possible surprises and there are longshots. And in the end, picking who has the best chance of hitting the finish line at the state tournament is part knowledge and part luck — mostly luck.

 At this track, I’m restricted to making Big Country choices — the area teams I believe have the best chance of getting to McCombs Field at the University of Texas in Austin from May 29-June 1. 

Will a Big Country team have a shot when we get to the home stretch? We shall see. 

Here’s my picks for the 2019 softball playoff run: 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Cooper softball laying foundation for bright future ahead

When senior catcher Symone Gary looks into the future of Cooper softball, she sees a forecast so bright it’s blinding.

Her only frustration is she won’t be around to experience it.

With a college career ahead of her at Southwest Assemblies of God University, Gary has her own softball future to look forward to. But after helping the Lady Cougars come within a game of their first district title since 1994, there’s a part of her that wishes she could stick around another year or two to build on that foundation.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 43: Wylie softball coach Collier joins show to talk district title, more

After rocky start to the season, the Wylie softball team rebounded to win a district title in its first season as a Class 5A program. Now, the Lady Bulldogs are set to open the Region I-5A playoffs with a best-of-three bi-district series against Canyon Randall on Friday and Saturday at Lubbock Cooper.

Earlier this week, 19th-year Wylie head coach Heather Collier took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about her team’s run to the District 4-5A championship, what awaits the Lady Bulldogs in the playoffs and more for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this week’s episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the best softball pitchers in the Big Country and give a run down of some of the top storylines on the local and area baseball scene.

Big Country Preps Player of the Week: Wylie duo splits this week’s award

Wylie juniors Kaylee Philipp and Bailey Buck share much in common.

They both split their time on the diamond between the pitcher’s circle and first base.

They are both leaders — in word and deed — for the now-District 4-5A champion Lady Bulldogs.

And most recently, they’ve both been selected to share our Big Country Preps Player of the Week honor for the week ending April 20.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Daniel Youngblood: Local squads prove old adage that baseball’s a game of inches

In baseball, the line separating success and failure is often a razor thin one.

The difference between a double down the line and a ground out is a couple of feet. The difference between the perfect pitch and a fat one is a couple of inches. And the difference between a squared up ball and weak contact is a couple of millimeters and/or milliseconds.

Every game is a series of such outcomes, and the team that achieves more positive ones celebrates at the end while the players on the other side are left shaking their heads in frustration.

With such narrow margins deciding wins and losses, you can often boil entire games down to a play here or there, and entire seasons down to one or two games.

Such is certainly true for Abilene’s three local teams, which enter the final week of the regular season with varying levels of playoff security thanks almost entirely on their performance in close games.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Wylie softball outlasts Cooper to claim District 4-5A title

The Wylie softball team exploded for nine runs over the final three innings Friday to rally past Cooper 12-6 and claim the District 4-5A championship over their new crosstown rival at Cougar Diamond.

The Lady Bulldogs trailed 4-2 after three innings and were locked in a 5-all tie through five frames, but a three-run sixth and four-run seventh turned what had been a thrilling back-and-forth affair to that point into a comfortable victory in the winner-take-all district finale.

The victory capped a seven-game district winning streak for Wylie, which wrapped up its regular season 13-14 overall and 7-1 in 4-5A play. Cooper, meanwhile, enters the playoffs at 13-16-2 after posting a 6-2 district record.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Cooper rallies for walk-off win over Aledo in 4-5A finale

Needing a win to avoid a four-game losing streak to close out District 4-5A play, the Cooper baseball team rallied from deficits of 4-0, 6-2 and 7-5 on Thursday to claim a thrilling 8-7 walk-off victory over Aledo at Cougar Field.

With the bases loaded and his team down 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, shortstop Jack Keefer drilled the first pitch he saw into the right-center field gap to score Matthew Shira and Caleb Martin, setting off a celebration that ended with Keefer at the bottom of a dog pile between second and third base.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 42: Brownwood’s Lynn talks Lady Lion softball with Evan, Daniel

Led by senior ace Chyanne Ellett, the Brownwood softball team is in the midst of another outstanding season, sitting at 20-2-1 overall and 6-1 in District 74A heading into Thursday’s regular season finale against Mineral Wells.

Earlier this week, Lady Lions coach Jessica Lynn took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the season her team is having and what makes this group special for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this week’s episode, Evan and Daniel recap the latest developments and look ahead to the biggest games of the Big Country baseball and softball season.

LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Abilene High, Cooper fall on road

EULESS — A missed opportunity in the top of the sixth inning and a costly error in the bottom did in the Abilene High baseball team Tuesday in a 5-3 loss at Euless Trinity.

With the game tied at 3 after five innings, AHS loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth. But 1-2-3 double play allowed Trinity to escape the jam unscathed, and the Trojans scored two unearned runs in their half of the frame for what proved to be the game-winning runs.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: AHS closes out perfect regular season; Cooper, Wylie cruise

The third-ranked Abilene High softball team completed a perfect 12-0 run through District 3-6A on Tuesday, run-ruling Euless Trinity 12-0 at home to improve to 23-1-2 on the season.

Kaylen Washington tossed a five-inning one-hitter and the Lady Eagle lineup gave her all the support she would need in a six-run first inning.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: Success for local softball teams begins in circle

Take a look at the District 3-6A and 4-5A softball standings and it won’t take long to find Abilene’s three local high schools.

Abilene High, the No. 3 team in Class 6A according to the Texas Girls Coaches Association, is head and shoulders above its mostly Metroplex-based league mates, while the only thing separating Cooper and Wylie at the top of their district is the one extra game the Lady Cougars have played compared to their new crosstown rival.

All in all, it’s been a banner year for local softball. Abilene High has already clinched its first district title since 2004, and one of Cooper or Wylie is likely to add some hardware to its trophy case before the playoffs begin as well.

And what’s at the heart of all that success? The same thing you’ll find fueling most successful baseball and softball teams — consistently strong pitching.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 41: Breckenridge’s Bartley talks Buckaroo baseball with Evan, Daniel

First-year Breckenridge baseball coach Kevin Bartley has the Buckaroos in the midst of one of their best seasons ever. Fresh off a win last Friday over then-No. 1 Brock and a run-rule victory over Peaster on Monday, Bartley’s squad is 20-2 overall, 8-1 in District 7-3A play and ranked 12th in Class 3A.

This week, Bartley took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the Brock victory, the season his team having and the future of his program for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the latest developments of the Big Country baseball and softball season. 

GAME STORY: Wylie plays big-inning baseball in 11-5 win over Cooper

The Wylie baseball team continued its surge up the District 4-5A standings Tuesday, following last week’s home-and-home sweep of then-No. 7 Aledo with an 11-5 road win over Cooper.

The Bulldogs used a five-run second inning to take control early and tacked on five more runs in the sixth to put away the Cougars, who trailed 11-2 before plating three runs in the seventh.

The victory moved Wylie (11-6, 5-2) a game ahead of Cooper (11-14, 6-3) in the loss column and pulled them within a half-game of league-leading Aledo (19-4, 6-2) for first place with five district games remaining.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Big Country Preps Player of the Week: Woodward tops nearly 50 nominees for award

When selecting our Big Country Preps Player of the Week, the quality of competition is one of the top considerations we look at.

And in a week that is absolutely loaded with nearly 50 quality nominations from area coaches, choosing the player to occupy the top spot was no easy task.

Our choice: Breckenridge junior Owen Woodward, who helped Breckenridge in its stunning 3-0 win over top-ranked Brock with a three-hit, no-walk, 12-strikeout complete game.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us