Tag: Wylie Bulldogs

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Standouts Buck, Philipp leave lasting mark on Wylie softball program

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

After leading the Wylie softball team on a memorable ride to the Region I-5A semifinals a year ago as juniors, standouts Bailey Buck and Kaylee Philipp had big things planned for their final high school season.

And with their team sporting a 14-3 record and a top-20 statewide ranking in mid-March, they were well on their way to achieving those when the COVID-19 outbreak put an early end to their senior year.

Now the pair, who are part of a six-player senior class that was instrumental in making the Lady Bulldogs’ transition to Class 5A a successful one, can only imagine how this season might have turned out had it not been cut short by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

And their coach, Heather Collier, can’t help but be disappointed that two players who were so important to her program won’t get to finish their stellar careers in fitting fashion.

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GAME STORY: Wylie’s remarkable postseason run stops at a loaded Colony (w/ box score and photo gallery)

GRAFORD — The longer a playoff run continues, the higher the likelihood of running into a softball team that is “loaded.” 

 The remarkable postseason journey of the 2019 Wylie Lady Bulldogs (19-17) closed on that note, falling in a two-game regional semifinal sweep to sixth-ranked Lewisville The Colony — capped with a 12-5 loss in Game 2 on Friday at Graford. 

The loss closed the books on a Wylie campaign that saw the Lady Bulldogs push to within one round of the regional championship series in their first-ever season at the 5A level. 

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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.

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FEATURE: Wylie guard trio forces opponents to pick their poison

Having one go-to scorer you can lean on in crunch time is a blessing for a high school basketball coach.

Having three such players you can put on the floor at the same time is a luxury few coaches can boast.

But that’s the case for first-year Wylie coach Amy Powell, who inherited three of the area’s best guards in seniors Abbey Henson, Mary Lovelace and Skylar Williams — any one of whom can take over a game when she gets hot from the field.

Catch the Lady Bulldogs on a night where all three are clicking, and watch out.

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Talley’s late 3-pointer lifts Abilene High over Wylie

Abilene High senior Landon Talley was relatively quiet for most the Eagles’ game Tuesday at Wylie. But his go-head 3-pointer with 32.9 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in a thrilling 52-49 win over the Bulldogs on their home floor.

Talley’s shot, just his second field goal of the game, capped the second of two two-possession rallies for AHS, which sealed the victory on the defensive end and at the free-throw line.

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Midland Christian shoots way past Wylie in Catclaw final

The Midland Christian Mustangs spoiled Wylie’s perfect run at the Catclaw Classic, knocking down 14 3-pointers in a 68-42 win in Saturday’s title game at Bulldog Gym.

The loss forced coach Gregg Ruffin’s squad to settle for the runner-up spot in the Bulldogs’ annual tournament.

Cooper also was in action Saturday, outlasting Bullard Brook Hill 73-68 in a meeting of No. 3 seeds out of their respective pools. That improved the Cougars to 2-2 at the tournament and 8-5 on the year.

Abilene High, which went 0-3 through pool play, was originally scheduled to play San Angelo Lake View on Saturday, but that game was canceled due to Abilene’s wintry weather.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Montes shoots AHS girls past Odessa High in OT thriller

Georgia Montes hit eight 3-pointers Tuesday, and the Abilene High Lady Eagles needed every one of them to escape Eagle Gym with a 57-56 overtime win over Odessa High.

Montes finished with a game-high 24 points to pace AHS, which outscored the Lady Bronchos 8-7 over the extra period to improve to 8-8 on the season.

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Wylie girls weather early storm to earn win at Jim Ned

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its nondistrict game against Wylie on Tuesday. But when momentum shifted in the Lady Bulldogs’ direction late in the first quarter, it never came back in a 54-47 loss for the home-standing Lady Indians.

Coach Hunter Cooley’s squad raced out to a 10-3 lead in the first 2½ minutes and stretched it to 19-8 by the 2:03 mark of the first quarter. But the Lady Bulldogs closed the period on an 11-0 run, getting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 19-all heading into the second.

Wylie (6-3) then outscored Jim Ned 30-19 over the next two quarters to take control and held off a late run in the fourth to return to Abilene with the fifth victory in its last six games.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Abilene High, Wylie boys fall on road

WOLFFORTH — The Abilene High boys basketball team led Wolfforth Frenship 16-13 after a quarter Monday, but the Eagles were outscored by 26 points the rest of the way in a 74-51 loss.

AHS, which trailed 33-29 at halftime, saw a 22-10 third-quarter disadvantage sink its efforts in falling to 2-2 on the season.

Landon Talley led the Eagles with 12 points, followed by Jalen McGee and Brian Patton with nine points apiece.

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Wylie catcher Munton makes commitment to Texas State official

Playing college baseball has been a dream for Wylie catcher Caleb Munton since he was a child. On Wednesday, he took a major step toward making that dream a reality.

At a ceremony in Bulldog Gym in front of family, friends and members of the local media, Munton signed his letter of intent to play for Texas State, making official a commitment to the Bobcats that dates back to October of 2017.

“It just makes it feel real,” said Munton, a standout catcher for the Bulldogs. “When I first verbally committed, that was so long ago and it just felt like Texas State was a distant thing in the future. But now that I’ve signed, it really feels real, and I’m just ready to be there now.”

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 11 Report

Plainview 22, Wylie 19 — Wylie (0-10, 0-5) couldn’t hold onto a 19-7 third-quarter lead, falling at home to Plainview to wrap up its first winless season since 1982.

The visitors (2-8, 1-4) got a touchdown pass from Jarren Isaguirre to Logan Patrick to cut the deficit to five with 41 seconds left in the third quarter before pulling ahead on Andrew Villa’s 1-yard scoring plunge with 7:28 left in the game.

Coach Hugh Sandifer’s Bulldogs had a chance to win the game late, using an 18-play drive to push into Plainview territory, but an incompletion through the end zone on fourth-and-9 ended their hopes of a comeback.

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Wall holds off Wylie in early-season girls basketball thriller

The Wylie girls basketball team rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to have a chance to pull even with Wall in the waning seconds Saturday, but some clutch plays by guard Sawyer Lloyd and some struggles at the free-throw line by the Lady Bulldogs allowed the Lady Hawks to get out of Abilene with a hard-fought 50-47 win.

Wylie (1-2) outscored Wall 20-10 in the fourth quarter, but an 11-of-20 effort from the line in the final period kept the the Lady Bulldogs from ever overtaking the visiting Lady Hawks.

Using an aggressive press that Wall struggled with down the stretch, Wylie had a chance to tie the game with about two seconds remaining, but Karis Christian’s first of two free throws rimmed out and the intentional miss that followed missed the rim, allowing Wall to seal the game on the other end.

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Wylie ends winless season with three-point loss

A disappointing campaign came to an end Friday night at Bulldog Stadium, where Wylie saw Plainview rally for a 22-19 win in the season finale for both teams.

Wylie finished its first season in Class 5A at 0-10 — missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and finishing winless for the first time since 1982.

Wylie’s 24-year streak of making the playoffs included a state championship in 2004 and three other appearances in the state championship game. The streak started with a state semifinal run in 1994.

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Local boys basketball teams young but talented in 2018-19

Graduation did a number on Abilene’s three boys basketball teams, which return just four starters and 15 lettermen among them for the 2018-19 season. But if you think that’s changed the expectations on the Abilene High, Cooper and Wylie campuses, you would be wrong.

With AHS grad Justin Reese taking over the Eagle program from Don Heseman, who left after five seasons to become assistant principal at AISD’s Woodson Center for Excellence, a playoff return is the goal on Abilene’s north side. And with their program’s established on the other side of the tracks, Cooper’s Bryan Conover and Wylie’s Gregg Ruffin are shooting for the Class 5A postseason.

While all three coaches are expecting some growing pains early as their young teams jell, each feels good about his roster and the ability of the players on it to compete.

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Wylie seeks to close tough season on high note against Plainview

PLAINVIEW (1-8, 0-4) AT WYLIE (0-9, 0-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium, Abilene

What it means: This battle of Bulldogs is the last chance for either team to suit up this season, and in Wylie’s case, the final opportunity to avoid a winless campaign. Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, so they’ll be playing to send their seniors out on a high note and take some positive momentum into the offseason. Wylie is coming off two of its better efforts of the season, falling 24-20 at Canyon Randall on Oct. 26 and 31-12 to state-ranked Lubbock Cooper last week. If it can perform at a similar level this week, coach Hugh Sandifer’s squad could snap an 11-game losing streak dating back to last season.

Continue reading “Wylie seeks to close tough season on high note against Plainview”

District 3-5A Division II: Week 10 Report

Lubbock Cooper 31, Wylie 12 — The Bulldogs (0-9, 0-4) trailed the unbeaten Pirates by just eight points (14-6) late in the first half, but Cooper kicked a field goal in the final minute of the second quarter and outscored Wylie 14-0 in the third to pull away.

The Pirates (9-0, 4-0) outgained Wylie 443-124, limiting the Bulldogs to just eight rushing yards on 27 carries. Bailey Hicks led Wylie with 77 total yards and a touchdown, while Jaxon Hansen hit five of seven passes for 89 yards and a score.

Cooper was led by Jacob Dennis, who rushed for 100 yards and a TD on 16 carries, and Brenden Mehl, who rushed for 57 yards, passed for 173 and accounted for two total TDs.

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Road trip to Lubbock Cooper up next for Bulldogs

WYLIE (0-8, 0-3) AT LUBBOCK COOPER (8-0, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium, Woodrow

What it means: The Bulldogs can still technically make the playoffs with wins in their final two games and losses by Wichita Falls High to Plainview and Wichita Falls Rider. But those odds are awfully long, particularly for a team that has yet to win a game and is playing the No. 6 team in Class 5A Division II according to Texas Football magazine. Wylie had perhaps its best performance of the year last week in a 24-20 loss at Canyon Randall, but this Cooper team is a whole different animal. The undefeated Pirates have outscored their opponents 322-140 this season, including  107-7 in their three district wins.

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Local girls basketball teams aim to compete despite transition in 2018-19

The 2018-19 high school basketball season will be one of great change for Abilene’s three girls teams.

Wylie will play for a new coach in a new classification this winter, while both Abilene High and Cooper must replace a number of key players off teams that took significant steps forward a year ago.

Amid all the transition for the Lady Bulldogs, Lady Eagles and Lady Cougars, however, expectations remain unchanged on Abilene’s three local campuses, where first-year Wylie coach Amy Powell, sixth-year Abilene High coach Terri Aston and third-year Cooper coach Lauren Ash all have high hopes for their squads.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 9 Report

Canyon Randall 24, Wylie 20 — The Bulldogs (0-8 overall, 0-3 3-5A DII) nearly upset the Raiders for their first win of the season, but Jakobe Norman hit Cayden Eason with a 28-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to lift Randall to the narrow win at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Wylie fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying to tie the game with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. Randall (4-4, 3-0) countered with a field goal on the final play of the first half, but Harrison Atwood and Bailey Hicks hooked up for their second touchdown pass with 3:15 left in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a lead they’d hold until Eason’s TD put the Raiders on top for good.

Hicks had a big game for Wylie, rushing 18 times for 75 yards and catching six passes for 106 yards and the two TDs. Atwood, meanwhile, went 10 for 17 for 120 yards and two scores while running for another touchdown. 

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Wylie rally not enough in hard-fought loss to Randall

Wylie overcame another slow start to put a scare in Canyon Randall on Friday, but a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Jakobe Norman to Cayden Eason lifted the Raiders to a 24-20 win over the still winless Bulldogs at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Randall scored its first touchdown less than two minutes into the game and held a 14-0 lead one quarter in, but after going three and out on each of their first three possessions, the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game in the second quarter and took a lead in the third.

Norman’s TD toss to Eason was the only score of the fourth quarter, however, serving as the game winner for the Raiders (4-4 overall, 3-0 in District 3-5A Division II).

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Upset-minded Wylie hits road for Canyon Randall

WYLIE (0-7, 0-2) AT CANYON RANDALL (3-4, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium, Canyon

What it means: The Bulldogs need two wins in their final three games to have any hope of extending their streak of consecutive playoff seasons to 25. And since one of those is a road date with undefeated Lubbock Cooper, this is basically a must-win. Wylie, which has never played Randall before, will try to snap the Raiders’ two-game District 3-5A Division II winning streak, which has them tied with Cooper for the league lead heading into this week’s games.

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Sandifer ‘proud’ of winless Bulldogs, ready to see work rewarded

It’s no secret that Wylie’s first season in Class 5A has been a struggle.

The Bulldogs are 0-7 for the first time since 1982 and have been outscored 299-106, including a 98-29 margin through their first two district games.

But if you think this Wylie team’s will has been broken, longtime coach Hugh Sandifer would tell you otherwise.

Yes, his team has struggled. And yes, it enters Friday’s game at Canyon Randall with dimming playoff hopes. But this team hasn’t and won’t quit, Sandifer said, and it’s working as hard as ever to turn things around.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 8 Report

Wichita Falls High 64, Wylie 22 — Coyote quarterback Anthony Vargas passed for 523 yards and eight touchdowns Friday to silence a homecoming crowd at Wylie’s Bulldog Stadium.

Wichita Falls, which also got big games from receivers Isaiah Johnson (8-217, 3 TDs), Andrew Byrd (8-183, 4 TDs) and Tre Mitchell (5-97, 1 TD), led 30-8 after a quarter and shut out the Bulldogs (0-7, 0-2) in the second half to improve to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in district play.

Wylie, which was limited to 213 total yards, was led offensively by Bailey Hicks, who rushed for 40 yards on eight carries and caught four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.

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Wichita Falls High passing game too much for Wylie in 64-22 loss

Wichita Falls High grabbed the momentum early and never let it go Friday in routing Wylie 64-22 to spoil the Bulldogs’ homecoming festivities.

The Coyotes forced a three and out on Wylie’s opening possession, picked up two points on a safety when a high punt snap rolled through the end zone and proceeded to put on a passing clinic in burying the home team with 44 first-half points.

Wichita Falls, which outgained the Bulldogs 670-213, got 523 yards and eight touchdowns passing from quarterback Anthony Vargas, who spread the ball out to a speedy receiving corps that the Wylie secondary struggled to keep up with.

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Wylie hosts Wichita Falls High for homecoming, crucial district game

WICHITA FALLS HIGH (2-4, 0-1) AT WYLIE (0-6, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium, Abilene

What it means: Both of these teams dropped their District 3-5A Division II openers — Wylie to Wichita Falls Rider and Wichita Falls High to Canyon Randall — so this is a virtual must-win for each team’s playoff chances. The losing team will need at least one upset over the final three weeks to get back into the into the postseason discussion, while the winner can all but clinch a playoff berth with a win over 1-5 Plainview. This is also Wylie’s homecoming game, so you can expect a big crowd and a motivated Bulldog team for its first-ever matchup against the Coyotes.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 7 Report

Wichita Falls Rider 34, Wylie 7 — The Raiders’ struggling offense got untracked against the Bulldogs on Friday, pounding out 319 yards rushing in a game they controlled throughout.

Samuel Manuel led Rider (2-4, 1-0) with 111 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while three others — Darien Boyd (11-77, 1 TD), Jacob Rodriguez (12-76, 1 TD) and Tre Byrd (11-53, 1 TD) — ran for at least 50 yards and one score.

Wylie (0-6, 0-1), which was limited to 221 total yards — 133 rushing and 88 passing — got its only touchdown in the fourth quarter when Jaxon Hansen hit Parker Sanford from six yards out. 

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Bulldogs head to Wichita Falls for 3-5A DII opener with Rider

WYLIE (0-5, 0-0) AT WICHITA FALLS RIDER (1-4, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls

What it means: This is the start of District 3-5A Division II play for both teams, so it’s the biggest game either has played to date. Both squads come into this one on extended losing streaks as Wylie went winless through its nondistrict schedule and Rider lost four in a row heading into last week’s open date. This is the first time these two teams have ever played each other, and the winner of this inaugural matchup will take a big step toward securing a playoff spot in this district.

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Battle-hardened Wylie Bulldogs embracing fresh start

Wylie’s struggles through an 0-5 start to the season are well documented. The Bulldogs were outscored 201-77 over the nondistrict portion of their schedule, falling 48-0 to Cooper and 53-21 to Brownwood in their two most recent outings.

But after a much needed bye week to prepare for the start of District 3-5A Division II play on Friday, coach Hugh Sandifer’s team is feeling rejuvenated.

Ask the Bulldog players and they’ll tell you the record that matters is is not 0-5, but 0-0, and all the goals they set the before the season are still within reach.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 6 Report

Wylie (0-5) — The Bulldogs’ bye week came at a good time, providing a much-needed break from a rough nondistrict schedule. But after spending last week getting back to the basics and working on itself, Wylie must shift its focus to its district opener Friday at Wichita Falls Rider.

The Bulldogs will need to play better if they hope to rebound in the second half and contend for a playoff spot, but the schedule should get much more manageable now that 3-5A DII play is here. 

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Brownwood runs away from Wylie in second half (w/ photo gallery)

BROWNWOOD — The Brownwood Lions weren’t perfect in the second half of their 53-21 win over Wylie on Friday night, but they were pretty darn close.

Trailing 14-13 at halftime, coach Sammy Burnett’s squad outscored the Bulldogs 40-7 over the final two quarters — including a 26-0 fourth period — to defeat Wylie for the first time since 2010.

The Lions intercepted Harrison Atwood four times in the second half and finished with 594 total yards in winning their third straight game to improve to 3-2 on the season.

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Wylie seeks to get on track against 4A rival Brownwood

WYLIE (0-4) AT BROWNWOOD (2-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Gordon Wood Stadium, Brownwood

What it means: This is Wylie’s final game before its District 3-5A Division II opener against Wichita Falls Rider (Oct. 12) and the Bulldogs’ last chance to take some positive momentum into league play. A win would not only snap a season-opening four-game losing streak for coach Hugh Sandifer’s team, it would also help erase the memory of last week’s 48-0 loss to Cooper in the first Southtown Showdown. This is the 15th meeting between Wylie and Brownwood, which shared a district eight of the past 10 years. The Bulldogs hold a 10-4 advantage in the all-time series with wins in the last eight meetings.

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Wylie looking to turn page after Cooper loss, 0-4 start

Wylie’s performance in last week’s Southtown Showdown against Cooper was forgettable in many ways.

So perhaps it’s fitting that the Bulldog coaches and players view the best course of action at this point to simply forget about all the things that went wrong during the 48-0 defeat.

That loss, Wylie’s worst since the 1980s, extended the team’s season-opening losing streak to four games. But the Bulldogs aren’t dwelling on the negatives of what’s been a difficult season thus far.

With one more nondistrict game to play before its District 3-5A Division II opener Oct. 12 at Wichita Falls Rider, Wylie is determined to turn the page and regroup for what it hopes will be a much more successful second half. 

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 4 Report

Cooper 48, Wylie 0 — Little went right for the Bulldogs in the inaugural Southtown Showdown, resulting in Wylie’s worst loss in decades.

The Cougars held the Bulldogs to just 112 yards (72 rushing) while piling up 472 in securing the shutout victory. Cooper scored on all but three of its possessions, taking a 20-0 lead into halftime before adding two touchdowns in each of the final two quarters.

Bailey Hicks had the best day for the Wylie offense, rushing 10 times for 47 yards while catching three passes for 11 yards.

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Cooper, Wylie set for first ‘Southtown Showdown’

WYLIE (0-3) AT COOPER (0-3)

7 p.m. Thursday at Shotwell Stadium, City

What it means: Dubbed the ‘Southtown Showdown,’ this is the first varsity meeting between Abilene’s two southside high schools. The two schools met in Cooper’s inaugural football season in 1960 , but the Cougars played only a JV schedule that year, so that game is not counted in the CHS record book. More relevant to this year’s matchup, both teams enter Thursday’s game in search of their first win. Cooper has gone winless against Keller, Grapevine and Abilene High, which have combined to go 8-1, while Wylie’s three opponents — Georgetown, Lubbock Monterey and Stephenville — have posted a combined 7-2 record.

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Wylie WR Ramirez hopes to build on breakout game

Coming into the season, Wylie coach Hugh Sandifer knew he’d need some receivers to emerge if his passing game was to be successful.

Two of the Bulldogs’ top three returning pass catchers were backs and only senior Hayden Keidl had caught more than two passes from a wideout position in 2017.

With Keidl back and healthy from an injury that ended his junior season early, quarterbacks Harrison Atwood and Jaxon Hansen knew they’d have one reliable target throw the ball to. But who else would step up as a receiving threat for the Bulldogs?

It took three games, but Christian Ramirez threw his hat in the ring last week, catching three passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-27 loss to Stephenville. The challenge now is to add some consistency to the big-play ability he showed in that game.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 3 Report

Stephenville 41, Wylie 28 — Five turnovers were the Bulldogs’ undoing against their former district rival on Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

Wylie quarterback Harrison Atwood passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Christian Ramirez with three of those throws for 99 yards and two scores. But the Bulldogs finished the game with three interceptions (two by Atwood; one by sophomore Jaxon Hansen) and put the ball on the ground four times, losing two of those fumbles.

The Bulldogs, now 0-3, will try get their first win of the season Thursday in their first-ever meeting with crosstown foe Cooper.

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