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Cooper Review - Page 4B

Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Football Preview

Goals set: Postseason play tops the Cooper Bulldogs’ ‘to do’ list By Cindy Roller Editor

leadership of Sammy Burnett, from Honey Grove. Green was quick to add the importance of achieving a district championship. In District 8-2A Division II Cooper has been ranked second by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football with the Clarksville Blue Tigers at the top and the Alba-Golden Panthers in the third slot. Accordingly to Green it might just come down to the Clarksville contest to decide the District Crown. Clarksville went 10-2 last season before making the jump to Class 2A play and are currently No. 2 on the Harris Ratings for Week 0 with Cooper ranked No. 20. New to Cooper’s District and under Coach Gary Schultz, Alba-Golden has been reaching new milestones

The goal: “to be in the playoffs.” That is the first and foremost thought for the 2012 Cooper Bulldogs and the football coaching staff. So with 56 players [26 varsity and 30 junior varsity], Cooper is outfitted for battle with their team motto of “Stand with Me, Never Stand Alone,” on their mind. “It is about supporting each other as teammates,” said Cooper Bulldog Head Football Coach Ronnie Green. “It is a team concept.” He noted the team will vote on team captains prior to 7:30 p.m. kickoff this Friday, Aug. 31 against the hosting Farmersville Fighting Farmers. The Farmers, moving from 3A classification, are under new

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in school history making the playoffs for the first time in 23 years in 2011. Finishing as Area Finalists, Cooper was edged out of the playoffs by Gunter 21-14 in Rockwall after handing Elysian Fields a 34-20 loss in the Bi-District round. According to Cooper Review statistics, leading rushers for the Bulldogs were Demetrius Wilkins with 662 yards and 13 touchdowns, Darmarcus Robinson with 253 yards and Jermey Mims with 213. Wilkins also racked up 120 receiving yards in the 2011 season. Overall as a team, Cooper averaged 25.5 points per game while their opponents scored 20 per game. Cooper rallied for 274 total yards of offense per game versus 269 for the opponent. With non-district lineup of Farmersville, Commerce, Mount Vernon and Prairiland, Green is certain this competition will ready the Bulldogs for the road ahead starting Sept. 28. “We are going to take it one game at a time,” said Coach Green. “All four of the nondistrict teams scheduled are bigger schools and will be tough.” The 2012 schedule includes only five teams from the 2011 schedule. See the adjacent schedule. “We did pretty well in the first scrimmage [against Caddo Mills]. We saw some things we needed to work on, and we targeted those in practice,” said Coach Green. “We did much better in this week’s scrimmage [against Bells].” Some of the top scoring came from senior Quile Wady, juniors Jermey Mims, Darmarcus Robinson and Austen Blakley. While Coach Green had not yet finalized the starting line, he was definite 6-foot2 170-pound junior Kasey Leatherwood would start as quarterback for the Bulldogs. Leatherwood got a late start last season after suffering a preseason broken foot. The coach said they will use a running game first yet keeping with a multi-formation look they will take to the airways to keep the opposing defense off balance. The Bulldogs are fortunate to have 5-foot-10 165-pound junior Tyler McMikel to also play under the center.

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said Coach Green. Coach Campbell will be coaching junior high basketball and assisting with baseball as well as teaching World Geography. For JV and JH schedules see page 6B. 2012 Cooper Bulldogs Varsity Schedule A31 Farmersville Away 7:30 S7 Commerce Home 7:30 S14 Mount Vernon Away 7:30 S21 Prairiland Home 7:30 S28 Chisum* Home 7:30 O5 Como-Pickton* Away 7:30 O12 Bye O19 Alba-Golden** Home 7:30 O26 Edgewood* Away 7:30 N2 Clarksville*** Home 7:30 N9 Rivercrest* Away 7:30 * District ** Homecoming *** Parents Night

2012 Cooper Bulldogs 2 Demetrius Wilkins 3 Tyler McMikel 4 Jermey Mims 5 Grant Sepulveda 7 Clay Mitchell 10 Michael Felts 12 Kasey Leatherwood 20 Quile Wady 21 Darmarcus Robinson 24 Jordan Sillivan 25/50 Brandan Chandler 33 Colby Earley 44/60 Dylan Worden 45 Austen Blakley 51 Dakota Click 52 Ty Oliver 53/83 Trevor Mobley 55 Cody Lawwill 56 Conner Arthur 62 Trevor Williams 65 Bryce Jester 66 Billy Watson 75 Tyler Williams 77 Devin Wilkerson 82 Tyler Braddy 88 Blake Hohenberger

C/RB OLB/QB FS/RB OLB/RB LB/TE C/REC FS/QB FS/REC FS/RB FS/RB LB/RB LB/RB LB/RB OLB/RB DL/OL LB/OL DL/OL OLB/OL DL/OL DL/OL DL/OL DL/OL DL/OL DL/OL OLB/TE DL/TE

155 165 150 185 210 155 170 150 160 150 170 180 165 150 220 160 220 180 245 180 275 235 265 245 170 210

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Head Coach/Athletic Director: Ronnie Green Assistant Coaches: Larry Stowers, Josh Shipman, Drew Conley, Daniel Nichols, Patrick Barron, Russell Campbell, Sam Falls Managers: Mitchell Green, Brayden Wilson, Brayden Toon, Justin Gibson, Sydnye Worden Cheerleader Sponsor: Jinger Williams Cheerleaders: Morgan Nutt, Jerica McGraw, Kari Szafran, Peyton Conyers, Logan Stegall, Skyler Strickland, Brooklyn Bain, Kelcie Stager, Madison Oats, Kailey Blakley, Imani Gaffney, Logan Alvarez-Mascot Band Director: Jeremiah Hastings High School Principal: Chris Kiser Superintendent: Denicia Hohenberger Junior High Principal: Richard Roan

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and good breeze everyday has been a welcome for more conditioning,” said the coach on fewer injuries. “It has really helped us especially compared to what we were dealing with last summer.” Assisting the 2012 squad will be Coaches Larry Stowers, Josh Shipman, Drew Conley, Daniel Nichols, Patrick Barron and Sam Falls. Helping out this season has been new hire assistant coach Russell Campbell, starting his coaching career out at Cooper. Former college baseball player and newlywed Coach Campbell has been settling in the Bulldog staff. “He will be coaching the OLine and D-Line and has been busy learning and adapting,”

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“I have confidence in both [Leatherwood and McMikel],” said Coach Green “Both are playing well.” McMikel had 451 yards passing, seven scores and five interceptions during the prior season while Leatherwood totaled 300 yards with a trio of touchdowns and four interceptions. Defensively the Dogs in maroon will be utilizing what has been working this season. “I am pleased with the defense as a whole. They are all reacting to the ball and performing their assignments well,” added Coach Green. All in all, the team hasn’t had to deal with the Texas heat as much as last season. “The cooler temperatures

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