Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Might I add, with no disrespect intended, Hereford stinks. Literally! I've heard it from several reliable sources (don't worry, your name will not be mentioned! Wild horses couldn't drag it out of me! I will say this, one of the R.S. is shall we say, close to the more ways than one.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hebron snatch win from Cougars!

CARROLLTON — The Cooper Cougars were 1:34 away from nabbing an improbable 42-28 victory and snapping a two-game losing streak.
But Kyle Aubuchon threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Chad Barlow with 48 seconds left in the game to lift the Hebron Hawks to a wild 45-42 win over Cooper in a nondistrict football game Friday night at Hawk Stadium.
Cooper (2-3) had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Ryan Lucas’ 34-yard field goal sailed wide left with a second left.
The Cougars nearly pulled off an incredible comeback win. Hebron (3-2) led 31-7 at the half, but Cooper scored 21 unanswered points to get back in the game.
Ryan Heslep threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Harvey to get the rally going with 5:28 left in the third quarter.
Then Cooper, which had given up an onside kick in three consecutive games, including two that played key roles in a pair of losses, recovered two consecutive onside kicks — and scored each time.
Heslep threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Reese Williams after the Coogs recovered the first onside kick at the Hebron 40.
Davon Riddick capped the second, recovered at the Hawks 39, with a 2-yard touchdown run as the Coogs pulled within three, 31-28, with 43 seconds left in the third quarter.
Hebron responded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Aubuchon early in the fourth quarter, pushing the Hawks lead to 38-21.
But the Coogs stormed right back, getting a one-yard touchdown run from Heslep, and the Coogs finally got their first lead of the night on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Heslep to Alford Cooper.
Lucas’ PAT gave the Coogs a 42-38 lead with 1:34 left in the game.
But the Hawks would go 75 yards on five plays for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown — a 21-yard scoring pass from Aubuchon to Barlow with 48 seconds left in the game.
Cooper got in position to tie the game, getting down to the Hawk 17 in the final seconds, but Lucas’ kick on a fourth-and-4 play was wide left.
Heslep completed 29 of 45 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns for the Coogs.
Things unraveled quickly in the first half. Hebron took the opening kickoff and 71 yards on eight plays for a quick 7-0 lead. Dezmond Wortham capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Cooper then started its first drive at its own 3 — and was forced to punt after three plays.
Hebron’s Kiante Griffin returned the ensuing punt 26 yards down to the Coogs’ 22-yard line. Two plays later, Wortham scored from 22 yards.
The Hawks tacked on a 26-yard field goal by Kurt Walker for a 17-0 lead with 3:23 left in the first quarter — all before Cooper could get a first down.
The Hawks, who scored on all five possessions in the first half, added a 3-yard touchdown run by J.T. Teague with 2:59 remaining before the half for a 31-7 lead.
The big play on the drive was a 29-yard pass from Aubuchon to Griffin on a third-and-12 play from the Hawks 32.
Cooper 7 0 21 14—42
Hebron 17 14 0 14—45

Friday, September 25, 2009

Every girl needs a 'Pops'!

Beth Spradlin Saxton

Grandparents are pretty great. They let you get away with just about anything and they love you like you were the sweetest thing on earth. Carter has some of the best grandparents around...each and every one is special in their own way. But, I've decided every girl needs a Pops. Pops is the guy who says things like, "How ya' doin' kid?" and always has a piece of gum ready to trade for a hug. He's one of the best coaches in Texas, and can be a pretty intimidating guy, but still manages to have a soft spot in his heart reserved for a certain little four year old....
He also has the hook up when it comes to meeting the Cougar, what more could a girl ask for?Pops might even give her a shot a little later in life at running back...But, I'm thinking we'll probably be sticking with cheerleading...Visiting during football season definitely has its perks!

Abilene Cooper Cougars vs. Lewisville Hebron Hawks...tonight!

Tonight the Cooper Cougars will play the Hebron Hawks at 7:30 at Lewisville.

The above photo was found on Flickr. The following information accompainied it....This Hawk is banded. The band reads, 'Cooper's Hawk'.

See you there!

Cooper's Cooper is a Cougar on the loose!

Alford Cooper got a taste of what life’s like on the Cooper varsity last year, when he got called up for the playoffs. He ended up running for 93 yards on 17 carries in three games playing behind A’mon Pimpton and Kendrick Powdrill.
Even though he knew Pimpton, who led the team in rushing last season with 1,513 yards and 19 touchdowns, would move on after graduation, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior running back expected to play a backup role to Powdrill — last season’s District 4-4A newcomer of the year — this year.
That hasn’t been the case. In fact, Cooper has emerged as the Cougars’ starting running back. He leads the team in rushing with 393 yards on 58 carries, and he has four touchdowns.
It’s not the role the shy, quiet Cooper expected to play on this team.
“At first, I thought I would be doing what they needed me to do, like backup Kendrick and stuff like that,” he said.
Cooper coach Mike Spradlin, though, knew the young running back would play a big role this year.
“We saw it last year,” he said. “He was really our go-to guy on the JV as a sophomore, then we had a chance bring him up in the playoffs, and he got some carries.”
Cooper was impressive in his first game this season, rushing for a game-high 106 yards on nine carries in a 56-7 win over O.D. Wyatt. He also had a touchdown. But a week later against Fort Worth Boswell, the wheels kind of fell off for Cooper. He ran for just 68 yards on 15 carries, and he fumbled twice in a 38-28 victory.
The two fumbles deflated Cooper’s confidence in himself.
“After those two fumbles, I was pretty down,” he said.
Spradlin, though, wouldn’t let Cooper wallow in self pity — or stop believing in his ability.
A week later, Cooper led the Coogs in rushing with 95 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in a 49-37 loss to Abilene High — and no fumbles.
“I think that’s where he really matured,” Spradlin said. “Alford’s real passionate about being a team player, and he doesn’t want to hurt the team. I finally just told him, ‘Let it go, just let it go. Go be you.’ Sure enough, he did that.”
Spradlin said he knew his young running back would be OK, when Cooper caught a short pass from quarterback Ryan Heslep on a third-and-nine play at the Coogs’ 34-yard line and picked up the first down on the team’s first drive. Cooper also had a 13-yard run on a third-and-five play later in the drive that ended with a Cougar touchdown.
“There was a point where Ryan kind of shuttled it to him there, and he ran over a safety for a first down,” Spradlin said. “That’s kind of where he broke out. He did OK in the first two games, but he just started playing like I knew he could. He’s a physical, tough guy, and he’s got good speed, too. He’s very explosive.”
Cooper had his most impressive game last week in the 34-30 loss to Garland. Cooper ran for a career-high 124 yards on 14 carries. It appeared he had iced the game on a 52-yard touchdown run that gave the Coogs a 30-13 lead with 8:38 remaining in the game.
“The O-line blocked it up, and I had a cutback to the side and took it all the way,” Cooper said. “Our wide receivers did a good job (blocking) too.”
Garland, though, rallied for the victory, but Cooper nearly saved the day a second time. Later in the game, he had a 32-yard run down to the Owls 37 negated by a holding call. The drive ended up stalling at the Cooper 42, and Garland answered with the winning touchdown.
But Spradlin said Cooper does a lot more than just run the ball.
“The thing we like about Alford is that he’s not just a runner. He’s a great pass blocker,” Spradlin said. “He takes a lot of pride in his whole game. He’s not just a guy who’s just trying to be a good running back. He’s probably the most complete guy we’ve had since I’ve been here, as far as his pass protection and all the things he does.”
Cooper, who also has four catches for 39 yards, is just one part of an explosive Cougars offense. The Coogs are averaging 480.25 yards per game, including 225 on the ground. Cooper, along with the senior Powdrill (25-313, 5 TDs) and junior Davon Riddick (17-104, 2 TDs), keep opposing defenses from just defending the pass.
“We’ve had some success with the play-action stuff,” Spradlin said. “We’re running some bootlegs and things like that. If your running game’s strong, then you’ve got a chance to do some of that stuff. We’re about as complete right now as we’ve been — throwing and running. We don’t have to rely on one thing. I think that’s what keeps defenses off balance.’
And even though Cooper has stolen some of the Powdrill’s thunder, he said the two of them get along just fine.
“Our relationship is pretty good,” Cooper said. “All of three of us, even Davon, we hang out sometimes, play video games and stuff like that.”
Spradlin expects Cooper’s relationship with the team to continue to be a pretty good one, too. It’s interesting to note that since the Boswell game, Cooper hasn’t put the ball on the ground once.
“I think he knows now he can trust himself,” Spradlin said. “He doesn’t have to be too careful. What we don’t want around here is guys who are playing careful. I don’t want to play not to lose. I want to play to win. I want guys going all out, and I think he’s doing that. I’m real proud of him.”
Joey D. Richards
Abilene Reporter News

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's a wife to do?

I must admit that being a C-wife has more 'Up's & Down's' than the State Fair of Texas! And after Friday Night's last quarter loss, this well-seasoned wife was at a loss for words. So what may I ask is a wife to do? The first few hours I listened and shared the pain. Then I tossed and turned and tried to sleep, but this guy kept swooping through our room startling the heck out of us! However with the light of day came bright ideas and I decided to do what I do best. Cook breakfast! Doesn't everyone know that the surest way to a man's heart is through his stomach?First I ground coffee beans and perked a pot of coffee. Next I popped Pillsbury frozen biscuits into the oven and fried a few strips of bacon in the cast iron skillet. When the biscuits were almost ready I scrambled five eggs
with just a little bit of cheese and arranged it all attractively on an appropriate plate.

This is my plate......
and this is Coach's.
On second thought, an extra biscuit may be more appreciated today.....
.......but when he was finished I couldn't resist!

A note to coach: Thank you for working so hard and caring so much. Your determination and optimisim inspires me! I respect you greatly.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coogs let it slip away!

Malcolm Robinson scored from a yard out with 1:11 left in the game to lift Garland over Cooper 34-30 in a nondistrict football game Friday night at Shotwell Stadium.

The Owls (2-1) scored 21 unanswered points in the final 7:12 of the game to spoil the Coogs’ homecoming and hand Cooper (2-2) its second straight loss to a 5A team.

“It’s a tough loss. Any loss is tough,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “I’m going to try to spin it off. It is what it is. We fought our tail off against a real good football team.”

After Garland got a 26-yard touchdown run from Robinson to go up 13-10 with 7:05 left in the third quarter, Cooper answered with 20 unanswered points to lead 30-13 with 8:38 to play in the game.

But Garland answered with a nine-yard touchdown catch from Jared Barnett to Ayron Morgan a little more than a minute later.

The Owls recovered an onside kick at the Coogs’ 48 and one play later, Adrian Phillips caught his second touchdown catch of the night to pull Garland within three, 30-27, with 7:00 left.

Garland stopped the Coogs on downs and marched 54 yards on seven plays for Robinson’s one-yard plunge on a third-and-goal play.

Cooper drove to the Owl 42 but the Coogs’ final two passes fell incomplete.

The onside kick — the third given up by Cooper in an as many games — proved costly.

“We had them where we wanted them,” Spradlin said. “Once again, our kicking game let us down. We’ve got to execute that. Got to make that play. It’s about making plays and executions. Those are the things we have to do.”

Cooper quarterback Ryan Heslep threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to John Harvey, and Ryan Lucas booted a 32-yard field goal as the Coogs took a 10-6 lead at the half.

Garland went back on top with a 26-yard touchdown run by Robinson with 7:05 to play in the third quarter. Vince Villanueva’s PAT gave the Owls a 13-10 lead.

But Sammy Beall returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the Owl 46, and five plays later, on a fourth-and-1 play,
Kendrick Powdrill scored from six yards out.
Lucas’ PAT put the Coogs up 17-13 with 5:04 left in the third.

Cooper tacked on a 11-yard touchdown catch by Jamail Lowry from Heslep with 10:59 left in the game, after T.C. Robinson recovered a muff punt at the Owls’ 28.

The Coogs appeared to be in control when Alford Cooper, who rushed for a game-high 124 yards on 14 carries, ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run with 8:38 remaining
But then Garland — which scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in last year’s 28-14 win in Garland — rallied for the victory.

“I’m going to say it again: I think we’ve got us a darned good football team,” Spradlin said. “I really do. With a win tonight, it’s shaping up just the way I want it. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

“I love these guys. I love their maturity level. I think they’ll bounce back. I have no doubt about it. We’ll have to travel our tail off to Hebron next week. We’re going to try to get in there and get us a win.”

Garland 6 0 7 21—34

Cooper 3 7 7 13—30

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cooper 30 - Garland 34

It was a tough loss for the Cougars tonight. With 8:40 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Coogs led 30 - 13. After scoring a touchdown the owls responded quickly with a touchdown of their own, recovered on-side kick and in the next play scored again. In short...GHS made up 14 pts. in 3 plays! Talk about momentum. The Cooper offense attempted to regroup and respond but in the end they would fall short of their goal. Disheartened, to say the least. This one will be tough to get over.

"Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Sims cousins — Herschel and Ronnell — proved to be too much for the Cooper Cougars.
Herschel Sims ran for three touchdowns and Ronnell Sims ran for two more and threw for another as the Abilene High Eagles overcame Cooper 49-37 in the annual crosstown clash Friday at Shotwell Stadium.
Abilene High scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to overcome a 24-21 deficit and win its sixth consecutive game against Cooper.
“The thing I’m most proud of is how we came out in the second half. When it got down to it in the second half, we were stronger both mentally and physically,” AHS coach Steve Warren said.
It’s appropriate the winning team scored 49 points in the 49th meeting between the two schools. Cooper still leads the series 30-18-1.
Ronnell Sims, who ran for 202 yards on 14 carries, had the go-ahead touchdown — a 31-yard run — with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
After recovering an onside kick, Herschel Sims, who gained 97 yards on 12 carries, added a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:36 to go in the quarter.
AHS (2-0) then stopped Cooper (2-1), and Ronnell Sims answered with a 61-yard touchdown pass to Darius Joseph as time expired in the quarter.
Cooper would sandwich a 2-yard touchdown run by Davon Riddick and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Heslep to Khaeer Sonnier as time expired around a 19-yard touchdown run by AHS’ Tony Curtis for the final score.
“They’re pretty good, man,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “They’re pretty good. They’re about as good on offense as I’ve seen. I don’t think it’s as much a testimony to where we’re at defensively as it is where they’re at offensively.
Spradlin said the onside kick, recovered by AHS’ Boo Barrientes, kept the momentum in the Eagles’ favor.
“I’m not so sure they were onsiding it as much as they were pooching it, and we weren’t ready for it,” Spradlin said.
Warren said the Eagles were going for the onside kick — and it worked to their advantage.
“I think we took control,” he said. “I think I saw our defense, when we held them to three, we knew we could stop them. I think that was a huge confidence builder.”
Cooper’s Ryan Lucas had kicked a 32-yard field goal on the first possession of the second half to break a 21-21 tie.
Heslep, who was 29-of-44 for 264 yards, threw a touchdown pass to Reese Williams in the first half and also ran for another. Alford Cooper also ran for a touchdown for the Coogs.
Abilene High took the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards on four plays for the game’s first touchdown. Herschel Sims capped the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run.
Cooper answered with a 13-play, 67-yard scoring drive. Heslep threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Williams on a third-and-goal play. It was the third converted third-down play on the drive, and Heslep also hit Sonnier for a 21-yard completion on a fourth-and-5 play from the AHS 30.
The Eagles struck quickly once again, thanks to a 22-yard kickoff return by Sawyer Tallant to the Coogs’ 35. Four plays later, Herschel Sims scored from nine yards out as AHS took a 14-7 lead.
Cooper responded with a 15-play, 82-yard drive. This time, Alford Cooper ran four yards as the Coogs tied the game at 14 early in the second quarter.
After stopping AHS for the first time of the night, the Coogs got their first lead on a 1-yard plunge by Heslep with 1:40 left in the half. The Coogs drove 75 yards on 14 plays to take a 21-14 lead.
But the Eagles re-tied the game at 21 on a 46-yard touchdown run by Ronnell Sims just 36 seconds later — and it remained tied 21-21 at the break.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crosstown rivals!

Abilene High 49
Abilene Cooper 37

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sandra Fowler, by nature, isn’t a hater. She doesn’t hold any ill will against Abilene High.
Still, the 1968 Cooper graduate bleeds Cougar red and blue, and she’s well aware of the fact the Coogs haven’t beaten their crosstown rival since 2003. So it’s only natural that she would love to see the Cooper football team finally end the drought Friday night at Shotwell Stadium.
“The time is now,” she said. “I’ve ridden the roller coaster through the years. It’s just time.”
And even someone as upbeat and positive as Fowler admits that sometimes, she believes a few Abilene High fans tend to get a bit smug about the Eagles’ recent run of success in the crosstown clash.
“Sometimes you feel like they put you down,” she said. “So we kind of get tired of that. So this is one way, if you win, they don’t put you down.”
Fowler doesn’t say that with any bitterness or animosity. It’s more like she’s disappointed that anyone would turn a game — one played by high school students — into a nasty, hurtful thing. And in her own back yard, among her own people, no less.
This is supposed to be fun, about choosing up sides and building up your side while not tearing down the other. And Fowler, a teacher for 34 years, does love building youngsters, hoping they’ll see the benefit of being part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why she’s been involved as an active, hands-on Cooper supporter for the past 10 years.
She got the bug back when she was in high school, watching adults in the booster club work so hard for the Cooper athletes.
“It changed my life,” she said. “I just watched all these adults come and put up posters and banners. So whenever my daughter came through Cooper, I was just waiting, on the edge, ready to go. I just felt like it was my time to carry the baton, so to speak.”
Fowler — Sandra Choate back then — was a cheerleader at Cooper. She was on the sidelines cheering on her Coogs during that memorable fall in 1967, when the Cooper football team marched all the way to the state championship game, falling by one point to Austin Reagan.
Now, Sandra and her husband, Cliff, are both active in the Cooper Booster Club, even though their daughter, Lindsay, graduated from CHS in 2002.
Cliff, a 1967 Cooper graduate, puts up all the Cougars flags that wave at Shotwell Stadium on gameday. Sandra, who teaches reading skills at Dyess Elementary, organizes the Cougar Crew — a group of elementary students who make up the line the Coogs run through before the game. She also helps her husband decorate the stadium, and, this week, she even cut streamers you’ll see flying around town.
“It’s my way of giving back,” Sandra said. “I mean, it’s a contribution to the community. West Texas football is unique. I think it’s a community thing. I hope that any kids who happen to see what Cliff and I do will put that away, file it away, so that when they have children, they won’t be just sitting on their hands.”
And Sandra respects anyone who does their part — whether they’re doing it for the Cougars or Abilene High.
In fact, had she ended up teaching at a school that feeds into Abilene High, instead of Dyess, which feeds into Cooper, she would be spending this week building little Eagles fans.
“It would be hard,” the diehard Cougar fan said. “But I thought about it a long time. I would encourage my kids to participate, because I think that’s very important. I would be promoting: ‘Someday you’re going to Abilene High. You need to buy into this. You need to be participating, be a part. Don’t just be floating out there somewhere.”

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cougars take charge in second half....

.....Cooper finds end zone in the second half
Joey RichardsSaturday, September 5, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas — What a strange night for the Cooper Cougars.
After coming up empty on four trips inside the red zone in the first half, the Coogs were 4-for-4 in the second half.

Those 28 second-half points helped the Coogs hold off the Boswell Pioneers, 38-28, in a non-district football game Friday night at Pioneer Stadium.

“I can’t say enough about the resiliency of our kids,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “Doggone it, if we didn’t make more mistakes tonight. The penalties, the turnovers, things like that. I wish I had the magic answer, but I don’t.

“Bottom line is we overcame it and won the football game. Weeks from now, that’s all that’s going to matter.”

Ryan Heslep threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns, and Kendrick Powdrill ran for two more as the Cougars improved to 2-0 on the season.
Cooper amassed 584 yards on offense.

Boswell quarterback Quinton Gregory threw for 184 yards and four touchdowns — including two in a frantic rally in the fourth quarter. But the Coogs picked off three passes and recovered three fumbles to drop the Pioneers to 1-1.

“Our defense played really well,” Spradlin said. “I can’t say enough about those guys. They did a great job against a very good Boswell team.”

Cooper rolled up 302 yards of offense in the first half, including 212 passing.
But the Coogs needed a 9-yard touchdown pass from Heslep to Reese Williams just 16 seconds before the half to take a 10-7 lead at the break.

Cooper scored on its first two possessions of the second to take a 24-7 lead. Alford Cooper ran nine yards for the first TD of the second half, and Powdrill added a 5-yard scoring run.

Gregory threw a 24-yard TD pass to Jacob Stone to make it 24-13 with 4:18 left in the third quarter.

Cooper answered when Tommy Bowman caught a 9-yard TD pass from Heslep early in the fourth quarter, and Powdrill got his second TD on an 11-yard run with 6:55 left in the game to all but put the game away.

Josh Bowman picked off a Gregory pass at the 1-yard line to stop a Pioneers threat.
Boswell still got two touchdowns in the final 1:11, one after recovering an onside kick.
Cooper fumbled the ball away three times inside the Pioneer 20 in the first half, including one on a first-and-goal play at the 1-yard line.

“You can’t be happy with that, and I won’t be happy with that,” Spradlin said. “We can’t have that. We know that. We’re a mature football team. It showed in the third quarter that we are. … We came out and took control in the second half, and I thought we put them away.”

The Coogs defense kept them in the game, though, getting two interceptions and recovering two fumbles — including one that set up the score before the half.

Cooper got inside the Pioneer 20 six times overall in the first half, coming away with the TD and a 24-yard Ryan Lucas field goal. Lucas also missed a 27-yard attempt.

The game got off to an ominous start. Cooper recovered the opening kickoff at the Pioneers 20, but the Coogs were called for offsides on the kick.

On the re-kick, Lucas Davis returned the ball 54 yards down to the Cooper 21.

Three plays later, Davis caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Gregory.

Da’mor Barnes returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards for Cooper to the Boswell 46, and the Coogs eventually had a first-and-goal at the 9. But they were forced to try a 27-yard field goal by Lucas, that sailed wide right.

Cooper got down inside the 11 on its next possession, but settled for a 24-yard field goal by Lucas.

Cooper’s Joshua’e Robinson picked off Gregory at the Boswell 7 to end a Pioneers threat. Heslep then threw a 59-yard pass to Bowman to get the ball down to the Pioneers 21. But two plays later, the Coogs turned the ball over inside the 20.

Cooper got down to the Pioneer 22 following a Lawrence Brownfield pick but turned the ball over on downs.
On the Coogs’ next possession, Bowman made a 47-yard catch but had the ball stripped at the Pioneers 19, where Boswell recovered.

Cooper recovered a Boswell fumble at the Pioneers 30 later in the second quarter. The Coogs eventually had a first-and-goal at the 1 but Alford Cooper fumbled the ball away at the 2.
Cooper finally cashed in a Boswell fumble when the Coogs’ Barnes stripped Gregory of the ball and Greg Nicholas caught it in the air. Cooper needed five plays to cover 32 yards and take its first lead of the night on Heslep’s 9-yard TD pass to Williams.