Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cooper linebacker Josh Robinson has a pretty simple philosophy when it comes to playing defense.

“Get to the guy with the ball and try to rip his head off,” he said. “All that mean stuff. I play defense. That’s what I do.”

The senior does a good job getting the guy with the ball, too, and he’s laid out some of the hardest hits you’ll see on the football field this season. One, in particular, stands out. His hit on Austin Westlake quarterback Lewis Guilbeau in the Coogs’ second game of the season, a 35-31 victory over the Chaparrals, was a brutal blast, dropping Guilbeau for a four-yard loss late in the first half.

“It was just the way he got there,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “He really bursted there, made a huge play on it. It really was one of the biggest hits I’ve seen. I’ve got to give it to the kid (Guilbeau). He got up, and about three or four plays later, he threw a touchdown pass. (The hit) was a great athletic play, too. It wasn’t just the violence of it. It was a great athletic play.”

It’s tackles like that, though, that make Robinson’s night. He loves hitting folks hard.

“Every minute, every second of it,” he said. “It’s great.”

The 5-foot-11, 235-pound Robinson is one of the Coogs most articulate and confident players.

It’s also evident he’s having a lot of fun out there.

“Because I’m the best out there doing what I do,” he said. “I’m not arrogant. But it’s the way you’ve got to think. To be the best, you’ve got to think that way. I’m confident because I’ve prepared. I’ve worked harder than anybody. If that guy says he can beat me, I’m going to man up and challenge him. I’m not going to back down from anybody.”

That confidence is one of the things that endears Robinson to Spradlin.

“He’s extremely confident,” he said. “He’s always been that way. I got to know Josh when he was an eighth-grader over at Madison. Boy, I could tell then he had a chance to be special. A hard worker. Real confident in his ability. I like that about him. He’s a great leader. He’s been a great leader for our football team for three years, honestly. Even as a sophomore, he just played like an older guy. The last two years, he’s been great.”

Robinson started as defensive tackle in youth football but lost weight and made the switch to running back in junior high. He also played running back at Cooper his freshman year, but he was moved to nose guard on defense. He didn’t like playing nose guard. He wanted to be a linebacker, and he got his wish that freshman season.

“It was pretty obvious that was a good fit for him,” Spradlin said.

Robinson, a three-year starter, has bloomed into that smart, passionate football player, who’s every bit the leader on his team.

“He’s certainly not a guy who’s going to get shook,” Spradlin said. “He’s going to stay calm, stay focused on the task, play intelligently. He plays tough, because he’s strong and has a quick burst, as we saw against Westlake.”

Robinson said he’s learned to be much more disciplined — something lacking his freshman year.

“I had all the tools,” he said. “I was big, strong, fast. I just wasn’t right in my mind.”

The Coogs are 4-0 and coming off an impressive offensive and defensive showing against Lubbock High — a game called at halftime because of lightning. Cooper’s defense held the Westerners to 10 yards of total offense, including minus-two yards on the ground, in a 43-0 victory — the team’s first shutout this season.

“I think we’re coming along very good,” Robinson said about the defense. “We’re not perfect, but our effort and intensity hasn’t fallen off. It’s picked up. We haven’t gotten our bellies full. We’re still hungry. We’re playing like we haven’t won a game.”

Ah, that’s Robinson — always the leader, always wanting to get better.

“I just love his passion for leading and his passion for the game,” Spradlin said. “It’s important to him. He’s been one of the finest kids I’ve coached.”

Spradlin expects Robinson to play college ball, perhaps at the Division I level. Robinson, though, isn’t worried about where he lands. He just wants to enjoy this final season at Cooper.

“This is what I love to do,” he said. “I’ve got to cherish every moment of it. This is what I’m going to miss when I’m there doing it like a job in college.”

Cooper 56 - Lubbock Coronado 21

Alford Cooper made up for lost time Friday night.

After sitting out two games with a twisted ankle, the Cooper senior ran for 132 yards and four touchdowns — all in the first half — to power the unbeaten Cougars past Lubbock Coronado 56-21 on a wet homecoming at Shotwell Stadium.

“It feels great,” Cooper said. “Those two weeks I was out was killing me. It feels great to be back, and I’m glad to be back.”

Cooper, who was injured on the Coogs’ first possession against Austin Westlake in the second game of the season, ran for touchdowns of 11 and 4 yards and twice from a yard out. His entire yardage came in the first half on 11 carries.

“He did pretty good,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “I told him everybody has kind of forgotten about you. You’re going to have to remind them that you’re still around. He and Davon (Riddick) both ran well.”

Riddick ran for touchdowns of 18 and four yards and finished with 64 yards on seven carries. Khole Jackson also returned a punt 28 yards for a touchdown, and Clayton Nicholas threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Khaeer Sonnier.

Nicholas, who played only the first half, completed 10-of-16 passes for 164 yards. Cooper didn’t have a turnover.

All of the Coogs’ points came in the first half, including 42 in the second quarter. None of the team’s offensive starters played in the second half, and the first-team defense played only one series.

“The first half, I think that’s about the best we could be,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “We got a chance to get a lot of kids in. It got a little sloppy there in the second half, but that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Cooper wrapped up nondistrict play with a 5-0 record. It’s their best start since going 12-1 in 2002. The Coogs have a bye next week, before opening District 3-5A play at Midland Lee in their return to the Little Southwest Conference after two years in Class 4A.

“It’s momentum,” Spradlin said. “We wanted to make a statement going into district, and I think we did. We certainly did in the first half. I feel good about it.”

Coronado (1-4) scored all of its points in the fourth quarter against Cooper’s reserves. Banner Owen ran for a pair of two-yard touchdowns, and Brennan Johnson threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Grayson Young.

Three Coronado turnovers fueled the Coogs’ second-quarter outburst.

“I loved the turnover deal tonight,” Spradlin said. “It was outstanding.”

Josh Bowman, who got his team’s first pick last week against Lubbock High, got picks on back-to-back Mustang possessions with Cooper up 21-0 in the second quarter. The first interception set Cooper up at the Mustang 21, and four plays later Cooper ran one yard for his third touchdown. Bowman’s next pick gave the Coogs the ball at the Mustang 31. Two plays later, Riddick ran 18 yards for a touchdown.

“I was happy that I got them,” Bowman said of the interceptions. “I dropped my first one (tonight). When I caught those two, it just lightened the game up.”

On Coronado’s next possession, the Mustangs fumbled the ball away, and Cooper’s Ty Robinson came up with the ball, giving the Coogs the ball at the Mustang 39. The Coogs needed four plays to get a 27-yard touchdown pass from Nicholas to Sonnier.

“Cooper is a great football team, and we didn’t do things you’re going to have to do to stay with that in the first half,” Coronado coach Butch Henderson said. “Defensively, I think we played well at times. Offensively, we didn’t take the ball and move the ball. That’s what we’ve got to be able to do. But that’s not to take anything away from them. They’re a great football team.”
Written by Joey Richards
Photos Abilene Reporter News

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abilene Cooper HS- 43 Lubbock HS- 0


Miranda Grubbs
Abilene Cooper’s Khole Jackson (1) scores a touchdown as Lubbock High’s Marcus Fitzhugh, left, stands nearby. Cooper beat the Westerners, 43-0, Thursday at Lowrey Field
Abilene Cooper mauls Lubbock High in lightning-shortened game
Lubbock High had hoped to pull off an upset like it had done in two of the last three years against Abilene Cooper. That hope lasted all of about two minutes.
By George Watson

Abilene Cooper mauls Lubbock High in lightning-shortened game

Lubbock High had hoped Thursday to pull off an upset along the lines of what it had done in two of the last three years in its football game against Abilene Cooper.

That hope lasted all of about two minutes.

Cooper fumbled on its first possession, scored on its next six and did so seemingly at will, racking up 396 yards offense in a dominant first half and winning 43-0 at Lowrey Field in a game shortened to two quarters because of lightning.

“That’s a good football team,” Lubbock High coach Mike Speck said. “We had to scrap for everything we had. I thought the first eight minutes we really played well. We gave up that first cheap touchdown … and then they just put it into another gear, and the thing about being that great is it looked like they weren’t even moving half the time. They’re so smooth and accurate. That’s the difference in numbers and a great (Class) 5A program.”

The game was called just before the start of the third quarter after a second lightning delay just after halftime. The first one, which came midway through the first quarter, caused a 39-minute delay, but only delayed the inevitable.

Cougars junior quarterback Clayton Nicholas tied a school record with six touchdown passes, three to Khaeer Sonnier and two to John Patrick, as the Cougars (4-0) had three scoring drives that totaled 33 plays and three others that lasted just four plays.

Nicholas was a surgeon-like 17 of 19 for 254 yards and six touchdowns, tying Zac Allen’s 16-year-old school record for touchdown passes in a game. Davon Riddick added 96 rushing yards to the fray for the Cougars, and leading receiver Khole Jackson had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in the first 24 minutes.

“It was pretty obvious they wanted to stop Riddick, stop our running game, and I felt we took advantage of those things and threw the ball a little bit,” Cougars coach Mike Spradlin said.

“I’m really proud of our team. We do have a bunch of guys playing hard and playing with passion, and that’s what it takes. We’re fixing to go into a tough district and we need to play all the ball we can.”

Lubbock High (0-4) was completely the opposite. The Westerners had five possessions in the first half and went three-and-out on three of them.

On another they were whistled for a safety when Tyler Schovanec was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, having to pick up a snap that sailed over his head. The Westerners’ final possession of the half saw them gain their first first down, but ended in a Josh Bowman interception two plays later.

Cooper led 7-0 when the game was delayed, but it didn’t face the Cougars, who simply picked up where they left off.

A 21-yard touchdown pass to Sonnier pushed the lead to 14-0 two minutes after the game resumed, and it grew to 16-0 when Schovanec’s intentional grounding penalty drew a safety. Two plays after the ensuing free kick, Nicholas hit Sonnier from 17 yards out to push the lead to 23-0.

Two penalties on Lubbock High’s ensuing drive forced it to stall at the Westerner 25-yard line, at which point LHS had more penalty yardage (25) than offensive yardage (19). Cooper took over at the LHS 41, and on the first play Nicholas hit Sonnier on a post route for the touchdown and a 30-0 lead.

Cooper took over on the ground on its next drive, going 65 yards in 12 plays, only four which were through the air. But the final one was a pass as well, a 3-yarder to Patrick on third-and-goal. Justin Lehr missed the extra-point kick to keep the score at 36-0, but it hardly mattered.

“One of our goals is to pursue the state playoffs and get into the state playoffs,” Speck said. “If we get into the playoffs that’s the kind of people we’re going to face. It’s a great learning tool that we’ve got to play more than eight minutes of great football, and take it to 48. It’s a challenge to those guys.”


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meet, Kimberly Waddell!

Welcome, Kim! Thanks for joining us today on my blog! It's been so nice getting to know the Cooper C-wives better and I appreciate you taking the time to visit. Kim is married to David Waddell who is an Offensive Line coach for the undefeated 2010 Cooper Cougars! David and Kim, have three adorable children; Hayden, Reece and Olivia.
Tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in the West Texas area. I grew up just a few miles down the road in Odessa. I am a graduate of Odessa High School. (My parents are still season ticket holders for over 40 years now.) And yes, since we are back in the "Little Southwest Conference" you may find me singing the school song when the band plays on Friday night. It's my alma mater. I can't help it.

While in school I cheered along side the Bronchettes on Friday nights and was a member of the Odessa High Corral and a girls group called the Renditions (kinda like a cover band, but better!)

. When did you meet your coach?

I met my coach, David, while attending the college department at Temple Baptist Church. At first we were just friends, not really interested in one another. But you know how that goes, things seemed to change and after one year of dating and one year of engagement, we got married!

. How long have you been a coaches wife?

David and I have been married for over 11 years. WOW! My husband would say,”It only feels like 11 minutes...under water." (HA!HA!) No really, it does only feel like 11 minutes. Time really does pass by when you are having fun!!!

. What quality do you most admire in your coach?

I think what I admire most in David is that he knows who he is. He is unwavering. He knows what he stands for and he knows what he believes in. David is firm, steadfast, consistent, faithful, dedicated, determined, devoted, dependable, loyal... And most of all, he is loving.

. What is your favorite part of football season?

My favorite part of football season is Friday nights! It's waiting for family to arrive and attend the game; getting our game jerseys and game faces on; eating out before the big game; rushing to the stadium to make it on time before the kickoff; cheering in the stands as the Coogs push towards the end zone; and then coming home and laying our heads down at night knowing we just spent family time together. All of us! Even Daddy, although he is in the press box. We are all there, together!

. What is your greatest challenge?

For me, the greatest challenge is trying to remember that the time David spends away is short. And although it may seem like eternity, eventually he comes home to love on all of us.

. Where do you work?

Well, if you ask me, first of all, I am a stay at home mom. Our oldest son, Hayden, just began kindergarten and our other two children, Reece and Olivia attend a local church preschool program. So, after we drop Hayden off, I go to school with Reece and Olivia and spend the day with them while they are learning about the ABCs and 123s. It is the perfect job! We all leave the house together and we all come home together.

And by the way, I am an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. I love this job! Who would have guessed that playing with skin care and makeup could be so fun!!!

. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I really enjoy cooking. I love to cook good food and then eat it! I love spending time with family and friends. And of course, don't forget that good food.

I also enjoy sitting on the back porch, drinking a cup of coffee (if it's morning) or sweet tea (if it's evening), reading a magazine and watching my kids play in the back yard. There is nothing better.

Kimberly, thank you so much for taking the time to share about yourself. You have a precious family. You and David are good parents. We are thankful to have you all here in Abilene and at Cooper. Together we are making a difference in the lives around us.

Oh, I want a makeover!

Friday, September 10, 2010

VICTORY!!! Cooper 55 / San Angelo Central 14

The Coach's Kids!

Our oldest daughter Bethany, wrote a blog post titled Eat Your Heart Out Westlake.( Click to read!)

One constant in the life of Coach Spradlin, is the unconditional love of his family. It's not always easy to be a coach, or his family but it's always been easy to love him. A coach's family is tight! Babies grow up on the practice field and in the fieldhouse. From birth, they attend football games. Learning quickly to cheer for the team! They look forward to pep rallies, pom poms and seeing to the mascot. When you make 17 moves they come with you. Help you pack, unpack, paint walls, plant flowers and make friends....but until you make new friends the famliy hangs out and has fun together.

And when they grow up, they come back home and cheer for their dad again ....and the boy's he coaches!

Last Friday's victory was extra special to the or family because it was the 2nd time that 'our coach' had led his team to victory, over the Austin Westlake Chapparel's. Beth and Nate, Carte and Emme; Kim and John; and Clint came to town to watch the Coogs. We adore our kids and love it when they all come 'home'. They knew what a big deal it would be for Cooper to beat Westlake and they couldn't miss the opportunity to support their dad. This picture was a recreation of one taken 10 years ago (have you read Beth's story yet?). Both were milestone's in our coach's career....two of many we've been privy to witness. Since the first Westlake defeat, our family has grown up a lot...

We've also grown in numbers! ( ...we missed you Jenny!)

What an amazing game! One of the best ever! It was hard to settle down, but later coach found a note on his night stand. Here is what it said:

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much you mean to me. I can't help but get a little emotional every time I see you out their with your players because I see how much fun you have and how much you love them and how much they love you. You truly are a man of God, and the amazing part about all of this is that I have the honor and priviledge to call you Dad. You truly are my hero and I know there will never be another. I can only hope that one day people look at me the way they look at you, and that one day I will have a son that loves me as much as I love you!

Love Always,
Your son

I don't think Coach Spradlin ever slept.
Children; What a blessing from God! ...can I get an amen?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big Game tonight! Abilene Cooper 35. Austin Westlake 28

There is a great article at Go Friday Night (, I've been trying to copy and paste for one hour! Please feel free to check it out! Above is a photo of the game winning touchdown!