Coach: Todd Moebes
2010: 11-2 D2 Regional semifinalist (L Denton Guyer, 7-55)
|Wins||52||7.40||11||9 (4A)||8 (4A)||5||4|
|Adj. Offensive Scoring||52||5.30||11.70||n/a||n/a||-5.03||9.23|
|Adj. Defensive Scoring||128||0.95||-2.58||n/a||n/a||-5.63||11.07|
The Cougars’ best run so far covered a five year span (1993-1997) in which they progressed at least three rounds deep in the playoffs each year, including one state final appearance. Overall, Cooper has won two regional finals and made state final appearances in both years (1967 and 1996). Defensive Coordinator Todd Moebes took over the head coaching duties from Mike Spradlin (headed to Temple) this off-season.
Returning Starters: 3
QB Clayton Nicholas, Senior (’10 1st All-District)
WR Derek Randle, Senior (6’1 170 4.5)
TE John Patrick, Senior (6’0 190 4.6)
Players to Watch
RB Matt Watson, Senior (5’7 190 4.7)
RB Kerry Sims, Junior (5’6 150 4.6)
RB Xavier McCann, Junior (5’9 175 4.7)
WR KaShawan Brown, Junior (6’0 170 4.7)
WR KV Johnson, Sophomore (5’5 145 4.5)
OG Jordan Stevenson, Senior (5’10 260)
OT Darrell Brown, Senior (6’5 255)
C Jose Escamilla, Senior (5’8 255)
Returning Defensive Starters: 5
DE Garrison Railsback, Senior (6’2 225 4.7)
FS Josh Bowman, Senior (’10 1st All-District)
ROV Mekiyah Brooks, Senior (5’10 175 4.6)
Players to Watch
DE Nick Garcia, Senior (5’11 195)
LB Steven Lugo, Senior (5’10 200 4.9)
LB Cordell Dorsey, Sophomore (6’2 175 4.6)
LB Aaron Cantu, Junior (5’8 165 4.6)
CB Darrin Ruot, Senior (5’6 160 4.6)
CB Fred Lawrence, Junior (5’9 160 4.6)
CB DJ Morgan, Junior (5’11 165 4.6)
9/2 @ Austin Westlake
These two are similar in strength and should produce another close game early in the season. Cooper took last year’s meeting, 35-31.
10/28 vs Abilene
Not much needs to be said to describe the importance of this one for each team. Cooper won the 50th meeting between the two last season by double digits. One of the biggest rivalries in Texas.
11/4 vs Midland
The Bulldogs defeated the Cougars in the final game of last season to clinch a share of the 3-5A title. This year’s match-up will be strength on strength, Coug offense versus the Bulldog defense.
|8/26 @ WF Rider (4A)|
|9/2 @ Austin Westlake|
|9/9 vs San Angelo Central|
|9/16 vs Lubbock|
|9/23 @ Lubbock Coronado|
|*10/7 vs Midland Lee|
|*10/14 @ Odessa Permian|
|*10/21 @ Odessa|
|*10/28 vs Abilene|
|*11/4 vs Midland|
THE BOTTOM LINE
Offense: The success of this offense begins and ends with Texas Tech bound QB Clayton Nicholas. Nicholas threw for 3,000 yards and 30 tds on 204 completions during his all-state junior season. One of his favorite targets from early last season returns in TE John Patrick, who missed the second half of the season due to injury. The bad news is just about every one else around these two are new to starting roles including all five offensive linemen. Without Riddick and Cooper in the backfield anymore, this offense will be dependent on Nicholas more than ever and he has the skill to carry them.
Defense: Five full-time starters are back, in addition to one part-timer and several other returning lettermen. Three year starter and all-state FS Josh Bowman returns to lead the Cougar defense. DE Garrison Railsback is a force coming off the edge. Coach Moebes knows that in order for Cooper to take the next step, they’ll need to show some improvement defensively. He’s confident that this group can deliver.
Overrated if: The inexperience around Nicholas, most notably up front, holds the offense back at all. Early reports out of spring ball indicate that this won’t be an issue.
Underrated if: The defense is able to improve and hold teams to 5-7 points below their average. Last season, the Cougars held teams to 3 points below their average.
Photo by: Thomas Metthe/reporternews.com
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