New coach looks to revitalize Copperas Cove football
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - There is a new man in charge of Copperas Cove football and he is looking to bring excitement back to a struggling program.
When you ask the Cove players about new head coach Tony Johnson, one word comes up over and over again: energy.
When I went to a practice this Spring, it was clear that the energy has been contagious and the BullDawgs are excited to be playing ball again.
In fact, linebacker Kevin Pontious even told me, “Coach Johnson has resparked my love for football. It was down after back-to-back (1-9) seasons. It is hard.”
Coach Johnson said he has been rejuvenated by the move from Dallas’s W.T. White high school to Copperas Cove as well.
Since getting there, Johnson said he feels like he has plenty of talent in Copperas Cove, but that talent needs a change of mindset.
Johnson explains, “They need to get their confidence back and realize football is fun again. Come out of that mindset of losing to a mindset of ‘I am a good football player and a good human being. And the coaches are telling us the right things to do.’ Building that trust and confidence.”
That confidence and trust will become the foundation of a new culture, changing the way the players approach the game.
“We want our kids to be compelled, not reluctant. We tell our kids every day to think, ‘Is this a compelled action, or a reluctant action?’” says Johnson.
Johnson’s impact is clear after just five weeks of Spring ball, which proved to be more intense than the actual season was for the BullDawgs last year.
Pontious explains, “Coach calls in ‘Brother-in-lawing’ when you go softer in practice. That is not here this year, everybody is going full force.”
Safety/Linebacker Dayne Holden adds, “We are going all in. 100%. We have more motivation to come to practice on time and our senior group is doing a better job leading.”
That senior group knows that Coach Johnson can only do so much - the rest is on them.
Pontious is up for the role as a leader on the team: “Coach brings the energy, but it is up to us players in the end. Just because we have a new coaching staff doesn’t mean we don’t have to put in all the work.”
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