Predistrict competition is always one of the weirdest times in the High School season. It doesn’t affect who goes to playoffs, and especially in a day and age where some districts have half of the teams in them go to playoffs, the results mean even less in terms of judging teams who could go to the playoffs in their respective districts. Then, after all that, when you get to the playoffs, any team could catch fire at any time.
It’s useless trying to predict anything from preseason rankings. If that’s so, then what do we make of Lubbock Cooper?
The Pirates are 2-0, with several impressive wins and a no-contest call against Amarillo that they lead 7-0 at halftime. Their most recent triumph was a 35-0 drubbing of perennial power Lubbock Frenship. The Pirates are blessed with a solid defense, only giving up 21 points through 2 1/2 games. Every single point came in a 35-21 victory over Canyon Randall.
They’re quarterbacked by Jarret Doege, whose brother is former Texas Tech Red Raider Seth Doege. Jarret spent his sophomore year in Iraan before heading over to Lubbock Cooper to quarterback the Pirates, and he’s done a fine job thus far.
Doege has the quarterbacking chops from his last name, but the teeth of this team resides with the defense. They gave up some yards at Frenship, but held the Tigers to a mere 2/13 on third down and forced two turnovers. There’s Red Raider blood here too – starting free safety Ty Thomas is the nephew of Texas Tech and NFL legend Zach Thomas. Let me tell you, the Pirates can attack the ballcarrier.
So what do we make of Lubbock Cooper as their preseason draws to a close at Weatherford? Can they match their 10-2 record from last year, or beat it?
As for me, the proof is already in the pudding. You have an offense that seems to be clicking on all cylinders right now, and a defense that is fundamentally sound yet will still lay the wood. When that’s all added together you have a definite recipe for success.
The Pirates still have to go through Abilene Cooper’s potent offense and a currently undefeated Lubbock Monterey team in order to win their district and secure prime positioning for the playoffs. When they get to the playoffs they’ll have to deal with either/or Aledo, Denton, El Paso Eastlake (who knocked them out of the playoffs last year), Grapevine, and Colleyville Heritage in order to win their region. The road ahead is tough, but this is a tough Lubbock Cooper team. In crunch time, toughness wins out. I’m buying what the Pirates are selling.