Written by Brandon George
Spring football report: New Coppell QB Jake Larson will be a major-college recruit, coach says
HOW THE 2010 SEASON ENDED: It was a long off-season for Coppell coach Joe McBride following the Cowboys’ gut-wrenching 41-40 loss in the final seconds to Euless Trinity in a memorable Class 5A Division I Region I final last December. Coppell finished 13-1.
KEY RETURNING STARTERS: Coppell has to replace a talented senior class, but still returns five starters on offense and four on defense. All but one starting offensive linemen returns, led by standout Sam Rice. Defensive linemen William Udeh and Austin Buss will lead the way up front, and returning defensive back David Busby leads the secondary.
BIGGEST QUESTIONS FACING TEAM: There are many, highlighted by McBride having to find a new quarterback, new running back and replace his entire linebacker corps from last season. McBride has his work cut out for him trying to find replacements for quarterback Joe Minden (3,436 passing yards, 30 TDs), running back Cam McDaniel (1,906 rushing yards, 32 TDs), defensive end Tanner Rice (103 tackles, 27 for loss, 17½ sacks), linebacker Brandon Mullins (133 tackles, 17 for loss, nine sacks) and cornerback Bennett Okotcha (three interceptions, 13 pass breakups). Minden signed with Stephen F. Austin, McDaniel with Notre Dame, Rice – SportsDay’s 2010 Defensive Player of the Year – with Air Force, Mullins with Syracuse (for lacrosse) and Okotcha with Oklahoma.
NOTABLES: McBride said incoming senior Jake Larson (6-4, 205) is expected to start at quarterback. Incoming juniors Luke Jenner and Chris Lavin and incoming sophomores Davin McDaniel (Cam’s younger brother) and Boris Mulume are competing this spring for time at running back. At linebacker, incoming seniors Aaron Reck, Ethan Evans and Matt Ainsworth and incoming junior Coleman Armes are competing on the inside for playing time and incoming seniors Patrick Hemphill and Phillip Ellis and incoming juniors Tanner Masters and Justin Strong are competing on the outside. … McBride said Larson will be a major-college recruit at quarterback. Incoming juniors Tyler Zapojnak and Austin Gardener are competing for Coppell’s backup quarterback position.
HE SAID IT: “Depth-wise, it’s the best we’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s just getting in the fire and getting kids to grow up and develop into that team that we can be.” – Coppell coach Joe McBride
SPRING FOOTBALL GAME INFO: 7 p.m. May 26 at Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
SEASON OPENER: Aug. 26; at Mesquite Horn; 7:30 p.m.; Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium
2011 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE:
Date; Opponent; Time; Stadium
Aug. 26; at Mesquite Horn; 7:30 p.m.; Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium
Sept. 2; vs. Arlington; 7:30 p.m.; Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
Sept. 9; at Jesuit; 7:30 p.m.; Jesuit Stadium
*Sept. 23; vs. Saginaw; 7:30 p.m.; Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium (homecoming)
*Sept. 30; at Denton Guyer; 7:30 p.m.; Denton’s C.H. Collins Athletic Complex
*Oct. 7; vs. Keller Fossil Ridge; 7:30 p.m.; Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
*Oct. 14; at Southlake Carroll; 7:30 p.m.; Southlake’s Dragon Stadium
*Oct. 21; vs. Justin Northwest; 7:30 p.m.; Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
*Oct. 28; vs. Keller; 7 p.m.; Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
*Nov. 4; at Keller Central; 7:30 p.m.; Keller ISD Stadium
*District 7-5A game