Coppell returned to the playoffs this season after a one-year hiatus.
The Cowboys defeated Plano East and Flower Mound to clinch their eighth playoff berth in the last nine years. The following week in a Class 6A Division II bi-district championship against Denton Guyer, Coppell erased a 24-3 deficit to tie the score before the Wildcats scored the game’s final 28 points to earn a 52-28 victory.
Head coaches of the other seven teams in District 6-6A were impressed with a turnaround season by Coppell and rewarded the Cowboys with a total of 12 selections on the all-district team, including four unanimous honorees.
“I was really happy for those kids,” said Mike DeWitt, Coppell head coach. “Any time that your players get recognized as an all-district player, it’s a big deal, especially because it’s your opponents that are casting those votes and voting for those kids.”
Senior center/nose tackle Febechi Nwaiwu was a unanimous first-team selection on both sides of the ball. Junior Alvin Ebosele garnered a unanimous first-team nod at offensive tackle.
Coppell’s fourth unanimous first-team honoree is senior outside linebacker Canon Peters. Peters started the season in the secondary before changing positions. He thrived in his new role, totaling 86 tackles – eight for loss – two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 1.5 sacks.
Coppell had four other first-team selections on defense: senior linebackers Tim O’Hearn and Preston Rogers, senior safety Zach Stricker and senior punter Tyler Reid.
O’Hearn led the Cowboys in both tackles (98) and sacks (four) to go along with four fumbles caused and two interceptions. Rogers, who took over at middle linebacker for Walker Polk, finished second on the team in tackles (95). Stricker, a Sam Houston State signee, totaled 69 tackles and two interceptions. Reid averaged 36.9 yards per punt with a season long of 62 yards.
Senior running back Jason Ngwu was also named to the first team. He was the bell cow for Coppell’s rushing attack, carrying 246 times for 1,145 yards with 11 touchdowns. With Coppell facing a win-and-in scenario in the final week of the regular season against Flower Mound, Ngwu finished with 226 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cowboys clinch a playoff berth.
Senior KJ Liggins and junior Anthony Black provided one of the best one-two punches at wide receiver in all of 6-6A and both Cowboys earned spots on the all-district first team for their efforts.
Liggins, who transferred back to Coppell after playing his junior season at Denton Guyer, accounted for 929 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Black tallied 45 catches for 696 yards with eight scores, including a six-catch, 131-yard performance against Guyer.
Coppell senior quarterback Ryan Walker, who was named to the 6-6A second team, elevated his game in his first season as the team’s full-time starter. The dual-threat signal-caller completed 163 of 288 passes for 2,258 yards and also rushed for 521 yards with 31 total touchdowns.