Coppell softball head coach Mike Dyson can’t say it enough.
When the season was suspended and then when the season was ultimately canceled, the same sentiment echoed from Dyson each time he spoke about his team, consistently praising their character and everything else about them.
That’s what made it even more difficult to find out the campaign came to an early conclusion, because this group was special. They were a joy to be around. And Dyson loved every single second he got to spend around his Cowgirls squad that finished with an 11-6 overall record.
“Now it’s reality,” Dyson said. “It hurts. It hurts a lot. We have a really good group. I think I’ve said that before. End to end, we ended the season with MacArthur on a good note. We were ready for Hebron. I feel for the three seniors, but I still think there’s something out there that’s much, much better for them. I think with this happening, there’s a reason for it.”
The Cowgirls endured and overcame a difficult schedule early on in tournament play, which included an extensive travel schedule just before the team would find its groove on the diamond.
At the Bryan Tournament – where there was the three-hour drive to Bryan to play, proceeded by a long trip to Tomball for two straight days before being able to return to playing in Bryan on the third and final day – Coppell went 3-3, capping the road trip with a 10-0 rout of Fort Worth Brewer on Feb. 22.
That win started one of two winning streaks before the year came to an end, with the Cowgirls following that up with three wins to begin the Allen Tournament before a pair of tough losses to talented squads – 5-4 to Little Elm and 8-2 to Pollok Central, which was the No. 20 3A team in Texas.
“I think we were very, very solid offensively,” Dyson said. “We started understanding some things, and like I said, the pitching was just starting to understand what their roles were. That was the positive part. All of a sudden we were all clicking.”
The wheels turned in a big way from there, with Coppell getting hot at just the right time and preparing for a district run.
It won four of its next five to conclude the season, including winning each of its last three in dominant fashion. During that three-game winning streak, it outscored opponents 38-7, sprinkling in a 13-2 win over Ennis and an 18-0 demolition of Irving MacArthur in the District 6-6A opener.
“I get excited about how well we were just starting to gel,” Dyson said. “It was fun. I miss that part, because that’s the part I like. That’s why I like doing what I do is because I like putting together a team. I like to see it, how it molds. My assistant coaches are great. We were able to put them on the field. These girls played well. Really good group.”
When 2021 rolls around, Coppell will be one of the more experienced teams in the area as only three seniors depart from a group that won 11 of 17 contests. But the impact those seniors made on this program will be felt next year and beyond.
Dyson raved about the leadership and effort exemplified from Rylee Anderson, Chloe Barker and Olivia Reed – all of whom did things the right way, never missed a playoff appearance while part of the program and made a trip to the regional quarterfinals in 2018.
“I’ve been doing this since ’94, and these three (seniors) are way up there,” Dyson said. “A lot of good leadership, a lot of good kids. They were always ready to work. They really cared about the game.”