Kopperl continues football program reboot with second new head coach in two seasons as host of young lettermen return from experience gained in 2021
KOPPERL – After rebooting their football program in 2021, the Kopperl Eagles started from scratch last season. Now, with a year of experience under their belts, the still-young Eagle squad consisting of two juniors, six sophomores and four freshmen will be led by new head coach Darrell Wallace.
Coming off an injury-shortened season in 2019, Kopperl decided the Covid pandemic warranted shutting down the football program in 2020. But the Eagle efforts last season began the road to recovery.
“We are young and hungry,” said Wallace, who will be assisted by Justin Graham. “The kids have a great work ethic and deep desire to win. But they are still very young and inexperienced.”
As a Bosque County native, Darrell Wallace returns to take over the Kopperl program after stops in at Aquilla, Milford, Covington and Lingleville, among others while coaching since 1995. Wallace grew up in Meridian before graduating from Clifton High School in 1988.
“In addition to being the head football coach, I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church here in Kopperl,” said Wallace. “I love it, and I see some really great things happening.”
Despite the youthful roster, the Eagles will have six offensive and six defensive starters returning. After starting last season as freshmen, a trio of sophomores will lead Kopperl – running back Anthony Johnson, quarterback Christian Falk and offensive lineman Isaac Payen.
After struggling in Class 1A, Division I for years, Kopperl moved down to Division II in 2018 and enjoyed immediate success by winning the District 12-1A, DII title. But the Eagles were unable to finish the following season due to injuries before shutting down the program in 2020.
Despite Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine picking Bynum as the preseason favorite in District 10-1A, DII, Wallace still sees Bosque County counterpart Morgan as the team to beat.
“Morgan because they have been playoff contenders for the past couple of years,” Wallace said. “To be the man, you have to beat the man. We believe we can win the district because we will work harder, and we are hungrier than most.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
©2022 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.