JEFFERSONVILLE -- Dexter Copeland feels like he’s back home. And he’s ready to get the house in order.
Copeland built a solid GHSA Class A program at Twiggs County, winning at least 10 games four times in nine years from 2001 to 2009. Copeland, however, left the Cobras’ program after the 2010 season to take over at Baldwin.
But now he’s back at Twiggs County, and he is prepared to put in the hard work to get the Cobras rolling again.
“It’s good to be home; we’re very excited to be back here, and we’re excited about the team we’re going to have this season,” Copeland said. “But we have a lot of hard work to put in. This program is not where it was when we left it, and we want to get it back there. We’ve got to get the kids stronger; it starts with that.
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“Once we get that fixed, the rest of it will come.”
The Twiggs County program Copeland returns to certainly isn’t the same one Copeland left for Baldwin.
Dexter Dawson replaced Copeland, and the Cobras went 2-8 in Dawson’s season at the helm before he was replaced by Josh Lowe, whose one team went 0-10. Jeb Stewart lasted two seasons, and Twiggs County finished 5-15.
“The culture we have right now is a losing culture, and we have to fix that,” Copeland said. “These kids we have now were in middle school when we left, and they’re good kids, and they work hard. But they have to learn how to win again. That’s what we have to fix.”
Twiggs County went 2-8 last year, but Copeland likes what he sees from his team.
Copeland said the program had more than 40 players turn out each day during the summer.
“We have had a great turnout, and they have worked tremendously hard to do what we have asked them to do,” Copeland said. “They’re trying to learn, and they want to learn. They just have to keep doing those things, and we’ll continue to improve.”
And Copeland is happy to be part of that process again. He started strong at Baldwin with a 10-win season but dipped to eight and six wins the next two seasons before winning three games last year.
“I’m excited to be back here and part of this program,” he said. “The support for this program has always been there, and everyone wants to get the program going strong again.”
TWIGGS COUNTY IN 2014
Head coach: Dexter Copeland (100-49 in 13 seasons overall; 83-32 in nine seasons of previous stint at Twiggs County).
2013 record: 2-8.
2014 region: GHSA 7A-A.
Returning starters: 3 on offense; 6 on defense.
Players to watch: Jamon Height, CJ Morse, Chris Marcus.
Sept. 5 East Laurens
Sept. 12 at Dublin
Sept. 19 Lincoln County
Sept. 26 Hancock Central
Oct. 3 at Mount de Sales
Oct. 10 at Wilkinson County
Oct. 17 Stratford
Oct. 24 Tattnall Square
Oct. 31 FPD
Nov. 7 Region 7-A crossover