An apology to a friend

There are times when I think I'm pretty smart. Then I do something incredibly stupid.
I recently did something profoundly and monumentally stupid that really hurt a friend, and now I've lost someone who I cared for very much -- someone very special, someone who deserved to be treated better.
This person never did anything to hurt me and trusted me. And I let her down.
I just can't believe how stupid I was -- or am. I mean, I've craved knowledge my whole life. I've read the great books, studied philosophy and the different religions of the world. I even minored in psychology in college, and I think I have a gift for helping people. Yet I still have a knack for getting things wrong when it comes to relationships -- be it friends or something more.
I think I can fix everything -- and I can't.
And when I try to clean up my messes, I just make them worse.
I'm an idiot -- and that's the smartest thing I've ever said.
I'm so sorry for what I did and the pain I caused. It was stupid, and I can't defend stupid. No one can. The fact that I can do something so idiotic, so stunningly dumb -- and hurt someone so wonderful and special -- cuts me to the very core of my soul.
I didn't think I was that stupid. Yet I was, and it'll haunt me for the rest of my life.
I'm not exaggerating either. Friends mean a lot to me. I don't always tell them or show it. But they do, and this friend was very special to me. Yet I hurt her very much -- and drove her away. I deserve it, too.
But this isn't about me. Sure, I hurt for what I've done -- and I deserve every ounce of pain. But it's about her and the pain I caused with my words -- pain she never deserved from such stupid words. Imagine that. I'm in the business of words, and I still can't get it right.
I just can't fathom my stupidity. All the nice things I said, all the nice things I did and meant -- all flushed away by my actions. What is wrong with me?
All I can do is say I'm sorry and leave this apology here -- a monument to my stupidity.
I must move on and hope I learn from my mistakes. And maybe somewhere down the road my friend will find it in her heart to forgive me. I can't say that I deserve it.
But the people still in my life deserve a better, smarter me --or I don't deserve them at all either.

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An apology to a friend

There are times when I think I'm pretty smart. Then I do something incredibly stupid.
I recently did something profoundly and monumentally stupid that really hurt a friend, and now I've lost someone who I cared for very much -- someone very special, someone who deserved to be treated better.
This person never did anything to hurt me and trusted me. And I let her down.
I just can't believe how stupid I was -- or am. I mean, I've craved knowledge my whole life. I've read the great books, studied philosophy and the different religions of the world. I even minored in psychology in college, and I think I have a gift for helping people. Yet I still have a knack for getting things wrong when it comes to relationships -- be it friends or something more.
I think I can fix everything -- and I can't.
And when I try to clean up my messes, I just make them worse.
I'm an idiot -- and that's the smartest thing I've ever said.
I'm so sorry for what I did and the pain I caused. It was stupid, and I can't defend stupid. No one can. The fact that I can do something so idiotic, so stunningly dumb -- and hurt someone so wonderful and special -- cuts me to the very core of my soul.
I didn't think I was that stupid. Yet I was, and it'll haunt me for the rest of my life.
I'm not exaggerating either. Friends mean a lot to me. I don't always tell them or show it. But they do, and this friend was very special to me. Yet I hurt her very much -- and drove her away. I deserve it, too.
But this isn't about me. Sure, I hurt for what I've done -- and I deserve every ounce of pain. But it's about her and the pain I caused with my words -- pain she never deserved from such stupid words. Imagine that. I'm in the business of words, and I still can't get it right.
I just can't fathom my stupidity. All the nice things I said, all the nice things I did and meant -- all flushed away by my actions. What is wrong with me?
All I can do is say I'm sorry and leave this apology here -- a monument to my stupidity.
I must move on and hope I learn from my mistakes. And maybe somewhere down the road my friend will find it in her heart to forgive me. I can't say that I deserve it.
But the people still in my life deserve a better, smarter me --or I don't deserve them at all either.

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Coogs lose 3-2

Canyon Randall beats Cooper 3-2 in Class 4A boys second-round soccer playoff game on Monday in Lubbock.

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Coogs trail 2-1 at half

Randall scored twice in the final 20 minutes to lead 2-1 at half of the Coogs' Class 4A second-round playoff soccer game in Lubbock.
Aaron Heimdale put Cooper up 1-0 6:57 into the game.
But Randall scored on a penalty kick with 17:17 remaining, and the Raiders got another goal 7:15 before halftime.

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Lady Coogs win 3-0

Allison McDonald, Devon Howard and Tori Crook each scored goals in the second half to lift Cooper past Borger 3-0 in a Class 4A girls soccer playoff game at Lowrey Field.
Cooper moves to play District 7 rival Brownwood in the second round.
Cooper had 38 shots, 20 on goal Borger took four shots, two on goal.

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Lady Coogs up 2-0

So much for the wind being a factor. Allison McDonald and Devon Howard both scored goals just two minutes apart in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Borger still hasn't taken a shot.

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Scoreless at half of girls soccer playoff game

The Cooper and Borger girls played to a scoreless tie in the first half of their Class 4A second-round soccer playoff game in Lubbock.
Cooper has taken 19 shots, putting 11 on goal, but the Lady Coogs haven't scored. Borger has yet to take a shot.
It'll be interesting to see how things chance, since Borger will have the wind in the second half.

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Cooper, Brownwood boys vie for final playoff berth

Cooper coach Lalo Munoz is treating Friday's District 7-4A boys soccer finale against Brownwood as a playoff game -- and it pretty much is.

The winner gets into the playoffs, while the loser's season comes to an end.

Cooper (7-8 overall, 2-5 district) goes into the game with a one-game lead over Brownwood (1-6 district) for the fourth and final playoff berth. The Coogs can clinch the fourth seed outright with a victory, while a loss would drop them into a tie with Brownwood -- and send the Lions to the playoffs since they would have swept the district series 2-0.

Cooper has lost four straight games, dating back to a 1-0 loss at Brownwood. The Coogs also have lost to San Angelo Lake View 4-2, Stephenville 2-1 and Wylie 2-1 in a shootout.

"We're ready to get that game going," Munoz said. "I felt like our past two games, we've actually played well. Against Wylie, we had one of our best games against them. The second half, we were kind of all over them. We just weren't able to capitalize, and we had a few calls kind of not go our way. But we're ready to prove something to ourselves. The first time we played against Brownwood there, we felt like they didn't win the game. We felt like we lost that game. We had a few (penalty kicks) that we missed. We felt like it's a game we let slip away from us. So coming into this game, we are confident. We've lost the last four games, but three out of those four we felt pretty good. We actually played pretty well. We're trying to build on those positives coming into this game on Friday."

Friday's game will be at 6 p.m. at Shotwell. It was scheduled for 7 p.m., but it was moved up an hour since there'll be no junior varsity game.

The Cooper girls can nail down the No. 2 seed with a victory at Brownwood on Friday. The Lady Coogs (8-7-1, 4-3), who won only two games last season, are in the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

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ACU's Sparks, McDowell seek titles together as longtime friends

It's funny how things work out. Ramon Sparks and Andrew McDowell were both recruited by the University of Kansas track and field team, and it seemed like the two friends from Kansas City, Mo., were going to be competing as Jayhawks together.

Well, at least until things fell apart when it came time to sign. It seems neither Sparks or McDowell were happy with Kansas' final offer as far as scholarship money.

"If I can't have as much money as I feel like I should get, then I don't want to come at all," said McDowell, an accounting major. "I want to go somewhere else where I could get more money. It's all about graduating for me. Track has paved the way for me to get my diploma, and that's what I was coming here for. I wasn't going to college just to run track and be a track star. I wanted to be a student first and then an athlete. Track was just paying the way."

Of course, "here", at least in terms of Abilene Christian University, wasn't really on McDowell's radar at the time. But Sparks came down for a visit, and ACU made him an offer. He talked Don D. Hood -- ACU's track coach at the time -- into giving his friend McDowell a look, too, and eventually Hood extended an offer -- and McDowell accepted before he ever set foot on the campus.

It turned out to be a pretty good deal for all the parties involved. McDowell won an indoor national title as a junior in the 60-meter hurdles last season, while Sparks won an outdoor national title in the triple jump as a sophomore a few months later.

Both attended Raytown South High School in Kansas City, Mo., where they graduated in 2006, and they both feed off each other's success.

"Even in high school, we kind of worked off each other," Sparks said. "We're both pretty decent athletes. We've been friends since my freshman year in high school. Coming to college, it was like the perfect thing to come to school together. Even now, we still work off each other. Like last year, he won indoors, and it really encouraged me to go out there and win outdoors. I didn't want to go home and feel like he won a national championship and I didn't have nothing to show back home."

But the last piece of the puzzle for the two friends would be winning national titles on the same weekend, and they'll get that chance at the indoor championships this weekend (March 12-13) in Albuquerque, N.M.

"For us to both win, that would be great," McDowell said. "My mom always says Ramon is her surrogate son. She takes care of him just like she does for me."

And McDowell's parents will be making the trip to Albuquerque to see both compete this weekend.

"It would be a great thing just to share that with my family and his parents, because I'm like a son to them," McDowell said. "I pray to God that we can make that happen this weekend."

Sparks aiming for two titles

Ramon Sparks is the defending national outdoor champion in the triple jump, and he's got the best leap going into this weekend's indoor championships. But he'd like to win both the triple and long jumps. Winning the long jump won't be easy. He goes into the event with 13th best qualifying mark out of 13 athletes.

But he knows with ACU only sending six men in nine events, every point is crucial if the Wildcats hope to win their first indoor national title since 2005 when they won their eighth straight title and 11th out of the previous 13. St. Augustine's has won the last four titles.

"We're really down as a team right now, but I still feel like we can pull it off as a team," Sparks said. "If we go there and compete to our ability, we have a chance. But that's a reason I want to go out there and win (both). If I can put 20 points on the board for our team it gives us a better chance of winning as a team."

ACU's Desmond Jackson (60, 200), Amos Sang (mile run and 5,000), Landon Ehlers (pole vault) and James Hardin (heptathlon) also qualified for the indoor nationals.

ACU will be sending four women in seven events -- Wanda Hutson (60, 200), Jessica Withrow (high jump, pentathlon), Jessica Blair (pole vault, triple jump) and Anais Belledant (mile run).

Blair, a senior, goes in the pole vault competition as the No. 2 qualifier (4 meters), while Minnesota State-Mankato's Lauren Stelton is No. 1 (4.07). Hutson, a senior, is seeded No. 6 in the 60 (7.50).
Adams State is the defending women's champs. ACU has won 13 titles, its last in 2000 to culminate a streak of eight in a row.

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Coogs fall in first round

Hereford beat Cooper 55-34 in the first round of the Region I-4A boys basketball playoffs on Wednesday in Levelland.

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