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In an offense like North Lamar’s, where running is the primary focal point, the wide receivers may not seem quite as important. Don’t tell Mike Cowling this, though. Coach Cowling is the wide receivers coach for the Panthers and he will be the first tell you how important they are.
“If they get the opportunity,” Coach Cowling explains. “They better grab the opportunity and make a play. We really don’t throw it very often, and we teach them to block. They are a big part of the run game, and they need to block real well.”
Coach Cowling has been on staff with Coach Felty for nine years. Cowling grew up in Hugo, Oklahoma and graduated from High School in Hugo. From there, he went to the University of Oklahoma and then came back to Southeastern to finish his degree. After spending 12 years in the restaurant business, Cowling decided it was time to come back to coaching football. Jokingly, he exclaims, “I got into teaching thinking the hours would be less and then I got into coaching. [The hours] are just as bad.”
Coach Cowling explains how excited he is about his receivers this year. Against Quinlan Ford, the Panthers exploded for 220 passing yards. Quarterback Austin Anthony made some great throws during the game, but it was the ability to catch the ball by the receivers that made the night a success. Against Pittsburg, the Panthers only threw the ball twice, with one of those being caught. However, the one catch was a perfect throw from Anthony that Tyler Taylor took 43 yards and helped set up the final touchdown for the Panthers.
Like most coaches on the Panthers’ staff, Cowling also coaches a different position as well. Along with the wide receivers, he coaches defensive ends. “Defensive end is a demanding position with our defense,” says Cowling. “You’ve got to be a pretty good athlete to play there and that’s what makes it fun.”
Cowling also teaches Freshman World Geography and when he’s away from the school, you can find him hunting or fishing with his two sons. When asked what his favorite part of coaching is, he was quick to explain he loves being around the kids and teaching them to use their potential. My brief interview and discussion with Cowling made me realize that the world needs more teachers like him. Teachers who are concerned with helping students find their potential, whether on the football field or in the class room.