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Culture Ex-Abilene Cooper coach turns country crooner for good cause

Ex-Abilene Cooper coach turns country crooner for good cause

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ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Todd Moebes — country outlaw or country music legend?

The Abilene Reporter-News reports the former Cooper High School football coach was a little of both performing with Mark Powell and his band, Lariat, at the Ben Richey Boys Ranch All-Star Christmas Concert on a recent Tuesday at The Warehouse.

Moebes, the last of the show’s seven singers, began his performance dressed in a western dress shirt and singing Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.”

However, less than a minute into the song, he stopped and told the crowd, “I told y’all I was coming in here as an outlaw, and I’m leaving as a legend.”

Moebes then took off his shirt, revealing an Outlaws and Legends T-shirt, grabbed a Mark Powell guitar and started singing “Keep It Country,” a song off Powell’s latest album, “Breaking Things.”

Moebes said it was a surprise for Powell. “The band and I rehearsed, but he (Powell) did not know out about it until we did it,” Moebes said.

It was a fun moment for Moebes, who admitted he was nervous about performing before an audience. He’s played and coached in big football games, but singing in front of a packed house is far different than singing in the truck while driving down a back road.

“Sure, I’m a little bit out of my comfort zone,” he said, “but it’s for a great cause for the Boys Ranch so they can make money and continue to grow that organization. It’s fun to do.”

Proceeds from the event benefit Ben Richey Boys Ranch and Family Program — a cause Moebes thought was worth stepping out of his comfort zone and into the house lights as a singer. Never mind the fact that Moebes never sang in the choir in school or with any other organization.

“I’m not a singer,” Moebes said. “I performed at a similar event three or four years ago, and that was my first onstage performance. This will be No. 2.”

Moebes, who was in the limelight as Cooper’s head football coach for seven seasons before resigning in early July, was nervous hours before taking the stage earlier this month.

“It’s really tough,” said Moebes, who was 54-34 as the Cougars’ head coach, including 11-7 in the playoffs. “I don’t think I can carry a very good tune.”

Then again, Moebes said he wasn’t sure he always handled his interviews well as a football coach.

“Most of the time, I don’t know if I’m making sense doing that, either,” he said. “At least with music, there’s lyrics I can follow in a poetic form that kind of rolls off the tongue.”

Considering his fondness for country music, Moebes enjoyed performing with Powell and his band.

“This is not something they have to do,” Moebes said. “They’re taking time out of their own lives and schedule to give back to the Boys Ranch. He does the same thing for Outlaws and Legends and all the money that brings to the community. Being able to help the Boys Ranch and being able to perform with Mark and his band makes it a lot of fun.”

Moebes, who still lives and works in Abilene, said he became friends with Powell a few years ago. He practiced with the band sans Powell a few times before the show. While he had fun performing, Moebes doesn’t expect to hit the road with Powell and the band any time soon.

“I’m not going to join the band,” Moebes said with a laugh. “I think once I walk off stage, he’s going to fire me and I’ll be done. I won’t be coming back. I’ll be a great supporter from the crowd as their band continues to get bigger in the state of Texas. They’re well on their way.”

___

Information from: Abilene Reporter-News, http://www.reporternews.com

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