MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — Last year, John Cooper was the backup quarterback at Mountain Brook High School. Now, he’s been named QB1 for his senior year.
“It’s awesome. I’ve always waited to play this position and start for Mountain Brook,” Cooper said.
Mountain Brook Spartans’ head football coach Chris Yeager said the decision to give Cooper the star position for his senior year is based on his strong character.
“[Last year] he was always encouraging the starter and always encouraging the other players,” Yeager said. “Not only was he growing in his understanding of what it takes to be a quarterback, but he was growing as a leader as well.”
“Each day I tried to make it a competition with whoever’s starting and keep getting better, and when it’s your time it’ll come and you’ll be the best person you can be,” Cooper said.
Cooper not only will be the head quarterback of the team, but also the Spartans’ punter.
“Our punter got hurt last year so we went down the list trying to find somebody to punt. Some guys tried but we couldn’t find a punter. So, somebody said I bet John Cooper could do it because he’s a good athlete,” Yeager said. “So, we put John back there and the first punt he booms is about 60 yards. His reaction to it was, ‘Well, I didn’t know I could do that.’ We didn’t know, he didn’t know, but it was an incredible blessing and an incredible find.”
“Quarterback, you have to be a leader and punters aren’t really known to be leaders, but I’m having to do both and it’s fun,” Cooper said.
Not only are personality traits different between kickers and quarterbacks, but for a 6-A school, it’s not very common for the QB to play another position. That being said, coach Yeager says they plan to use it to their advantage.
“He gave us a lot of different possibilities as far as faking punts, quick kicks and stuff like that, so it just added a really good dimension to our special teams,” Yeager said.
For his diversity on the field and the promise he brings to his team, John Cooper is CBS 42’s Athlete of the Week.