Cam Cooper’s Chelsea Bulldogs are down in the 2015 Division 3 State Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit. They need a big play to get back into the game. Cooper lines up in the backfield behind his quarterback Jack Bush. Bush takes the snap and Cooper runs his pattern, fakes out his defender big time and thanks to a great block and big hit taken by Alex Vasquez and a perfect pass from Bush, Cooper is able to reel the ball in and use his all state track speed to fly into the end zone for the big score. As he scores he stops to celebrate and praises God. And he thinks of his mother.
“Scoring that Touchdown felt great because I really wanted to accomplish something for my mom who had to miss the game due to cancer and I was able to give God praise while I was in the end zone,” says Cooper. “But I know I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that without my teammates who busted their butts and did their job. The line blocked great, the other receivers drew attention to themselves, Jack had a great pass, and if you really pay attention to the film Alex Vasquez ran a great route and took a big hit by a nationally recruited linebacker to get me open.”
Cooper is always singing praises of others and very humble with his own accomplishments which are many. Cooper not only excels in football, where he is listed in the MHSAA top 40 players to watch in 2016, he also went to states in track and starts at guard for the Bulldogs basketball team. He also has played soccer and baseball. But football is first and foremost his passion.
“This is my 6th year of playing football,” Cooper recalled. “I love the contact but I also love the lifetime memories and bonds that are created with the coaches and guys in the locker room and competing with the guys I grew up with.”
Cooper has attended many camps over the years for football including college camps and Nike showcases. And all his hard work is paying off as has been highly recruited by many Division 1 schools including Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, and Valparaiso along with some others such as Grand Valley State.
“Right now I’m leaning towards Western Michigan because I’ve built a great relationship with their coaching staff and it’s my Dad’s Alma mater, and they also do an awesome job keeping in contact with me,” stated Cooper. “Other colleges that have shown interest are many Ivy League school such as Harvard and Princeton who’ve come to visit me in school and watch me workout and run during track season.”
Cooper, or AJ, Hollywood, Coop, or Super Cam, as his friends call him, is very proud to be listed as a top football player in the state. But he knows he needs a great education also as he excels in the classroom as much as he does in sports.
“Being ranked one of the top players in the state is somewhat cool,” said Cooper.”But in reality I’m completely aware that rankings do not matter when it’s game time and that I need to show up and give 100% every time I step on the field. I have not even scratched the surface of my full potential and there is still a ton I need to work on.”
Cooper plays all over the field and will do whatever it takes to help the team accomplish it’s goals. He’s played cornerback and running back and returned kickoffs and punts in the past but this year the coaches have called on him to learn halfback and safety.
“I’m excited about it,” said Cooper. “I’ll enjoy being utilized everywhere. My favorite position so far is corner cause it’s just me and the receiver and for them to beat me it’s going to take A LOT because I hate losing.”
Cooper has spent a great amount of time in the weight room and studying game film and working on getting faster and stronger in the offseason. In the summer 7 on 7 scrimmages he looked great locking down opponents, picking off passes, and burning defenders to make outstanding catches and touchdowns. Cooper feels his Bulldogs are ready to challenge again this year after going to the state championship game last season which was his favorite football memory ever.
“I feel that the team is looking good this year,” Cooper proudly exclaimed. “We graduated a lot of great players from last season and we are young and for the most part pretty inexperienced but we have a couple of very experienced vets that are ready to lead and an unbelievable coaching staff who does a great job day in and day out to get us ready.”
Cooper plans to go into pre-med and play football after High School. He has a great support system around him with many friends and loved ones but the people that mean the most to him are his mom and dad.
“In my spare time I like to work out and spend time with my awesome family,” Cooper proudly states. “My mom, Jan Cooper, and my Dad, Scott Cooper, adopted me when I was younger and have done an awesome job keeping me focused, down to earth, and my head on straight and have always supported me in my goals. Since I was young my parents have always told me that school and academics come first so I find myself studying a very good amount of time during the school year. I’ve also reconnected with my birth family so it’s great being able to communicate with them as well. Overall it just feels great to have a big family that supports me and pushes me to do my best, be a Man of God, and a gentleman.”
Cooper smiles as he talks of his family. Because of them, he has learned the ethics of hard work and because of that he gives his all and does his best in everything he does. And he looks to do the very best he can on the football field this 2016 season.