Coaches usually play a role in the course of a high school athlete’s career and for Keys senior Cooper Hamilton there have been three coaches in particular that have helped him become a VYPE Top 100 football player for 2022. One of those coaches came in the sixth grade when Cooper started playing football.
“I went to Woodall School and in sixth grade Jerrod Hood was the elementary football coach. Up to then I really hadn’t been very interested in football, but coach Hood talked me into trying out and to this day we communicate all the time. He’s got to be one of my favorite people,” said Hamilton.
In addition to football, Cooper is also a pretty good baseball player which brings us to another impactful coach.
“My summer ball coach Billy Wrona has played a big part. He played at Bishop Kelly in Tulsa and then went on to the University of Miami (where he played on a national championship team) and then spent some time in the minor leagues. He’s a great guy and really pushed me to be better at baseball.”
As the football season approaches, Cooper’s attention returns to the gridiron where he’ll play running back and safety for the Cougars.
“He’s really athletic and super kid,” said his football coach Adam Hass. “He’s been a big part of us making the playoffs the last two years and I’m expecting big things out of him this year.”
Highlight and heartache figure in to those two playoff trips for Cooper. His sophomore year was dominated by Covid and even though the Cougars were just 3-7 in the regular season, the OSSAA allowed everyone to enter the playoffs that year and it turned into a highlight for Cooper.
“The last game of the regular season we lost to Cascia Hall by a couple of touchdowns but two weeks later we got to play them again and beat them at their place to go on to the third round of the playoffs so that was sweet.”
Last year the Cougars were 6-2 as the season wound down. Cooper was having a great season including several kickoff and punt return touchdowns but against Panama, he suffered a knee injury that kept him out the last two games including the first-round playoff game against Eufaula.
Out of the sports realm, Hamilton is also active in school at Keys belonging to FCA, FFA, SWAT, National Honor Society and student council.
The third coach in Cooper’s life may be the most important because he will be in charge next year when Hamilton goes to Seminole State to play baseball.
“Mack Chambers was one of my coaches at Keys in elementary school and he taught me so much and now he’s the head coach at Seminole State and is one of the reasons I signed there. He pushes you to do better in your workouts and practice to be a better person on and off the field.”