Athlete of the Week: Cooper has Seahawks flying high

mbhoops-cooperbeachballWhen Solomon Cooper started playing JV and B-team basketball at Myrtle Beach, the Seahawks were coming off a state championship and planning to win more.

But six years after their 2007-08 Class 3A state hoops title, it’s the football program that has become a state power, winning three state championships in five years, while the basketball program hasn’t made it past the third round of the playoffs.

“There are a lot of great athletes at this school so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be winning state championships in football and basketball,” Cooper said. “We’re trying to get it back, but this is my last year. Me and the other seniors want to leave our mark.”

So far so good for the Seahawks, who started the season 7-1 before running into some tough competition in the Beach Ball Classic. Myrtle Beach has lost four of its last five since playing against top national teams and a prep school.

“We went into the Beach Ball wanting to prove that we’re just as good as those teams,” said Cooper, who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week for averaging 16 points per game over the holidays. “We just didn’t come out ready to play. We had a letdown, and we can’t do that anymore once region starts.”

The Seahawks open Region 7-3A play Monday at Wilson looking to claim their first region title since the state championship season. Cooper would love to carry the Seahawks to both in his senior year before pursuing a college career, but first things first – a region title.

“We’ve got a lot of talent and lot of seniors and everybody is playing their role,” Cooper said. “When we’re at our best, we should be able to go undefeated in the region and make a run at state. We’ve just got to play together.”

Photo courtesy of BBC

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