TACOMA – Charles Wright Academy senior Cooper Cochran signed a letter of intent on Friday, March 10, to play football at the University of Puget Sound. His family, coaches, trainer, teachers, and classmates—including from the Lower School—were in attendance to celebrate his latest accomplishment with him.
“I started playing football when I was thirteen at Charles Wright,” Cooper says. “I say what I fell in love with (which I continue to love to this day) is how football is a sport unlike any other in that it brings communities together. There are not that many sports that have an impact on people outside of the team than football. It brings people together and creates a truly unique experience that can’t be replicated.”
Cooper captained the Tarrier football team in 2016 and was voted by Nisqually League coaches to the all-league first team as a tight end and to the all-league second team’s defensive line his senior year. He had two touchdowns, 15 catches for 250 yards, 17 total tackles (two tackles for loss), and two quarterback sacks. “Cooper’s strength as a player this year was his determination to get better each and every day,” says Head Football Coach Brian Burdick. “Cooper is a coach’s dream as far as his work ethic. He is a sponge and soaks up all of the advice coaches gave him.”
The UPS football team competes in NCAA’s Division III as a member of the Northwest Conference. They finished their 2016 season with a 3-6 record. “The University of Puget Sound will be getting a hard-working and willing-to-learn player in Cooper,” Coach Burdick says. “Cooper changed positions this year—from the offensive line to tight end—and did an outstanding job of picking up the schemes and working on his ball catching. UPS has been recruiting Cooper since the summer and are extremely excited to get a player like him.”
Cooper has enjoyed his time playing football as a Tarrier and is looking forward to becoming a Logger. “What I enjoy most about football is the special bonds you form with teammates and coaches—and how these relationships essentially boil down to become a second family,” he says. “This family by bond is just as important to me as my family by blood and it truly is something special. What makes UPS a good fit for me is how the team is as a unit. A few weeks ago, I stayed overnight with the team and being with the team in a setting outside of football was an eye opener. The team was a tight unit, having each others’ backs and doing lots of things together. It reminded me of the special connections I have with my own teammates. What I look forward to most about being a Logger is being a part of another family that has its own characteristics that makes them unique. Family is an important value in my life, and being on the football team creates another family for me to learn from and grow.”