West Monroe High School Resilient Safety Jason Cooper Persevering Through Adversity
by Jace LeJeune
West Monroe High School senior Jason Cooper is one of the most talented safeties in North Louisiana, but he has not been able to show his abilities because of some difficult circumstances coming his way. Last season, Cooper was on his way to having a great junior season before suffering a torn ACL injury in September.
“It was very disappointing because that was my season to prove I was DI,” Cooper said.
Cooper did break out on the scene for the Rebels as a underclassman, which is extremely tough to do knowing that is one of the best football programs in the state of Louisiana. However, as he mentioned, his junior season was going to be a big year for his recruitment, and losing majority of that year has not helped.
“I currently have no offers,” Cooper said.
Now, entering 2020, Cooper was not sure if he was going to get his chance to play because of COVID 19, which would further hurt his recruiting after recovering from an injury. The good news is that the veteran West Monroe defensive back is healthy to return to the field, and the Rebels would be playing this season.
“I feel like my knee is 100%,” Cooper said. “i just been playing through an injured hamstring.”
Although the Rebels have missed their last two games because of COVID-19 related issues, the team will be returning to play this week against Ouachita High School. With only six regular games plus the playoffs, the 6-1,178 pound defender will try to make the most of the few opportunities he has left.
“I just have to be ready for whatever at this point and ball out,” Cooper said.
The same can be said for his team, which is used to being in front of the spotlight.
“I feel like we can go far and we are doing good,” Cooper said. “We are just battling with injuries and players being quarantined.”
Even though Cooper may not have any offers at the table, he still has the ability to play at the DI level as a safety according to our very own Lee Brecheen, who put Cooper on the 1st Team All-North Louisiana Team before the season.
“Jason Cooper is one of the most gifted defensive backs to play for West Monroe, but he just needs to stay healthy after missing the 2019 season,” Brecheen said. “If healthy, he is big time for DI as he possesses 4.45/40 speed and is a big time hitter.”
Modeling his game after former Eddie Jackson (Alabama/Chicago Bears), Cooper feels that he has a lot of skills at his arsenal to mess with opponent offenses.
“I would say either my speed or my feet are my biggest strengths,” Cooper said. “I would say that I have very good footwork to be a safety.”
Being a former quarterback, Cooper is also trying to improve on his leadership and communication skills with his teammates as he wants to go back to the Dome where he wants to finish the deal after finishing runner up to the Zachary Broncos. As he is trying to take advantage of every moment, he also wants others like him to capitalize on their opportunities after going through adversity.
“I would tell them to be very patient and don’t try to rush back and just rehab it to be 100%,” Cooper said.
Once West Monroe High School’s very own Jason Cooper is 100 percent healthy himself, it could make his team even more dangerous to watch.
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Jace is from Addis, LA but resides in Port Allen, LA. Jace attends Southeastern Louisiana University and is majoring in Communications. This is Jace’s fourth year as Associate Editor at Louisiana Football Magazine. He is also a graduate from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he was the editor of the school newspaper the “Bearly Published.” While at CHS, Jace also announced their football, basketball, and baseball games for the Bruin Broadcast Network which is the Catholic High’s streaming website for their events. On weekends, Jace is the PA announcer for his middle school football games. At home, Jace enjoys time with his family and friends. Besides being a huge football fan, Jace is also an avid NHRA drag racing fan.