Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail


Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail


Article excerpt

A familiar face in the running community in Cabell and Putnam counties has taken over as coach of the Hurricane High School Redskins cross country and track teams. Stepping up from being assistant coach of Cabell Midland's programs is Eric Cooper, who replaced Jason Henley. I caught up with Coach Cooper after he conducted a cross country practice for his new Redskins squad recently.

At Cabell Midland, he assisted longtime Knights Coach Chris Parsons for three years, after running for him when he attended the Ona high school.

I wanted to know from Cooper what it was like learning about coaching from his former coach. "It was neat, because he was my elementary school gym teacher and he had me running the mile in the fourth and fifth grades and convinced me to keep running. Let's see, I am 28 now, so I have known, run with and worked for Coach Parsons for over 20 years.

While attending Cabell Midland, Cooper helped the Knights win three state cross country titles and three state track titles.

This is Cooper's first chance of coaching his own team. Cooper had no problem hiding his excitement. "It's a good feeling. I still think about it every day and how happy I am to be here and to have my own team and to work with these kids. Hurricane has a great group of kids.

Cooper was All-State all four years at Cabell Midland and All- WVIAC all four years he ran for West Virginia Wesleyan.

Cooper is taking over a very successful team in the Redskins. On the girls side, the squad has finished among the top four teams, including finishing second in 2013, at the state meet the last four seasons. Meanwhile, on the boys side, strong finishes have always been a tradition.

Cooper told me he is excited about his team's potential. "I knew, coming in, there was a lot of talent here. The challenge is to figure out how to continue to challenge and progress the runners. …

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