As he eyes his senior year, one of the leading midfielders of the Atchison Redmen has obtained a high honor at the statewide level.
Ben Cooper, who has started on the varsity boys soccer squad under Head Coach Alex Supple for his entire high school athletic career, has been named to the 2019 All-State Second Team by the Kansas High School Soccer Coaches Association.
No other boys soccer player student from Atchison County, or any neighboring county in Kansas, has been named to either the First Team or Second Team for a combined selection from classes 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A; about 45 players overall have been honored between the two. The closest schools to have students honored in this way are Eudora and Baldwin in Douglas County; Classes 5A and 6A each have their own First and Second Team selections each year.
For Supple, Cooper is the second player to qualify for the All-State Second Team in her five-year tenure as AHS head coach; she also previously had a player qualify for the First Team. She said she is especially proud, because she regards Cooper as a key leader for his team in the tough Kansas City Atchison League, and has consistently overcome other obstacles.
“I love seeing our kids be recognized for their hard work,” she said. “We’re super excited to see what he will be able to do as a senior ... This is a really tight group of boys, and I was really pleased to see how excited they were for Ben and how much they all recognized how much this means for the team as a whole.”
Supple said she hopes Cooper’s success serves to be a lasting inspiration.
“I was thrilled that he had gotten this recognition,” she said. “He has absolutely earned it, with hard work and determination. I’m pretty happy for the kid, he is just outstanding.”