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Bad memory motivates Providence's Cooper

By Curt Herron

Most wrestlers would have been thrilled to win every varsity match but one as a freshman, not to mention taking second place at the state tournament.

But Providence Catholic sophomore Edwin Cooper didn't find very much satisfaction after he did exactly that last season.

Although there was certainly no shame in dropping the 103 title match to unbeaten senior Max Nowry of Wheeling, Cooper wasn't happy. That Nowry followed up on his state championship with even more success at nationals last summer, and now trains in the U.S. Olympic program, provides little balm for Cooper.

And that's why it's not hard to realize what the talented Celtic wrestler's expectations are as he prepares for the upcoming season.

"My goal this year is to just keep going at it," said the sophomore. "Practice hard every second and just do my best in order to go undefeated and take first at state.

"As long as I do what I have to do and I practice hard every day, then I will be successful."

As plenty of Providence wrestlers have demonstrated throughout the years, falling a bit short of winning a title provides plenty of motivation.

"My loss last year hurt," Cooper said. "I don't really know what happened in that match, but he kind of changed things up on me and I got confused.

"So this year I'll practice even harder and do everything right in order to be the state
champion."

Cooper, who plans to compete at either 112 or 119 this season, finished with a 47-1 season and helped the Celtics to a second-place team state finish.

He followed up on his great freshman campaign by falling a bit short of capturing the cadet freestyle title at Fargo, settling for third place.

Now Cooper has taken aim on the 2008-09 season and believes that both he and his team have a good chance to finish on top in Class 3A.
  
"I get to wrestle against great partners and that will help me a lot to become the state champion," Cooper said.

"And if I practice even harder, then I think it will help my team also win the state championship."

With plenty of talented wrestlers back from last year's runner-up to Montini in the old
Class AA, Cooper likes what he sees. He thinks if everybody on the squad does their part, coach Keith Healy's program can claim its first state title since 2002.

"Everybody on this team tries their hardest and nobody quits," Cooper said. "I think it should be a very good season for us."


 

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