LEWISBURG — Cooper Cole, a standout two-sport athlete at Tri-County North, will be continuing his academic and athletic careers at Alderson Broaddus University.
Cole signed to play both baseball and football at the NCAA Division II school located in Philippi, West Virginia, last month
“Cooper will be a dual sport athlete for us here at AB,” AB football coach Travis Everhart said. “[He is] one of the top baseball players in the state of Ohio, had a tremendous football career as well. We are definitely excited about his skill set, coordination, and how physical he is. He had a ton of production on the defensive side of the ball, and is a relentless blocker with great hands. He can be a big contributor to our offense at the multiple tight end spots we use.”
Cole said it was important for him to find a school that would allow him to play both sports.
“They definitely were like, ‘We can do this because we’ve done it before with other kids’, and they’re willing to work with me through it and hopefully it’s going to be good,” he said. “I like playing football, but I’ve always had a passion for baseball, and I don’t want to stop playing. And so, if they’re gonna let me do both I’m gonna take that chance.”
Cole plans to major in criminal justice.
“I want to study criminal justice and what they’re doing, they’re probably one of the best in it,” he said. “I went and visited and it was a beautiful campus and everything was very nice there.”
Cole said the small school atmosphere was appealing.
“I really liked it, it feels like home, small campus everything, not too big, not too far away, and I just like it,” he said.
Cole said he’s enjoyed his time at Tri-County North where, during his senior year, he was first team all-state, first team all-district, and first team all-conference, team MVP, D-Lineman of the Year and team captain in football.
“It’s been great here. I can’t complain about it,” he said. “Some of the seasons, the records we have, I don’t like that. We could have done better but I’ve enjoyed all the coaches I’ve had, all the players I’ve been playing with. I’ve been playing with these guys since I came here, sixth grade, so I’ve been having a great time.”
Tri-County North football coach Adam Hall only coached Cole for one season, but was impressed with his ability.
“I think the thing that really stood out about Cooper is how well he worked. How well he was as a leader. How well his teammates responded to him. Cooper was our captain, and he really was a great leader for us this year,” Hall said. “I think it’s great. He’s going to get to go play both sports that he wants to play, and he’s going to get to play on scholarship. That’s a big deal for anybody, but especially coming from a school the size of Tri-County North. I think it’s great for Cooper and great for his family.”
Roger Davidson said Cole is one of the leaders for the Panthers’ baseball team.
“He’s grown up a lot. Matured a whole bunch,” Davidson, who will be in his second season as North’s baseball coach said. “He’s now the athletic leader and pretty much inspirational leader of this baseball team. Everybody looks up to him. He works hard on and off the field.”
Davidson said he believes Cole is up to the challenge of being a multi-sport athlete at the college level.
“That’s going to be a tough challenge for him. But I think he’s up to it. Academically he does well. Athletically, I think he’s going be fine. It’s just going to come down a lot of time management,” he said.
The Battlers are a member of the Mountain East Conference.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr