London Cooper provides quiet leadership for Mustang volleyball
By Michael Kinney
When volleyball fans watch London Cooper compete with her Mustang volleyball, she keeps a poker face at all times. Whether the Lady Broncos are up big or trailing by a few points, she doesn’t let on how exactly how she is feeling.
Yet, those who have played alongside her over the past few years have seen exactly how much Cooper wants to win and excel in the game that she loves.
“I think I kind of keep it more hidden to myself,” Cooper said. “I don’t really show a whole lot of emotion on the court. I think I’m just very focused, so I don’t really show a whole lot of that side of me. But it’s the people I’m closest with, they know how much I enjoy what I do.”
As Cooper prepares for her final run with the Lady Broncos, she is one of the players that is expected to be counted on to help guide the squad. But as a senior, she will be looked to not only for her ability on the court, but also her leadership.
“I think overall we have good leadership this year. We have really well-rounded players,” Cooper said. “I think we have a lot of people that can do many positions, which is very helpful on the court. I just think everybody has a good role on the court and they all excel in their positions.”
However, Cooper says the biggest change in the team from last year’s campaign has nothing to do with skill level.
“I really expect us to perform very well this year,” Cooper said. “I think the bond we have together is much closer than last year’s. I really think we’re going to do really well this year.”
But in order to have the type of success Cooper envisions, it requires handling the tough stretches better than the Broncos have done in the past.
“I think last season we kind of just got in a slump and that this year we will be able to just like lift each other up more and carry ourselves through this season,” Cooper said. “No matter what obstacles we have to pass, we’ll pass them together and as a team and will be very connected this year.”
Mustang coach Blake Newman has high expectations for Cooper this season as well.
“London Cooper is one of our players that played all the way around for us last year,” Newman said. “So we need big things out of London as from her, her passing and her side at ability and her defense.”
Along with having a strong season, Cooper wants to close out her prep career the right way.
“I just hope to have lots of fun and good stats and like really just have fun with my last year,” Cooper said. “I don’t really know what the future holds but I do hope to be able to play in college and I think with this group of girls it would really, it can help me.”
While Cooper has aspirations to play at the next level, she knows that type of opportunity won’t just fall into her lap. She has to make it happen with her play on the court.
“It’s going to take lots of hard work and just staying focused on my job, what I have to do as a leader and as a senior and on the court,” Cooper said. “Just work hard and that’s pretty much it. It’s all about hard work.”
Cooper said the journey she has been on to get to this point in her career has been one of trying to get better each year despite the obstacles.
“I just loved the sport. I just found so much fun in it and like I was happy doing it no matter how much I played or not,” Cooper said. “I just kind of kept pushing myself through it and was hoping like eventually it’ll lead me somewhere and here I am today.”