Cooper Contributes in Romp

WILMINGTON, N.C. --- The 2007 season couldn't have started any better for Jonathan Cooper. His Hoggard Vikings routed state powerhouse New Bern, 39-13, Friday night.

"To beat a team like this just makes me feel great," said Cooper. "We were thinking maybe squeaking out [a win] by three points. It just makes me feel great."

Without hesitation, Cooper hands off the credit to a very opportunistic defense.

"I think the defense stepped up. We normally take a couple of series to start warming up. The defense got out quick, got an interception, then a fumble, then another interception, taking a fumble back to the house. It was just starting that quick and staying on top of it and not falling off."

Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder, anchored the Hoggard offensive line from the left guard position collecting roughly a handful of pancake blocks.

"They had a really complex defensive scheme, but I felt like I did pretty good," said Cooper. "I did the best to my ability and that's all that matters to me."

Following Friday's statement win, Cooper is expecting to repeat last season's feat of exiting the regular season unscathed.

"Looks like we could be undefeated again," said Cooper. "If we get through this non-conference undefeated, I'm pretty sure we can get through the conference."

Next week, Hoggard hosts Angier (N.C.) Harnett Central, who is sporting a 1-1 record.

Recruiting Update

Recently, Cooper unofficially visited NC State.

"I was supposed to get up for their practice, but I was late for that," said Cooper. "So then we ate with them, and talked with them for a long time, [and] let me sit in on a film session.

"So it was a great experience. That really helped them move up, pretty much."

Cooper listed his top four schools as North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest. He says they're all equal.

"They're all a great mix of education and football," said Cooper.

During college football's opening weekend, Cooper will unofficially visit UNC for the James Madison game.

"I was talking to my coach and he said they want to see me up there again," said Cooper. "So why not go to a free game?"

Cooper plans to visit each of his favorites for at least one home game this season to soak in the game time atmosphere. No other trips have been set as he said he will approach his schedule on a week-to-week basis.

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