Football: Hanover Area’s Kopko Picks West Point
The relationship between Hanover Area offensive lineman Justin Kopko and Army West Point assistant coach John Loose was forged at a Lauren’s First and Goal Football Camp that Kopko attended when he was a freshman.
Loose, the safeties coach for the Black Knights, liked the potential he saw in Kopko and continued to keep in touch. As the relationship continued to grow and other schools began to show interest, Kopko remained true to Loose, just as Loose remained true to Kopko.
After several trips to West Point, the most recent one being Friday for the spring game, Kopko gave a verbal commitment to West Point to continue his academic and football career.
“I just love the campus and felt with their run game it was a great fit for me,” Kopko said Friday night as he prepared to head home from West Point. “I consider myself more of a run blocker and Army thrives on running the football.”
Last summer, during a visit to West Point for a camp, Kopko was named the MVP of the offensive line. He most recently participated in the Nike Opening at the New York Jets training facility and will be returning for the Rivals Three Stripe camp.
“I’ve been to West Point eight times. I felt it was the time to commit,” Kopko said. “It was important to me that coach Loose went out of his way for me. He would always watch my film, check on my grades and joke around about the 76ers and Eagles with me. It was like we became friends.”
Hanover Area coach Mike McCree feels Kopko’s commitment, and the fact Army was showing heavy interest in the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman, was the right decision.
“It is well deserved,” McCree said. “He really developed into a Divsion I football player. Other schools were still looking at him, but his heart has been at West Point, and it has been for a while. Everything they have done is first class. With the relationship building and looking long term, West Point has a lot to offer. There is nothing better than getting that West Point education.”
Kopko, who will be a senior in the fall, also received an offer from Bucknell.
Former Berwick star Mike Viti is an assistant coach on the Army staff where he coaches fullbacks.
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