Hardin football players seeks, find scholarship
Sometimes one does for themselves what no one else will do for them. And that’s a lesson learned early for a Hardin senior who found himself in between a rock and a hard place.
Cooper Peavey was caught in the whirlwind of one coach exiting and another coming in before the National Letter of Intent Day - the first day that thousands of seniors across the country declare the college they will play for scholarship money in the fall.
In the video rooms of big schools, like powerhouse North Shore Senior High School, assistant coaches assemble video highlight reels for their players and even a classroom in the field house laden with computers is dedicated to the academic work of the athletes. Students must be academically qualified for a Division I (D-1) or Division II (D-2) school before recruiters come calling. Over the years, the Mustangs have sent students to respected programs such as Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Ohio, Houston, Fresno State and many more, but with help from the high school coaching staff.
Peavey had little of that.
Instead, the senior said he took it upon himself to spend time in the locker room viewing the meager video highlights that were there his years at Hardin, made a highlight video and sent it out to schools in hopes for a bite for a scholarship.
The senior’s initiative paid off.
Recently, he was offered a partial scholarship in football to Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, to play either slot receiver or safety for the Cowboys.
“I sent them some stuff and they brought me up for a visit. I liked it and felt like it was a good place for me,” he said.
He said he was happy It would take a little bit of the financial burden off his parents.
This year Peavey was one of the team captains and his team needed his leadership.
“I wasn’t his coach this year, but I know what the coaches have said in that he helped keep the team together through a very trying year,” said Hardin head football coach and athletic director Larry Haynes. “His character and spirit in a year that had more controversy than most teams can endure was special.”
Haynes also praised his leadership in the locker room.
“In an 0-10 year, you have several quitters, but this team had zero. That speaks volumes about his character and resolve,” Haynes said.
Peavey has been immersed in the football culture since coming into this world, he said.
“My dad was a coach so I grew up around the game,” he said. “It was something I’ve always loved.”
He learned the game roaming the sidelines next to his dad who served in coaching roles mostly around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, he said.
“I played the peewee leagues too,” Cooper said.
But it was when he entered middle school and began playing as a slot receiver and safety that his love for the game deepened.
This year he played a little more corner. “Just wherever they wanted me,” he said, but his journey this year was not what he had hoped. An 0-10 record for the team resulted in difficult times getting recruited with few highlights, but his perseverance and initiative secured the improbable.
He plans on majoring in political science and then attend law school following graduation from the Baptist college.