SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: McAlester's Conner Coop learning lessons from the gridiron

MARK EMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY | Courtesy photoMcAlester's Conner Coop

When Conner Coop came to McAlester, he decided to try out a new sport.

The Buff senior transferred from Crowder to attend high school at McAlester his freshman year, and decided to begin a football career in football his sophomore year.

Since then, Coop said he’s learned lessons that he’s been able to use both on and off the field.

“I think, for me, it’s the things mentally it’s taught me,” he said. “The things we do has given me a lot more discipline, and has made me feel a lot more responsible. Especially now since I’ve grown up and realize I’ve taken on more things to do, football has helped me with that because there’s a lot that has to be done to get what you want in football.”

Before a game, Coop said he likes to stretch, clear his mind, and get in right mindset. He’ll listen to music, usually a little rap and R&B, something slow and melodic to really calm his brain and set the tone.

Even outside of football, Coop likes to keep his body and mind active, whether he’s playing a little softball, or hanging out inside and playing video games like Rocket League.

“I’m a huge nerd for things like that,” he said. “If I could go pro in it, I would. But that also takes a lot of work.”

Coop said he has had a lot of support both on and off the field from people in his life, but maybe none so more than from his parents.

“My mom and dad, for sure,” he said. “I’ve had my doubts for a lot of things that I do, but my dad really motivates me and pushes me through a lot of it.”

After high school, said he’s not exactly sure yet what he wants to do. He just knows that he wants to find himself a job and quickly get to building on a career.

“Anything that gets me paid, to be honest,” he said.

Coop said he isn’t putting too much thought into this being his final year of high school. He said that while he’s enjoying it, he looks forward to what the next chapter of his life may bring.

“Once this is over, it’s the start of a new journey. And I’ve got a lot more ahead of me,” Coop said. “This is just one small part of my life.”

And looking through that lens, Coop gave a little parting advice to any Buffs that will be following in he and his classmates’ footsteps.

“Focus on the little things. They matter a lot,” he said. “And try to teach self-discipline.”

Contact Derek Hatridge at

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