Tribute to Cooper: baseball team honors late teammate
April 20, 2017
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The boys from the baseball team stood together, proudly displaying the baseball jersey, the one on the back symbolizing more than just a number.
The jersey belonged to senior Cooper Ellison, who passed away due to an ATV accident Oct. 14. Cooper was a shortstop on the school’s varsity baseball team his junior year.
“We unofficially retired his number. No one is wearing it this season, and we bring the jersey to every game and hang it in the dugout,” said senior Ryan Dearing.
Dearing is a varsity pitcher and outfielder and played baseball with Cooper on the same team for three years, but said they’d been playing against each other since they were young.
“Cooper, no matter what the situation was, no matter how he did it, he made you smile on the field and make you want to be there,” said senior Ryan Dearing.
He also said he remembered Cooper as a teammate that raised the morale of everyone around him.
“If one of us doesn’t do our job, we rely on the next person to pick him up. Cooper meant that little bit of life support when there was none left in a shut down game. He brought it up. Brought the energy. The support,” Dearing said.
Varsity baseball coach Ryan Carter also remembered Cooper as a good player and teammate.
“He was a very good kid. He was a very good teammate. And he could relate to everybody. So, you know, that was something that I enjoyed about him as well,” Carter said.
Carter said that this year’s team is playing not only to represent Kamiakin, but Cooper and his family.
“Anytime you represent Kamiakin in anything, it’s a big deal, but you know, in particular, after we loss Cooper this fall, we want to make sure that we honor him and we play hard every single time, that we suit ‘em up and we represent the Ellison family and Kamiakin as best as we can,” he said.
“I’m going to think about him every time I see [the number one], whether it’s in football, basketball, whatever. Whenever I see anyone wearing the number one I’m going to think of him and just chuckle a little bit about some funny story I’m sure will pop into my head,” said baseball coach Ryan Carter.
Dearing also said this year’s baseball team is not only playing for themselves, but for their fallen teammate.
“The season means everything. We are playing for each other alongside Cooper,” he said.