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October 26, 2023

Johnson prevails as hammering force in wrestling

Coppell+senior+Cooper+Johnson+has+elevated+his+game+this+year+and+is+vying+for+a+state+wrestling+championship.+Johnson+is+currently+the+Coppell+boys+wrestling+captain+and+is+motivated+by+his+desire+to+inspire+others+to+reach+their+goals.+
Namir Awan
Coppell senior Cooper Johnson has elevated his game this year and is vying for a state wrestling championship. Johnson is currently the Coppell boys wrestling captain and is motivated by his desire to inspire others to reach their goals.

What ultimately brings you back is the feeling of accomplishment. There’s no better feeling than going out there and getting your hand raised.”

— Cooper Johnson

Out on the wrestling mat, a canvas of resilience, Coppell senior wrestling captain Cooper Johnson brings a force of unwavering confidence, a move his opponents cannot counter. 

While on this canvas, Johnson is not just a participant, but also, a hammer, relentlessly nailing down his opponent and any forthcoming adversities. 

Johnson’s wrestling journey began the moment he walked past the mat room as a freshman. Immediately, the mat called out his name, captivating him into the world of wrestling. 

Beginning later than most of his peers, as a young wrestler, Johnson encountered initial setbacks. 

“It was hard, because it was a lot of wrestling with kids who already knew how to do it,” Johnson said. “A lot of people who I looked up to just constantly beat me and pushed me to get better. It was always a battle with them and trying to persevere through it.” 

Despite this, with little experience, he began carving his path out into the world of wrestling. Armed by determination and fueled by adherence, Johnson caught up through countless hours of dedication, working with weights and after school practices. 

This relentless pursuit is carried by Johnson into each match he wrestles. With a deep devotion for the sport, he is able to persevere through the mental and physical rigors, a testament to his unyielding spirit.

“His determination shows on the mat, his record and the way he’s winning matches,” assistant boys wrestling coach David Roulston said. “He’s dominating a lot of good wrestlers and that just shows. You don’t get that good without being dedicated and putting in the time.”

Throughout his journey, Johnson learned to foster an undying morale to ensure his best performance on the mat. 

“What improved in him is how he mentally looks at the craft and how he handles every match,” boys wrestling coach Chip Lowery said. “He could physically do all the wrestling last year, the big improvement this year is the mental part of it.”

Coppell High School senior Cooper Johnson wrestles Frisco Centennial senior Caden Whittle at the Santa Slam on Dec. 15. Johnson is currently the Coppell boys wrestling captain and is motivated by his desire to inspire others to reach their goals. Photo courtesy Cooper Johnson

As a result of his passion and commitment, Johnson earned the role as captain of the boys wrestling team his senior year. For Johnson, his leadership isn’t limited to just guiding his teammates, but rather, shaping future athletes.

“He’s a great leader, great captain, leads by example and by voice, by action,” Lowery said. 

As captain, Johnson makes sure to clearly communicate and set expectations, but to also hold himself accountable while doing so. 

“I lead them through example,” Johnson said. “I’ve never told them to go do something that I wouldn’t do myself. If we have to go run for some reason or because we got in trouble, I’m the first one out there with them.” 

Beyond the walls of dimly lit wrestling rooms, Johnson discovers joy in his work whether it be working as a kickboxing trainer at 9Round or coaching young wrestlers in middle school.  

“I love making a helpful impact on our youth,” Johnson said. “It’s great to see them go out there and finally understand something that I’ve been trying to teach them for a while, and then just see their face light up and understand.” 

In the future, Johnson aspires to pursue wrestling in college, envisioning a continued impact on his community by inspiring others to embrace discipline and dedication while reaching their goals.

“It’s a struggle some days to get up and make that decision to just go back out there, and put in a lot more work,” Johnson said. “What ultimately brings you back is the feeling of accomplishment. There’s no better feeling than going out there and getting your hand raised.” 

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About the Contributors
Neha Nathwani
Neha Nathwani, Staff Writer
Neha Nathwani is a junior staff writer for The Sidekick. She is currently in Speech and Debate and DECA. She loves to listen to music and her favorite artists are Tyler, the Creator and Lana Del Rey. Although these are her favorites, she explores various genres and finds random artists to broaden her music taste. She collects vinyls and her favorite movies are Before Sunrise and La La Land. In her spare time, she enjoys reading tarot cards, taking pictures of sunsets with her friends and learning about astrology.
Namir Awan
Namir Awan, Staff Photographer
Namir is a junior and a 2nd year staff writer for The Sidekick. Namir loves to watch and play basketball and football. Namir enjoys learning about history because he likes learning about the past. He also loves to play video games with his friends; his favorite game is Rocket League. Namir also works at Kumon; he enjoys working there because he enjoys helping kids learn math and reading. Namir is excited for this upcoming year as he goes into his second year of being on The Sidekick. You can contact him at [email protected].

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