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Meet Maine West Linebacker Ben Cooper Class Of 2024 - Name To Watch


By: Peter "Coach Big Pete" Leinweber


So, in a way to better understand the use of Deep Dish Football for Illinois recruits and the whole entire IHSA Football scene. Decided to do player profiles of players who you might not know or you might know, but you should respect them for their roles on their respective teams. This is one of the many reasons why Deep Dish Football is respected in the IHSA. Every Football Player Has A Story To Tell




Ben Cooper Maine West LB Class of 2024 6'2 180



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Ben Cooper how was your sophomore season? My sophomore season was definitely a learning experience. As a team we were very young and as a player I didn’t know what to expect from varsity football. We started only 3 seniors on our defense, the rest were sophomores and juniors. We were very young and while watching our team play you could tell we made the mistakes of an inexperienced team. Now if I talk personally about myself, I was frustrated with myself because I found myself in the right spots to make plays, but because of my lack of experience I didn’t make as many plays as I think I should have. Even though our record didn’t show it we were pretty close in a lot of our games, and we definitely took a lot of positives out of my sophomore season. What does football mean to you? Football means everything to me. I’ve played this game sense I was 6 years old, and it really has just grown to be a part of me. Football is more than just a game because of all my friendships and connections I’ve made through the sport. It’s helped me come out of my shell and make friends in high school when I was scared, I wouldn’t have many and it really just is an escape from my schoolwork, home responsibilities, and just everything else that stresses me out. I love the game of football and I strive to play each day like it’s my last and pass on my love of football to the younger kids in the program, my coaches, and the school too, I want them to love watching us play as much as we love to play.




What should college coaches know about you? I think coaches should know that I will do anything for a shot to play at the next level, I’ll keep working my hardest every day to be the best teammate, player, son, brother, leader I can be. I think coaches should also know that I have a great competitive drive, I hate losing and I’ll help my team any way they need me just so we can have a better shot at winning. What do you like about playing linebacker? I like how when I play linebacker, I get to be the leader and team captain, it sets me up to stay involved in plays and change the momentum of the game with big plays, and it’s really just a position that can do everything, I can drop back in coverage and get interceptions, or I can walk up and blitz to get a sack of force a fumble or get a tackle for loss. It really is one of the most important positions on the field and I love having the responsibility that comes with being a linebacker. How does Maine West look for the upcoming season? We think we can be a playoff team for sure if we’re at our best, the coaches have done an awesome job communicating with us in the off-season and letting us players help with this upcoming season, we’ve started a leadership program that me and a couple other players are a part of us players along with Coach K and the other coaches have really helped shape how we want our program to be under Coach Klupchak. Unlike last year our team isn’t as young and we have more versatility on offense and defense, we can open up the playbook more and I think we got some guys that’ll go out and make plays. I don’t think that teams should rule us out or count us as an easy win because were looking to bring back what Coach Kradmen starting building here at Maine West. Me, my teammates and especially Coach Klupchak are trying to finish what he and that group of guys started. What do you feel is your strongest trait on the football field? I feel like my strongest trait is my leadership skills, above all else I think I’ve stepped into my role as a leader on this team and I’m confident I’ll showcase my skill on the field this fall, but something that separates me from other players is my ability to lead my team.







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