Allie Cooper heading to Southern Arkansas

Brownsboro senior Allie Cooper (middle) signs her college letter of intent Wednesday at the Brownsboro High School Gymnasium. Cooper is seen with sister Bradie and mother Amy as she is heading to Southern Arkansas University to play volleyball.

BROWNSBORO — Brownsboro senior Allie Cooper has dreamed of playing college volleyball.

“I honestly did volleyball in junior high to pass the time because I didn’t really love it,” Cooper said. “During my freshman year, my coach put me on varsity and that was a shock and that is when I really started to love it. I started playing club and once I started playing club, I knew that is what I wanted to do after high school.”

On Wednesday, Cooper signed on the dotted line to continue her volleyball career with the Southern Arkansas University Lady Muleriders based out of Magnolia, Arkansas.

“Today (Wednesday) is National Signing Day and I will be signing with Southern Arkansas to continue my volleyball and academic career,” Cooper said prior to the signing. Today is the national signing day for volleyball and so the coach wanted me to go ahead and sign so I could go ahead and start doing everything else that comes along with it. It takes a lot of stress with already having a college to go to so you don’t have to worry about it and I am really excited.”

They are an NCAA, Division II program out of the Great American Conference under second-year coach Lindsey Parks.

“I am honestly not really sure what a mulerider is,” Cooper said. “I think it is like a girl on a wild donkey or a wild mule, but it is pretty funny.”

Brownsboro Bearettes volleyball coach Shannon Williams praised the work ethic of Cooper during her two seasons as her coach.

“I have had the pleasure to coach Allie for two seasons,” Williams said. “Without a doubt she is one of the most strong willed, determined student athletes I have ever coached. She refused to lose. She studied an abundance of film. Asked lots of questions and was a great teammate. She is a four year letterman for Brownsboro and her presence on the floor will be missed greatly next year. I hope that her legacy and what she has accomplished in her high school career is motivation for the student athletes below her to be motivated to achieve what she did and more. She has set the bar extremely high for the upcoming season returners.”

Cooper is currently second in her graduating class and plans to study Biomedical Sciences as her major in college. She said the first time she heard of Southern Arkansas, she was doing research on colleges.

“I had never heard of it until a couple of years ago when Cole Williams, who graduated from here and played football there,” Cooper said. “That was the first time that I had heard of it, but then as I was looking up Division 2 schools that are not too far but still a good distance, it was one of the good schools so I liked it a lot. When I went on my visit, it felt right and everyone was welcoming.”

The four-year letterman with the Bearettes finished her senior season with 32 attempts and 17 kills per game for a .531 kill percentage as a middle blocker.

She averaged seven digs and seven points per game during the season. In district, she averaged 32 attempts, 17 kills, nine digs, two blocks and nine points per game.

“It was definitely the best year out of the four years I have had,” Cooper said. “Even though we went to the first round, that doesn’t show how much of a good season that we had compared to the other years. I love my team and we all get along which makes it better and we get further as a group. They are like my best friends and I hope they see they can do anything and they are all good enough if they want to.”

She said being the captain of the Bearettes this season was big in her development on the court.

“As a freshman and sophomore, I stayed quiet and let the older people run things,” Cooper said. “Last year when coach (Shannon) Williams out having a baby, I had to step up and I feel like that has helped me become a better leader. I like that role on my team and feel like that is needed.”

Allie said when it came to coach Williams, her impact on the recruiting process helped out a lot.

“She has been a big part and when I was first emailing the coach, she sent her a recommendation letter and talked a lot of really good things about me,” Cooper said. “I feel like that helped me a lot in the coach and letting her know what type of player I was.”

Williams said having Allie sign on the first day was big for the future of the volleyball program at Brownsboro.

“I think it is huge for our program to have Allie commit to a high level Division II school. That program is rebuilding. Like we are right now,” Williams said. “Allie is going to fit in wherever their coach needs her most. She can play any position that is asked. Many student athletes have walked these hallways and received numerous offers from all NCAA and NAIA divisions for basketball; including myself! So for Allie to commit to play volleyball is huge. For the program, the school, and the district. We are excited for her. We can't wait to watch her grow, learn, and dominate at the next level.”

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