MONTAGUE – Fruitport’s Roan Cooper experienced two great career milestones at the exact same moment on Saturday.
Cooper won the 120-pound championship at the Muskegon Athletic Association City Wrestling Tournament at Montague High School.
The championship, which he clinched with a very exciting 6-4 victory over Whitehall’s Nolan Taranko, was the second city title of his four-year varsity career.
And it just so happened that the title-clinching win over Taranko was also the 100th victory of Cooper’s varsity career.
“Never,” Cooper said, when asked if he ever imagined reaching two big goals at the same time. “This is better than anything I could have imagined. One hundred is something I dreamed of since middle school when I started wrestling.”
“Roan has been one of the hardest workers in the room every season, year in and year out,” said Fruitport coach Chad Johnson. “You never hear him complain or hardly even talk at practice. He’s just a hard-nosed worker.
“100 wins in a high school career is a pretty huge milestone. It was definitely a special moment for him. I’m proud of the effort he’s put in over the last four years. It’s nice to see it rewarded.”
Cooper was one of four Trojans who won city championships on Saturday.
He was joined by his twin brother Nash Cooper, who won the 144-pound title; Hunter Leonard, who won the 157-pound championship; and Caleb O’Neal, who took the 215-pound title.
No other school at the tournament had more than three individual champs.
Ironically, the Cooper twins were close to having the same double accomplishment on Saturday. Nash Cooper’s win in the 144-pound title match, a 10-1 major decision over Whitehall’s Blake English, was the 98th of his varsity career. He will very likely join his brother in the 100-win club this week.
Nash Cooper won his first city title. The senior standout might have had another one by now, but he missed his entire freshman year with an injury and lost in the city finals last year and finished second.
“I lost the title last year by three points,” Nash Cooper said. “I wanted to make sure I got that one checked off the list this year.”
Fruitport’s Kyle Holt was the runner-up in the 113-pound division. Trace Pider took fourth at 165 and Andrew Fielstra was fourth at 175.
All of the individual success helped Fruitport have a very good day as a team. The Trojans finished third in the 12-team tournament with 152 points, behind champion Whitehall (242.5) and Reeths-Puffer (157).
Coach Johnson said he was not surprised by how well his team performed.
“Not to sound cocky, but I knew the kids have been competing at a pretty high level,” the coach said. “I can’t say enough about how well they’ve been buying into what we’ve been telling them to do, and it’s showing on the mat.
“We did really good. We had the most champions of anyone there.”
Two Fruitport champions won their title matches with pins.
Leonard, a senior, pinned Whitehall’s Ryan Goodrich in 1:46 in the 157-pound finals and captured his first city title.
“I finished third last year and I was disappointed with that,” Leonard said. “I was the underdog in this one. A lot of people had the Whitehall kid winning, but I came back and won it.”
O’Neal, a senior, pinned Whitehall’s Blake Morningstar in 2:52 in the 215-pound title match. O’Neal not only won his first city title, but got some revenge, since he lost to Morningstar in the city tournament title round a year ago.