Buchholz’s Bobcat Cooper Collins Commits to Davidson College

William Cooper Collins, who goes by Cooper Collins, is a junior at Buchholz High School. He plays as the shortstop for the Buchholz Bobcats varsity baseball team. He is committed to playing D1 Baseball for Davidson College in North Carolina.

Early Age

Collins started playing baseball in his backyard when he was three years old. Watching his older brother choose baseball as his sport and his dad playing baseball when he was younger was the main inspiration for Collins. His older brother, Robbie, gave Collins advice on baseball, life, or anything in between. Robbie has been one of Collins’ biggest mentors. Collins has always looked up to Robbie.

Photo Credit: Isaiah Daies

Travel Team

Collins has played for several travel teams throughout his life. He started playing his first travel team, the Santa Fe Riverdogs when he was seven. After a few years, he then played for Gatorball. Then when he was fourteen, he played and currently plays for Power Baseball. “Playing for Power has really put into perspective how talented the state of Florida is,” said Collins. It has pushed him to be a better athlete and a better person. It allowed him to value the meaning of hard work and working relentlessly for something he wanted.

High School Baseball

Collins has been playing on the varsity team for the Bobcats since he was a freshman. This is his third season, and he’s only been improving. Last season he had one of the best batting averages for the team. This season he has been remarkable to watch. Talking to Assistant Coach JT Clark, he is very excited for Collins. He talked about how impressed he is by Collins, with how much work and attention to detail Collins puts into perfecting his game. Seeing a bit of pressure comes off of Collins, knowing he got what he wanted. Now he can play the game for himself and not for a scholarship.

 “There is a smile on my face right now just talking about this. There is no one I would rather see get what they deserve. It is very awesome as a coach… Now that the pressure is off, I expect a big year out of him,” – JT Clark.

Collins and Davidson College

Photo Credit: Isaiah Daies

At the beginning of February, Collins committed to Davidson College officially. His priority when accepting an offer was not only about athletics but also about finding a school that also fits his academic needs. He felt that Davidson was the perfect school and that the coaches would build him into the player he wanted to be.

“It was a special moment, I could go there to get a nationally know degree but then also play at one of the highest levels of college baseball. It was the best of both worlds,” – Cooper Collins.

Collins would love to continue playing baseball as long as he possibly can. He would love to get the opportunity to play professional baseball if he was given a chance. However, when his baseball career ends, Collins would like to pursue and study medicine.

Talking to Collins’ parents, they were thrilled. To watch their kid work so hard at something and get the reward he was hoping for was overwhelming and quite emotional for them as a family. Both parents agreed that Davidson was perfect for Collins and their family. Whenever they would go to the campus, they knew that that was where Collins belonged and that it was the right place for him. Anyone they have encountered on the campus had nothing but positive remarks about the school.

The coaching staff was very personal with Collins and his family. Being more than just recruiters, they ensure they make a connection and build trust with the family. This relationship with the staff made it easier for Collins and his family to choose Davidson. Knowing that he would be safe and well taken care of, but also challenged as a player, student and person.

Overcoming His Struggles

Collins mentions how throughout his baseball career, he has struggled with his mental game and his size. Having a lack of confidence and being unable to be in a good head space going into games, Collins had to learn to accept himself as a player. Expecting perfection from himself at every game and then being hard on himself when it wasn’t. Collins embraced the mistakes he made to learn from them. He realized he couldn’t become a better player if he didn’t make mistakes. With the help of some mentors and coaches, he gained confidence and embraced the player he is and will be.

Another struggle Collins talked about was his size.

“I was never the biggest kid on the field, and that has really taught me to focus on doing the little things right.”

Through the past couple of years, Collins put on some weight. He still might not be that biggest on the field, but it allowed him to become a stronger player. It made him level the playing field a bit more. He is gaining confidence with each game he plays.

His advice is to not worry about any other player’s journey and focus on their own. Every player will have a path that they need to trust and follow. Players shouldn’t worry about the speed of their path either. Things will happen when they need to happen.

“Just focus on becoming the best baseball player that you can be.”

A-Z Questionnaire with Cooper Collins

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