Cooper named 3A Upper State Coach of the Year

S.C. Football Coaches Association

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Monday, November 5, 2012

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Wade Cooper coached Blue Ridge to a 9-2 record and a share of the Region II-3A championship.

John Clayton

Wade Cooper coached Blue Ridge to a 9-2 record and a share of the Region II-3A championship.

Blue Ridge Head Football Coach Wade Cooper was named Class 3A Upper State Coach of the Year today by the S.C. Football Coaches Association.

Also, Byrnes receiver Akia Booker was named Big 16 Upper State Back of the Year and to the Palmetto Champions All-Star Football Team by the SCFCA.

Cooper guided the Tigers to a 9-2 record and a share of the Region II-3A title. Blue Ridge, which started out 9-0 for the first time in school history, earned the No. 2 seed from Region II. Lower Richland beat Blue Ridge 26-21 in the first round of the 3A playoffs last Friday.

The Tigers returned only four starters from last year’s 8-3 team and were expected to undergo a rebuilding season due to a wealth of inexperience, especially at quarterback and an entirely rebuilt offensive line. 

Former offensive coordinator Jason Farmer also took the head coaching position at Woodmont.

Instead, junior quarterback Ty Montgomery proved to be a worthy replacement for the graduated Caleb Rowe, a three-year starter who signed with Maryland, and the Tigers performed well above expectations on both sides of the ball.

Blue Ridge averaged 42 points per game, while giving up only 12 points per contest and recorded back-to-back shutouts against Travelers Rest and Southside.

Cooper is also an assistant coach for the South Carolina team in this year’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Booker, who is also a Shrine Bowl selection, led the Rebels in receiving with 69 catches for 1,323 yards (a 19.17 per-catch average) and 15 touchdowns. He also ran for 314 yards and seven touchdowns.

The 9-1 Rebels, the defending Big 16 state champions, are set to begin the state playoffs Friday night at home against Spring Valley.


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