Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Cooper revises family pipeline, signs with KWU

May 26, 2004

Shane Cooper is following in his father's cleats, but the 2004 Tonganoxie graduate will be wearing them for a different sport.

Cooper signed May 11 with Kansas Wesleyan in Salina to play soccer.

Shane's father, Linn, played football for the Coyotes when he was in college.

An all-Kaw Valley League honorable mention the last two years in soccer, Cooper looked at other small colleges such as Benedictine and Tabor, but opted for KWU.

"I was swept away by Kansas Wesleyan," Cooper said. "Mostly by Coach Berner."

In eight years, KWU coach Brian Berner has compiled an 80-59-13 record in Salina. The Coyotes were Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference champions in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

Berner has created plenty of success while at KWU. Along with the KCAC crowns, the Coyotes were crowned national small college champions in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Berner also coaches the Salina Central girls soccer team. The Mustangs just finished their season in the state playoffs.

The school's only coach, Berner came to Wesleyan in 1996 to direct the school's new varsity sport.

Although the Coyotes have claimed numerous titles in Berner's tenure, the KWU coach will look to Cooper and the rest of this year's recruiting class for instant assistance.

The Coyotes finished last season at 4-10-4.

Last fall, Cooper was a leader on a Tonganoxie team that fell to Topeka-Hayden, 1-0, in the state playoffs. The Chieftains finished the season at 7-9-1.

Cooper also played baseball at Tonganoxie High. He was a first baseman for the Chieftains and will play next spring for the Coyotes in that sport also.

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