What a season just transpired for little leaguers associated with Greenville Parks and Recreation! The last few days signified the culmination of a fantastic season with team intro day and championships throughout the league.
No one in the league took home more hardware than Deatrin “Tick” Cooper who coaches teams in three different age groups (5-6-year-olds, 9-1O year-olds and 11-12-year-olds). He had already claimed a second-place league finish with his youngest team and on Monday, he won two league championships within a half hour of one another.
First, his underdog 11-12-year-old Cubs defeated the heavily favored and undefeated Braves in a championship game that was continued as a result of a rain delay last week. “We lost to the Braves twice during the regular season,” Cooper said. “We were confident that we could beat them because we lost during the regular season because of mental mistakes. We eliminated those and came away with the championship.”
Soon after hoisting the championship trophy, Cooper changed jerseys and joined his fellow coaches for his 9-10-year old White Sox team. This nip and tuck game with the Tigers was close throughout. The White So won in their last at-bat. Cooper came up just one game short of pulling off the 2019 trifecta at Wards Recreation Center. “I’ve one multiple championships in years past with teams that I’ve coached,” he recalled. “But this year was really special and all about the kids.”
Most of Cooper’s friends and family would describe him as a trash talker and a fiery competitor. He never has a lost for words when it comes to challenging his opponents. But, when it comes to developing young minds and hearts through the game of baseball, he certainly has a soft spot. “I’ve been coaching kids for about 19 years now,” he said. “It’s all about giving them something that I didn’t have-an opportunity. I always stress to the kids that there is a way out of any of life’s bad situations preferably through education. But, sports also provide a way out as well.”