Cooper named North Carolina MVP, Coplon recovers two fumbles

Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 17:19 PM.

Cooper’s 45-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave North Carolina a 13-9 lead.

Meanwhile, Havelock senior A.J. Coplon made his presence felt as a defensive back. He played lockdown pass coverage and recovered two fumbles.

“Coach (Jim Bob) Bryant and the Havelock staff prepared us well from our freshman year until now,” Cooper said. “They really developed us into better players. There were a lot of Division I players out here, and we had to make plays.”

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was not solely about the game. The players practiced every day last week, attended mixers, were honored at a parade and visited the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney was the guest speaker at Friday’s banquet.

“It was a great experience,” Cooper said. “It was an honor to come out here and do it for the kids in the Shriner’s Hospital. We visited with them and I hung out with all of these players. It is an experience I will never forget.”

Cooper passed for 2,895 yards and 25 touchdowns for Havelock this season. He ran for 1,267 yards and 15 scores, and returned three punts for touchdowns.



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