1. Thanks for joining us, Sam! Can you tell us about your current professional goals?
Just wanted to say this interview is a huge blessing! I started off at CEC and still to this day I say that my experiences at CEC made me the man I am today. Right now I am pursuing a career in professional football. My goal has always been to go pro at the sport since 2006. I was blessed to have great coaches at CEC that taught me values that would carry me wherever I go and instill confidence in myself and my game.
2. What are your most recent accomplishments?
2021 has been a blessing! So far this year I’ve received an invite to every major all-star game in the football world but one. I first got invited to the Tropical Bowl in Orlando, then the College Gridiron Showcase in Texas. I will also be playing in the Hula Bowl in Hawaii on January 31. I was also invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl that was unfortunately cancelled this year. Lastly, I was invited to play in “the big one” - the East-West Shrine Bowl, that was also unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic. Still, the Shrine Bowl and Hula Bowl are two games I dreamed about playing in so I’m honored.
3. When you think of CEC, what comes to mind?
I think about faith, structure, and friends. When I went to CEC, everything in my life was structured and faith-based. I couldn’t play a game if I didn’t meet with Father Fidelis on Thursday or on gameday. Everything was very regimented and organized. I lived a very religious life which I carried on with me as I left high school. While at CEC, I met lifelong friends. I was blessed to be on a football team where I met a mentor of mine - Coach Steve Schweiker - who helped me with my development as an athlete and student. I was blessed to have Coach Techtmann as a head coach who taught us about respect and integrity. Coach Tech always said “live your life like it’s on camera.” That quote stuck with me forever.
When I’m in town if Coach Techtmann or Coach John Kalinowski needs me to talk to the team or help with workouts, I’m always there!
4. What advice would you give current CEC students as they prepare for their future?
Create goals! It’s never too early to create goals. I don’t care how outlandish your goals may sound to others, let them laugh and prove them wrong. Write your short-term goals down. Read your short-term goals weekly or daily. Develop long-term goals as you’re crushing your short-term ones. Find quotes that motivate you. Attack it each day and always respect people and put the Lord first. When God is with you, who can be against you?
5. What are your goals for 2021?
Dominate the Hula Bowl, dominate my pro-day, get another 4.0 grad semester, and get on an NFL team by the grace of God.
Good luck to Sam as he prepares for the NFL draft and continues to make CEC proud! #SOAR
Photos courtesy of Sam Cooper.
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