Faces in KS: Cooper Griffith

Cooper Griffith of Scott Community will look to lead Beavers back to title game. (submitted photo)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Sep 3, 2015

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The days of iron man football of playing both ways are still pretty common among the smaller classes in Kansas, but not many do it to the caliber of play that Scott Community High School senior Cooper Griffith does. Griffith, a 6-foot-1, 215 pound, senior linebacker and running back, is one of the top returning players in the state of Kansas on both sides of the football for 2015.

Griffith rushed for over 1,200 yards last season and racked up 164 tackles as the Beavers finished as the 3A state runner-up, losing to Rossville 21-14. Griffith, an all-state selection at linebacker, has established himself as one of the premier linebackers in the Sunflower State and with another big season could elevate the interest of college coaches.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the weight room this offseason getting ready for football. I also went to some camps and showcases to help get my name out there for recruiting.” Griffith said.

Scott City, one of the most known sports towns in Kansas, is no stranger to producing top end talent and all-state players. In fact at this very moment, the Beavers have two players starting at NCAA Division I Schools, Ron Baker in basketball at Wichita State and Luke Hayes in football at Kansas State. Not too bad for a 3A high school with an enrollment of only 259 students.

“We spend most of our time in Scott City on sports. Growing up I really looked up to those high school football players. They really seemed like the biggest and baddest guys in the world. I want to set a good example for the younger kids now like those guys did to me growing up.”

Griffith will look to get his team back to the 3A state championship this season with a solid returning cast of players. Included in that is Wyatt Kropp, who also rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and should be one of the premier 3A players in 2015. The Beavers will need to replace all-state quarterback Trey O’Neil, tight end Sloan Baker and receiver Brett Meyer. Scott City and head coach Glenn O’Neil last won a 3A state title in 2012. Griffith knows 3A will be a challenge in 2015, but his team is up for it.

“Our goals are to get better every week and hold up the tradition of Scott City football. There are high expectations for us around here, we have to keep it going.” Griffith said.

We caught up with the all-state linebacker below.

This feature is presented by American Implement in Scott City, a proud supporter of Beaver athletics. See American Implement online here.

Q&A w/ Griffith

How did you get involved with sports?

I've been involved with sports pretty much as soon as I could. I played pretty much everything until I found the ones I liked best. 

What are your goals this season?

Our goals as a team are just to get better every week and uphold the tradition of Scott city football. As for individually I just want to be the best leader and teammate  I can be. I'd also like to make a good impression on college coaches.

Players to watch for Scott?

Some players to watch for are Wyatt Kropp who I'm sure you know. Abe Wiebe is coming back as a D end and guard. Drake McRae is back as corner and wide receiver.

How tough is 3A as a classification?

Class 3A is tough and it's a lot of fun because of that. 64 teams is a lot so when you're one of those last few teams it's a pretty good feeling. There's a time in there where we have about 3 games in about 10 days. That's one of the most fun times of the years it's just nonstop football so that's a lot of fun. 

What did you do this off-season?

This offseason I've been to several camps and showcases trying to get my name out there. We've spent a lot of time in the weight room and on the track too. Also some 7 on 7.

What is it like to grow up in a sports town?

Growing up in Scott City has been the best thing for me as an athlete. When I was little those high school football players seemed like the biggest baddest guys in the world. When you get to high school you have to realize those little kids think the same of you so you have to be a good example. There's high expectations for us from the whole community so we work hard to keep our great tradition going.

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject is history. Specifically American history. I'm a pretty patriotic guy so knowing how America became to be so great is interesting to me.

Plans at the next level and are you seeing some interest in football?

I've wanted to play college football since I was a little kid so that's my plan right now. I'm seeing the most interest from Kansas jucos and emporia state but I'm hoping interest will rise as the season goes along.

Favorite athlete?

My favorite athlete of all time is Lawrence Taylor I think he was an animal.

Besides sports, what do you do for fun in Scott City?

In Scott City we spend the most time in our sports but other than that we just like to hang out with our teammates and play Xbox and shoot guns and pretty much just hang out together. It would be a pretty slow life for people from the city but we all love it here. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?

Something the average person probably wouldn't know is that I have an adopted little brother from China. People outside of Scott city probably wouldn't know that anyways