LAMAR — One of the state’s top running backs, Lamar senior Cooper Lucas is off to a strong start after helping the Tigers win its 36th consecutive game last week.
At 5’11, 222-pounds, Lucas is a tough, physical runner who gains big chunks of yards after contact.
“That’s something we work on, and I seem to do pretty well,” he said.
One year after winning its sixth straight championship, Lamar opened the 2017 season with a 28-0 win over Cassville. Lucas had a pair of touchdown runs and a game-high 169 yards rushing to lead the Tigers.
“We think our team is a lot closer than last year,” Lucas said. “We may not be as deep as we were last year, but we are closer as a team. I think that will take us pretty far.”
Lucas says the game that he remembers most from his junior season was winning the state championship over a talented Trinity team from St. Louis.
“They were a well-rounded team that had a lot of good athletes,” he said. “Our starting running back went down and I had to step in and fill that role. I did everything I could.”
Lucas says he spent much of the offseason focused on getting strong, faster and staying in shape.
“I’m also working on being able to get to full speed quicker after contact,” he said.
Lucas and most of his Lamar teammates began playing football in third grade and have played together ever since.
“We’ve been playing together for a long time,” he said. “Everyone is really close, and we all love it. I actually started a year early.”
Lucas says Lamar head coach Scott Bailey has had the biggest impact on his football career to date.
“He pushes me harder than I ever thought I could,” Lucas said. “He can be tough, but you know it will help you in the long run.”