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Student Spotlight: Cooper Youngblood isn't the stereotypical wrestling champ

Published Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cooper Youngblood’s experiences in life have taught him that with the right mindset, you can be anything or anyone. He doesn’t fit a mold and can’t be classified by a stereotype.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s likely because you heard about his come-from-behind win in 182-pound state wrestling championship. But what Timberland High School’s champ wants you to know is that academics come first. Cooper also wants the world to know that teachers and administrators at Timberland are among the best in the business of education.

Cooper is the 3rd-ranked student in his graduating class with a 4.99 GPA. He believes he has a shot of graduating with the highest GPA by end of the school year. Whether he’s selected as the valedictorian or not, he’s proud to say he will be giving a speech and sharing a message of dedication, determination and heart.

After graduation, Cooper will attend The Citadel. He has a dream of later becoming an orthopedic surgeon. It’s a dream he doesn’t believe is out of reach, because life has taught him that making the right decisions can get him where he needs to be.

Calculated – that’s the word that best describes Cooper’s mentality. It’s no surprise his favorite subject is calculus and that he likens competition to equations.

Cooper admits that among the best decisions he’s made are listening to his father about passion and never giving up; seeking the help of teachers at Timberland High School and surrounding himself with positive people.

“As a student, you’re gonna go through struggles. You’re gonna go through ups, but you have to push through everything,” Cooper said. “When you’re going into your classroom, and you are in one of your days where you don’t want to be there, it’s OK to feel that way. But, it’s not OK to not do what you need to do.”

“Every little stepping stone that you place throughout the day makes a big pillar throughout your structure of your years at Timberland, or any other school.”

When he’s not working out or studying calculus, Cooper works with the Lake Moultrie Fire Department. He also volunteers at the Bonneau Recreation Center Department, and he’s involved with several projects at his church.

He admits he doesn’t watch a lot of television, but he’s currently binge-watching the 80s sitcom Alf.

“It’s great,” Cooper said of the show. “I want to see him get the cat.”

Brian Troutman