BY ERIC IKPE
It was only nine years ago, where the passion of Football started for Kishon Cooper. Born November 10, 2002, Kishon enjoyed Football at the early stages of his life.He always enjoyed playing Madden on his XBOX, and was a Gator fan (UF).You would think football would have been the last thing that would have struck his interest, being raised where music was the constant sound in his ear. His father, Kerash Cooper, a musician, stated that Kishon always loved the game of football, which was mind-boggling because he was always in the studio working on his material. Kishon went from transitioning to video games, and bringing his talent to the field.
Playing for Washington Park Buccaneers located in Hollywood, Fl is where he spent his time developing into a talented defensive back and wide receiver. His desire for the game was so strong that he would come home and run drills around the house. “It got to the point where I would start watching football just because of Kishon,” Kerash said. “I was proud of him, and what he was doing on the field.”
Even though it may seem like they had two separate interests, the relationship between Kishon and his father was more than words can describe. Playing for Washington Park in his first year, Kishon had special skills that required him to play offense/defense, which requires rigorous dedication and talent to accomplish. Kishon sported the number 9 and was excited to start the season with his teammates in the 90lbs division.
While running drills at home, Kerash reenacts the tragic event as “I had water in one hand and Kool-aid in my other hand, he had one more lap to go and he said dad I don’t feel good.” Kishon then past away shortly thereafter, and the cause of death was heat complications. Kishon Cooper memory still lives on throughout Washington Park, and his father known as coach champ stills support the team and attends games.
This past Saturday at Curtis Park, teams from all over came to play in the 2011 super championship which was renamed to the “Kishon Cooper” championship, and Kerash Cooper handed out all trophies with his son picture stamped on each trophy. “I remember when he was born, it was two days after my birthday.” Kerash stated. “My birthday is November 8th and his is November 10th, that was the best gift of my life.” Coach champ was also there to support the undefeated Washington Park 175 pound division as they took on Moore Park Generals. All coaches dressed as one, with T-shirts labeled with #9 on the back with Kishon name attached. As they celebrated their big win, Washington Park 175’s Head Coach Vonnie stated, “We did it for Kishon.”
The short life Kishon lived made a big impact on many lifes, and his father will continue to spread the joyous and memorable times he had with his son. Through the young players that participate in the NYFL and championship games in his name, will continue to honor the memory of #9, Kishon Cooper!