Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper

School: St. Christopher’s

Age: 18 GPA: 3.9

Athletic accomplishments: A senior captain on the golf team, Ben was the co-medalist at the Prep League tournament. He finished the month of April as the No. 2 golfer in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association player rankings. He was the medalist in seven matches this season. St. Christopher’s won two state championships during his high school career. He also was a starter on the soccer team.

Academic accomplishments: Ben will golf at the University of Richmond next year. He achieved honors or high honors each semester of high school. He’s the co-head of the peer advising program at the school.

Favorite class: “Physics with Dr. Alina Chichocki.”

Future major: “I think business.”

Three words to describe him: “Hard-working, resilient, honorable.”

First job he wanted as a kid: “My dad has always been in the marine industry. I thought it would be fun to be in that business, selling boats and manufacturing boats.”

Favorite book: “The Great Gatsby”

Working to improve: “I think in general, I would like to be better at reaching out to people faster than I do and being available to people all the time when they need help. In golf, just always trying to improve in terms of consistency and mental approach. For school, reaching out to teachers in advance when we have tournaments.”

Best sports memory: “The first time I beat my dad playing golf.” He was 8 years old.

On his playlist: “I actually really like classical music. ... I really like old rock: Eagles, Pink Floyd.”

Musical talent: “I used to play guitar and saxophone.”

Most embarrassing thing on his playlist: “Probably a little bit of ‘One Direction.’ ”

Person alive he most admires: “My grandmother, because she grew up on a farm with a very different life than I’m exposed to. She’s been so influential in my life, giving me [a sense of] how lucky I am and not taking anything for granted.”

Favorite thing about golf: “Every shot you have is a blank canvas. There’s an infinite amount of ways to play every shot, so finding the right one and creating a different shot every time you play golf.”

Hidden talent: “I’m pretty good at pingpong.”

Favorite teacher at St. Christopher’s: “Jay Wood,” who teaches English and coaches soccer. “He was the first teacher at St. Christopher’s I ever met.”

Favorite emoji: “The American flag waving.”

If he could go on any game show: “Wipeout.”

If he could time travel: “I’d want to go back to when Arnold Palmer was on tour.”

Best advice he’s received: “From my parents, they’ve always inspired me to be as honest as possible. Honesty is the best policy.”

If he could have dinner with anyone dead or alive: “Arnold Palmer.”

If he could be any animal: “I’d be a shark.”

His house is burning down and he can take only one thing with him: “I’d take my first set of golf clubs.”

Sports reporter

Eric Kolenich writes sports stories for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, focusing on local athletes and teams. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a BA in English and joined the paper in 2009. (804) 649-6109

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