Cooter baseball program posts top team GPA in Class 1

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
The Cooter baseball team with its first-place plaque after beating Holcomb 4-3 in the championship of the Tri-County Conference Tournament last fall. Cooter won the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Academic All-State Team Award earlier this week.

The Cooter Wildcats baseball program didn’t have an opportunity to claim the Class 1 state baseball title this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But earlier this week the Wildcats learned they had finished atop the standings in another category in Class 1.

Cooter posted the top team GPA for the 2019-20 season in Class 1.

“I feel like we have a very smart group of kids going through our athletic program right now,” Cooter baseball coach David Mathis said. “They all work hard in the classroom and plus they take the tough classes. It’s an awesome accomplishment to be ranked No. 1 in Class 1 and be in the Top 5 in the whole state.

“It’s a credit to the hard work our teachers put in pushing the kids,” he continued. “We’ve got some really good teachers and they do a good job preparing our students for life after high school because 99.9 percent of the time sports only goes so far. It’s great to see our kids are getting a good education.”

Cooter posted a team GPA of 3.73.

To qualify for the Academic All-State Team Award a program must average a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale. Eight other Class 1 programs - Northeast (Cairo) (3.53), Oak Ridge (3.53), Concordia (3.48), Lesterville (3.46), Weaubleau (3.40), La Monte (3.37), Naylor (3.37), and Bell City (3.10) - achieved the feat in Missouri.

“This is 17 or 18 players going to class, doing what they are supposed to do, and staying out of trouble on a team,” Mathis said.

Having students in contention to be the valedictorian in each class on the baseball squad contributed to the high team GPA at Cooter.

“The big thing for us is we’ve got the top guys in each class on the baseball team,” Mathis said. “It’s pretty amazing to have four or five valedictorians on the same baseball team.”

Five Cooter baseball players are also receiving an Individual Academic All-State Certificate for their individual academic performances.

“We’ve got Jake Faulkner, Lane McLevain, Luke Perkins, Chris Crowder, and Hayes Austin who have all met the criteria to be on the Individual Academic All-State Team,” Mathis said. “That’s big for our program. I tell them every day your grades are going to take you somewhere and these kids are doing their jobs in the classroom. That’s why our school allows us to travel places during the season is because our players take care of their business in the classroom.”

Mathis said the Cooter baseball program remains in contention to receive national recognition from the American Baseball Coaches Association for its academic achievements in the 2019-20 school year.

“We are going to have a chance to be on the Academic All-American Baseball Team,” he said. “We’ll find out how that worked out in July. All of these academic awards are a tribute to our teachers. This has nothing to do with me because I teach PE. I give 100 percent of the credit to the teachers and the players for working hard.”

See a complete list of teams earning the Missouri Academic All-State Team Award below:


CLASS 1: Cooter (3.73), Northeast (Cairo) (3.53), Oak Ridge (3.53), Concordia (3.48), Lesterville (3.46), Weaubleau (3.40), La Monte (3.37), Naylor (3.37), Bell City (3.10)

CLASS 2: Purdy (3.71), Valle Catholic (3.58), Iberia (3.53), Bismarck (3.36), Harrisburg (3.35), Crystal City (3.34), Crane (3.30), Cole Camp (3.20), Crest Ridge (3.10)

CLASS 3: Forsyth (3.88), New Covenant Academy (3.77), California (3.51), Kelly (3.50), Montgomery County (3.48), Holden (3.44), Hallsville (3.36), Lawson (3.25), Hermann (3.15), Licking (3.14)

CLASS 4: Sikeston (3.85), Logan-Rogersville (3.68), Southern Boone (3.55), Harrisonville (3.54), Clayton (3.52), Kirksville (3.52), Helias Catholic (3.47), Sullivan (3.46), Monett (3.43), Fulton (3.28), Marshfield (3.22), Odessa (3.20), Windsor (3.13), Clinton (3.11), Union (3.11), Buffalo (3.10), Capital City (3.08), Seneca (3.04), St. Michael the Archangel (3.03), Pacific (3.00)

CLASS 5: Blue Springs South (3.86), Lee’s Summit West (3.60), Hickman (3.59), Branson (3.56), Glendale (3.55), Liberty KC (3.55), Liberty North (3.52), Liberty (3.51), Rock Bridge (3.49), Kearney (3.47), Truman (3.45), Webb City (3.43), Francis Howell (3.40), Joplin (3.36), Republic (3.29), Smith-Cotton (3.26), Battle (3.26), Marquette (3.26), Staley (3.26), Rolla (3.22), Lebanon 3.21, Winnetonka (3.13), Waynesville (3.02)

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