Cooper Bledsoe, Van High School’s standout safety, has been named the Week 7 American State Bank Player of the Week, Tim Haugh, ASB General Manager of Consumer Finance, announced Tuesday.

In Van’s 35-32 win over the Athens Hornets in the District 8-4A Division I opener, Bledsoe, only a sophomore, had an amazing game, registering 25 tackles (five for a loss) and two passes batted down from his safety position. He also had more than 100 yards in kickoff returns for the Vandals.

Others receiving votes this week were Troup defensive back Brett Martin, Athens running back Logan Fuller, Lindale running back Ryan Taylor, Troup running back Marquis Davis and Henderson quarterback Zane Boles.

“Cooper really stepped up against Athens,” Vandals head coach Jared Moffat said. “He’s only 165-170 pounds, and most of his tackles were against Athens fullback Logan Fuller, who is about 60-80 pounds heavier than Cooper. He really gets in there and throws his weight around.

“To play that well as a sophomore, in a game of that magnitude, really speaks to who he is and what his future holds. He seems to play his best against the best competition. Athens had a chance to win the game and Cooper had two key stops on that last drive, including one behind the line of scrimmage against Fuller. Athens ran 69 plays on offense, so Cooper’s 25 tackles accounted for about 37 percent of the defensive plays made. Plus, Cooper is such a good kid and student who also excels in baseball and track,” Moffat said.

Haugh added, “Man, what an awesome game Bledsoe had against a tough opponent in Athens. Logan Fuller is one of the better ball carriers in the area and has been nominated most every week for this award and got several votes this week as well, so to step up when his team needed him the most is a big testament to Cooper. Just an outstanding defensive game on his part. With Cooper winning this week, that makes two defensive players in seven weeks to take home the American State Bank Player of the Week award.”

Each weekly winner (weeks 1 to 11) of the American State Bank Player of the Week award automatically receives an invitation to the end of the year banquet to recognize the weekly winners.

One of those 11 weekly winners will be chosen as the American State Bank Player of the Year where they will be pledged a $10,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

To nominate a player, visit www.asbplayeroftheweek.com.

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 34 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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