Boylan’s most tenacious Titan is not a man of many words. Senior Zach Couper intimidates and attacks his opponents with his quiet determination.
“What you see is what you get typically with Zach,” says Boylan basketball coach Brett McAllister. “I think determination you hit it on the head with that word. I think that’s what he kind of brings everyday.”
Couper’s determination is always on display. The man of not many smiles has helped lead Boylan to two consecutive conference titles in basketball.
“I’m a quiet person,” says Couper. “Unless you know me I kind of come out of my shell. I’m just very focused as a person, and a student. It’s something I pride myself on. Being kind of mysterious, not everyone knows what you’re thinking.”
Couper is a big fan of action films, especially ones he believes he can relate to on the basketball court, and Couper says there is one guy he can relate to the most.
“I’d probably say Jason Bourne,” says the senior. “Yeah, he does a lot. He’s just stone-cold, quiet person. He gets the job done. The fighting moves and all that stuff it’s fun to watch.”
However, Couper does make a lot of noise when he has a basketball in his hand. The Boylan Titan is the NIC-10’s leading scorer. He put on his largest scoring display against Auburn. Couper scored a career-high 50 points on the road.
“I don’t know what happened that night,” says Couper. “During warm-ups I was missing every single shot. Then going into the game I just got rolling. Some shots Coach Mac probably didn’t want me take and were ill-advised shots that just went in. That was just a special night that I had.”
“I think the coolest thing was we were down our point guard,” says Coach McAllister. “In the first half we were just trying to figure out ways to get the ball up the floor against their pressure, and we had noticed at halftime that he was obviously scoring well, but also doing the bulk of the ball handling on top of it. We kind of commented after the game as a staff not only did he score and shoot it so well, but to expend that much energy to run the point for us, and get us into our offense just made it even more special.”
It’s no secret Couper can score the basketball, but two of his biggest plays of the entire season didn’t involve him putting the ball in the hoop. Couper threw the game-winning assist in a buzzer-beater win against Hononegah, and made the game-winning block in his 50 point game against the Knights. Couper prides himself in being a complete player.
“I don’t want to be just known as a scorer,” says Couper. “Playing and just being a complete player, work on my defense all the time, and just being a playmaker for my teammates. Whatever can help us win the most games is something I just want to do because all I really want to do is win.”
That kind of mentality has also led to success on the football field for Couper. Before winning the conference title in basketball Couper lead Boylan to a NIC-10 co-championship in football as the starting quarterback in the fall.
“It was always a goal for football to win the championship, and for that to happen that’s special, and then to put this together it’s a great way to have a senior year.”
Couper’s dad Mark has been a long time soccer coach at Boylan, but Zach says his dad never pushed him to play that sport. Mark wanted Zach to pursue his own goals and make them happen.
Basketball is Zach’s first love, and that’s what he’ll playing at the next level. Couper will play basketball at the Air Force in the fall.
“I love the coaching staff out there,” says Couper. “It’s always been a dream and goal of mine to play division one basketball, and they gave me a great opportunity to do that. I visited there, and it’s amazing what they have out there, and the opportunities I’ll be able to have it was a no-brainer decision for me.”
In Couper’s final two seasons at Boylan the Titans are 32-0 against NIC-10 opponents in the regular season.