MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Last week Harlem High School quarterback James Cooper Jr. was named the Chicago Bears’ “High School All-Star” for week two of the high school football season. On Monday the Bears delivered the goods.
A representative from the organization presented Cooper Jr. with a hand-crafted football that displays his accomplishments in a week two victory against Freeport. He rushed for three touchdowns and he passed for three touchdowns in that game.
The Bears will also donate $500 to the youth football team of Cooper Jr.’s choice.
“It means a lot. I really wasn’t expecting this but it means a lot,” said Cooper Jr.
And how would he describe his game against Freeport?
“It was crazy. After the game when my parents and coach told me that I got six touchdowns I asked more than once are you being for real? I didn’t know that. I had no clue I had six touchdowns.”
He followed that up with another six-touchdown (5 passing, 1 running) performance this past Saturday against Belvidere North. Harlem is now off to a 3-0 start.
The Bears started their “High School All-Star” program in 2011. The nomination criteria includes on-field performance, community involvement and good sportsmanship. Deserving players are nominated by a panel of local high school authorities and the winning player is selected each week by 13 members of the Bears and Athletico Physical Therapy which sponsors the award and also sponsors the Bears weekly “Coach of the Week” honor.