Dedication: Cooper Hubbard’s Journey To The Metro League

Jack Bennett, Staff Writer

1st team all-Metro, voted best hitter in West Seattle’s squad, starting outfielder, 4th in state. Cooper Hubbard’s list of accomplishments entering his senior season is astounding, but how did he get this good at baseball? So many kids dream of developing skills like this. To find out what it takes, I talked to Cooper.

When asked how long he’s been playing baseball, Cooper said, “as long as I can remember.” He also added that since he was a year old, he was hitting wiffle balls in the backyard. Cooper was raised by his mother and lacked a father figure in his childhood. He claims this limited his practicing opportunities in little league as everyone else could throw and hit with their dads on the weekend. Dealing with adversity so early in life helped him develop patience and discipline. Cooper’s mom worked part time so she could be there for him more.

When Cooper hit middle school, he preferred ultimate frisbee to baseball and even considered quitting the sport altogether. Luckily for West Seattle High School, he didn’t quit and instead joined a summer league team, which opened his eyes to his talent and love for the game. He spent a lot of time practicing on his own, getting in the weight room and lifting constantly.

As a freshman, Cooper was ranked amongst the best in the class of 23’ in Seattle. Despite all of this attention, when talking to Cooper you can immediately tell how humble he is. One of his West Seattle teammates, Daniel Madden, said, “Going into games he never said, ‘Oh we’re going to win this so easily’…he never talked about himself or how good he is either.”

In high school, Cooper’s hard work was starting to pay off. Cooper is a naturally athletic and speedy guy, but every day he’s in the gym lifting, and most of the time he’s either hitting or throwing or doing some sort of field work. Cooper’s freshman and sophomore seasons were cut short or incomplete due to the pandemic but given the chance to have a full season in his junior year, his work ethic showed out as the team shone.

His biggest accomplishment is being a major component in West Seattle’s historic season and playoff run which saw them finish 4th at state. Cooper started in the outfield and hit early in the lineup, finishing the season as one of the most consistent players in the Metro League. He was voted the best hitter on his team by his teammates, he was 1st team all-Metro, and he featured in the Metro League All-Star game.

When Cooper walks up to the plate, the defense is intimidated. Outfielders notice he’s up and take a few steps back and dial in. According to Madden, his batting average is in the low 400’s. The pitcher can see the muscular dog he’s about to pitch to and only hope for a lucky flyout. Cooper told me that due to his short arms his contact is better than most people. However, his arms do hinder his power potential. But thanks to his work in the gym he can hit the ball, “obscenely far”, according to Madden.

West Seattle was regularly ranked within the top 5 teams in the state week to week and Cooper was one of the main components to that success. Cooper finished his junior season as first-team All-Metro, and he’s looking to repeat that same success in his senior season. He also hopes to win state as he thinks the guys on the team have all improved. He shouted out fellow teammates Miles Chandler, Caden Fahy, and Bobby Trigg as guys to look out for.

Cooper told me his plan with baseball for after high school was to walk-on at whatever school he gets into. Cooper’s mom raised him to prioritize academics over everything; his grades are excellent and his future is bright. While he loves the sport, he feels that it’s important to ensure that he’ll get a quality education.

The West Seattle High School baseball team’s spring season opened on March 11 with a 10-0 win over Auburn Mountainview. Their Metro League title defense begins March 22 against Ballard at Whitman Middle School, with first pitch scheduled for 4:00. Their home debut comes two days later, on March 24 against O’Dea at the Southwest Athletic Complex