, Port Arthur, Texas


March 19, 2014

Cooper enjoys being team leader

NEDERLAND — Social media and the ever-expanding Internet has changed the landscape of high school sports.

It used to be players decided where they would play college ball sometime right before their senior year or during their last days at high school. Then the decision was not plastered all over websites and Twitter accounts each and every day.

Nederland senior Tori Cooper has already made the call to play college softball at Arkansas. The beauty of Cooper is she never once even mentioned this fact after being interviewed for about five minutes.

Cooper instead found it far more important to talk about what she is concentrating on these days, playing for the Nederland Lady Bulldogs.

“Playing at Arkansas is a pretty big deal,” Nederland coach Will Mallett said. “There has not been one day where I thought to myself, ‘Tori is just ready to graduate and play college softball.’ She is still as focused on this team as she was every other year at Nederland. That is special.”

Cooper has been a part of the softball team ever since her freshman year. Back then, and over the next three years, she made sure to pay attention to the ways of the older players ahead of her.

She learned what it took to become a great player on the field and a great young lady off the field.

“There was so much to learn from the seniors before me,” Cooper said. “Now it is my responsibility to be a leader. I try to work with the young kids and teach them how to act both on and off the field. Off the field, actions are so important. It is the reason we have such great chemistry. We were struggling with that early on, now this team is a world different and it shows in the results.”

Mallett never has to worry much if Cooper is going to put up positive numbers each and every game.

She is batting .423, has an on-base-percentage of .516, e has scored 23 times, has six doubles and has only struck out five times in 52 at bats.

“When the bat is in her hands, she is in control,” Mallett said. “There are a lot of times when I don’t have to give her signs. She knows what the situation is and she knows what to do and what is best for the team. She can be behind 0-2 and she will likely see eight more pitches.

“She is probably the best bunter in our district, there might only be one faster player in the district and she can go deep. It is a blessing to have a kid like that on your team.”

Mallett even admitted to many times simply taking a step back and watching Cooper play, instead of trying to coach such a gifted athlete.

“She just does a great job,” Mallett added.

Mallett also calls on Cooper in a lot of different scenarios to be the player to get the job done. She can even come in from the outfield to pitch in late-game situations.

“I want to be in those big situations,” Cooper said. “I love those games and those moments. It is what you play for and work so hard to accomplish. That is the moments you live for. Coach Mallett and I formed a great relationship over the last two years. I know I can count on him and he knows he can count on me. It works perfect.”

Cooper has big plans for herself and her Lady Bulldogs teammates. She wants her high school career to end in Austin.

“That is, of course, the ultimate goal here,” Cooper said. “I want to be in Austin. First though we want to finish district with not losing another 20-4A game. We can do it with the way we are playing right now. We are blessed to be in such a strong district. It prepares us for what is ahead in the playoffs.”

And all this work Cooper is putting into her high school career will only lead to brigther days with the Lady Razorbacks.  Just don’t expect her to talk about it until the time is right.

Text Only
  • Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0

    The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.

    July 25, 2014

  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

From the Fieldhouse blog