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story.lead_photo.caption Hughes Springs senior pitcher Cooper Perry throws a breaking ball during a 2020 high school baseball game. (Photo by Terri Perry)

HUGHES SPRINGS, Texas — A lot of times, life does not go as planned.

Hughes Springs senior baseball player Cooper Perry did not picture his last season of high school baseball as just a handful of games. But the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I was upset when I first heard the news," Perry said. "It being my senior year and not having a final game was disappointing. I have a scholarship to play ball at the next level so I wasn't too upset."

Perry will attend the University of Arkansas at Rich Mountain in Mena, where he is planning on majoring in agricultural business. He has played for Hughes Springs since he was a freshman.

The Hughes Springs star is one of the most versatile players coming out of the Northeast Texas area. Perry pitches as well as plays catcher, middle infield and some outfield. He has learned lessons through baseball.

"Something I have learned from baseball is to never give up on your dreams," Perry said. "I got a scholarship right before my senior year started. They say if you don't have a scholarship by your senior year then you won't get a scholarship. But I know of Braydon Ross who earned a scholarship in his senior season."

Perry's preferred position is pitcher. He has a variety of pitches at his command including 2-seam fastball, 4-seam fastball, curveball, 12-6 curveball, a tight-spin curveball, slider, circle changeup and a slow changeup.

"I like the competition of baseball," he said. "I like building friendships and bonds with teammates, coaches and opposing players. Keeping cool on the mound is the hardest part about being a pitcher. It is important to keep cool in order to dominate on the mound."

University of Arkansas at Rich Mountain is planning on using Perry as a pitcher. His scholarship was for pitching, however the coach may choose to use Perry in other ways such as middle infield, third base, first base, catcher or outfield. He throws and bats right handed.

"I am going to miss the love that Hughes Springs has for all of the players," Perry said. "The community is not big, but all of the love they have for the sports teams is going to be missed."

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