News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws softball squad honors senior in final game

Cooper Alport's final at-bat lasted longer than any other last Friday at Reed Stadium.

Adding foul tip after foul tip to a full count, Cooper stayed alive for 14 pitches. She's a fighter, but it was almost as if she didn't want to leave - the moment, the season, her team; her community.

Cooper went 2-for-4 in the season finale, hitting a double and reaching second base a second time for her second hit, on an error by opponent Harrisburg. Both times, she came around to score, notching most of her team's three runs.

Although her final swing connected for a groundout, Cooper's season batting average is high enough for All-League honors, Coach Gary Barr said during a postgame ceremony celebrating Sisters Varsity Softball's one and only senior player.

Her teammates gifted her flowers, a necklace made from her favorite snacks, and a big balloon in the shape of her number, 7. Coach Barr quoted Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood:

"I picked this quote because I thought it was especially appropriate for Cooper: 'As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has – or ever will have; something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.' So with that in mind, I proudly introduce one of Sisters High School's very unique and wonderful students."

Cooper's mom, Becky Boots, dad, Desmond Boots, sophomore brother, Ivan, and little sister, Zoe, joined her out on the field as her softball family showed support from the stands.

Barr read Cooper's words, written for the occasion:

"First, I want to say how thankful I am to finish out my season with the most loving and outgoing group of girls. I have been the only kid in my grade to play softball through all four years of high school, which in some ways has been tough but has also brought me closer to every one of my teammates. That's the way it is. I will be graduating with an honors diploma at the end of the school year and heading to Boise State next fall to major in business marketing. I want to thank my coaches for always pushing me to do my best, and especially my teammates for keeping this season fun and full of jokes. To me, they all feel like my little sisters, and I'm so glad I got to share my last year playing softball with them."

Alport hasn't just played four years of softball. Asked what age she started in sports, Desmond said, 'Oh, probably 3, with soccer. She was skateboarding, too, probably around 5. She started softball at 6, in Bend. We moved to Sisters when she was 7 or 8, then she started playing Minors here at Little League, then Majors, and then all of school. I started coaching her here when she started in Minors at 8 years old. I coached her for a few years in softball."

Alport's sister, Zoe, now plays in the Minors. She and her Sisters Little League Softball teammates were among the first to embrace a teary-eyed Cooper after the game.

"Zoe looks up to Cooper, big time. She sees what her and her brother do; they're more mature, and she kind of follows suit. It's a big difference than when I saw Coop and Ivan grow up," Desmond said.

He thinks the girls can thank Mom for their natural athletic ability.

"Don't let her be modest here. She was a massive athlete," Desmond said. "Pretty competitive in ski racing and playing soccer in Hood River. She was pretty much First-Team, All-State, All-League for all the sports that she played in high school."

Becky said Cooper's high GPA helped her earn a WUE scholarship, enabling her to pay in-state tuition for her out-of-state university. She earns money and stays busy working as a server at Takoda's Restaurant & Lounge, and spends her free time with her boyfriend, Patrick Silva.

"They went out on a dirt bike ride the other day," said Becky.

"We like to eat, drive, shoot sometimes - just outdoor stuff. Anything she wants," Silva added.

Cooper said playing softball as the only senior this year brought her much closer to the rest of her teammates, and helped her build relationships with every one of them.

"Senior Night was hard to take in, as it would be my last time playing on the field with my girls and laughing with them in the dugout," said Cooper. "Having prom the day after Senior Night was definitely a highlight. I got to get ready with my closest friends, make flower bouquets, and take our last few pictures together before we head off to college."

She moves in on August 15.

"Having these two events this weekend made me realize how quickly time flies in high school, and to cherish every moment with your team and your friends before it's over."

"We have enjoyed being a small part of your life," Coach Barr said. "Cooper, you'll be greatly missed by the coaches and the team."


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