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A BYH to the dry-rainy poster (“When it rains it pours”). You conflate LOCAL weather with GLOBAL warming. Please get to...

WOODWARD: Cooper had knack for big impact

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Nelson Cooper with his wife, Mary Ann, during the Bo Run at Boyd Lee Park on Sept. 17, 2016.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

On April 25, 2013, Nelson Cooper sent me a message on Twitter.

“Gordon’s golf and ski is on fire really bad. Looks pretty bad,” Cooper wrote.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the information at first, but I trusted Cooper because of our many conversations in the D.H. Conley High School football press box and I already was in the newsroom working the sports night shift. I walked over to a news editor and told her that there might be breaking news brewing.

A few phone calls were made and we were able to get a short story in the next day’s newspaper. People thanked me, but it was Cooper who deserved the credit.

This was Nelson Cooper.

The man who seemed to be everywhere and involved in so many things around Greenville, especially sports related and presumably because he loved to be around people and help others, died of ALS on Thursday.

His role as a student advisor and teacher at East Carolina University catered to him making an impact on young people.

He also had a major part in starting men’s “F3” workouts in Greenville, based on fitness, fellowship and faith.

He was heavily involved in D.H. Conley athletics, often heard as the public address announcer at various games.

Cooper was a family man, and he took pride in his last name.

He also had a big impact on East Carolina baseball pitcher Evan Kruczynski, who is from Franklin, Wisc., and who was a student of Cooper’s. It was an honor for me to write a story in March about their friendship and how Cooper went to Clark-LeClair Stadium as much as possible this spring to watch the tall left-hander pitch, and how Kruczynski vowed to honor Cooper during his senior season.

In some ways, I viewed the story as a final thank you to Cooper for his years of graciousness.

(Link to story on Cooper, ECU baseball)

After I thanked Cooper for the news tip about the fire back in 2013, he shrugged it off and said he was glad to help.

“Tough loss. I hope they reopen,” he wrote.

Greenville was dealt a tough loss this week, but this also is the perfect time to share stories about Nelson Cooper and his unique impact.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

June 17, 2019

Post 39 slugger Caleb Morris' two homeruns, and team high five RBIs, led his team to victory in the final game of the Pitt County American Legion Showcase Sunday night. Post 39 defeated Pleasure Island Post 129, 10-1.

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June 16, 2019

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June 16, 2019

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June 16, 2019

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June 16, 2019

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June 16, 2019

It was yet another successful season for the D.H. Conley baseball team, led by longtime coach Jason Mills.

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June 14, 2019

Athletes from three local schools learned if they received the honor of being named to their sports All-Conference list in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. Take a look at who made the cut. 

BASEBALL 

11 players received all conference honors, with D.H. Conley leading the way with…

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Another batch of local high school athletes signed letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

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June 13, 2019

After recently seeing his D.H. Conley athletic career come to a close Shea Ward continues to improve his game on the diamond. The Pitt Community College commit is playing with the Post 39 Legion team this summer before joining the Bulldogs. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Ward about his…

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June 12, 2019

After fighting weather postponements last week, Post 39 and Farmville Post 151 finally had a chance to face off, with Post 39 walking away victorious, 11-1, in six innings.

Robbie O'Neal had a stellar performance for Post 39, picking up the win by tossing five strong innings. He earned 13…

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