Baseball Student Section ‘Cooper’s Town’ Reignites Member Involvement
With the new season officially underway, the slate of spring sports are finally gaining attention on campus. For fans of the Diamond Lions, much of this attention stems from their student section, affectionately known as Cooper’s Town, and how the organization is beginning this baseball season with a new and improved hustle.
The student section was conceived in 2014 when Rob Cooper arrived in Happy Valley and was officially named the new head coach for men’s baseball. The excitement surrounding the future of the team created a new motivation for students to unite at baseball games upon his arrival. Unfortunately, the involvement never materialized as the active students had hoped, so most of the organization’s activity ended with the 2014 season.
A lot has changed since Cooper’s Town fell flat two years ago.
According to current Cooper’s Town President Ryan O’Sullivan, the organization is now the fastest growing student section in all of college baseball, despite low attendance at Medlar Field year after year. Because the team lacked a strong fan base in the past, the executive leaders and members of Cooper’s Town decided it was their duty to remedy this issue and re-establish interest in Penn State baseball. This effort is finally in motion thanks to help from the dedicated leaders of the basketball student section, the Legion Of Blue.
“With Penn State basketball’s student section re-branding itself, many within that organization decided to head a project to reignite Cooper’s Town,” said Cooper’s Town Secretary Jordan Williams. “A handful of students sat down one February night in the HUB and born-again was Cooper’s Town. Now, when entering beautiful Medlar Field, Cooper’s Town can be seen close to the opposing team’s dugout, making it difficult for visitors, as well as cheering on their favorite Diamond Lions.”
The executive board is working to develop and grow the student section into a large, successful organization that is a source of distraction for the visiting team and of support for the Nittany Lions.
“Cooper’s Town, to me, is a group of individuals that dedicate their time to come to the games in the cold and come up with crazy things to say or do,” said Vice President Shannon Jacob. “A majority of them, including me, fell in love with the sport over the years and want to support Penn State baseball by creating an outstanding atmosphere full of heckling and cheers. We strive to think outside of the box to provide some effective, comical relief and pressure that will hopefully spark more individuals to come and join us.”
Cooper’s Town can attribute its recent success to the executive leaders’ advertisement of the rebuilding process. Freshmen are a primary target audience, so a solid foundation will last for years to come. The ticket price doesn’t hurt either. This base structure, combined with $3 student tickets, giveaways, lucrative deals, and the marketing campaign for the student section, makes it stronger than ever.
“With more than 40,000 students at University Park, Cooper’s Town hopes to bring their attention to baseball, which can be a relaxing getaway from the stress of school,” Williams said. “Cooper’s Town has grown in numbers every game this season, and hopes to fill up numerous sections at the park by the end of the year. At the end of the day, Cooper’s Town hopes that success on the field will also translate to success in gaining interest in Penn State baseball.”
Cooper’s Town shows this year that it is a heavily-involved student section that can respectfully stand beside other notable campus student sections, and it’s clear that members lead a reputable charge to recruit Penn State baseball fans.
“[Cooper’s Town] is an incredibly special organization because we are a bunch of people who have a strong passion for both baseball and Penn State,” O’Sullivan said. “No matter what, win or lose, we are a large group of friends who are lucky enough to sit around outside enjoying quality baseball and even better company.”
The baseball team’s next home game is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. against Purdue.