Rashad Cooper wasted no time making his presence felt during his first season as the starting quarterback of the H.D. Woodson Warriors' football team. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Cooper led the Warriors to an 11-3 record and the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association championship in 2013, throwing for 1,769 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 500 yards and nine touchdowns.
As Cooper continues preparing for his upcoming senior campaign, he spoke with PressBoxDC.com about his enthusiasm for football, his on-field accomplishments and his dual-threat playmaking ability.
PressBox: How did you first get involved in football?
Rashad Cooper: I first started playing at the age of 5, and my father first got me involved. I was watching it on TV and told him, 'That looks fun.' My first year, I loved it, and I just wanted to continue, so I just kept playing.
PB: What do you like most about the sport?
RC: Like I said, I like the sport because it is fun. I also like that it is so competitive. I like to be physical on the field. Then, I like winning, too, so all of that is just positive for me.
PB: What did it mean to you to win the DCIAA championship during your first season as the starting quarterback for H.D. Woodson?
RC: It felt good. I mean, I knew I could do it. I knew that a lot of people were depending on us, because H.D. Woodson has a lot of history. I just wanted to do it for all of the alumni, the coaching staff, me and my team. We all wanted to win, and we all had that same goal. We just didn't want to go out without winning the whole thing. I really wanted the seniors to go out with a bang as well.
PB: Although you're a dual-threat quarterback, do you consider yourself a pass-first quarterback, a run-first quarterback or a combination of the two?
RC: I'm really both. Whatever is needed at the time, then that's what I do. If I need to run and get to the sticks for a first down, then I'll take off and run. If I have to throw the ball, then that's what I'll do. My legs have been helping me a lot, because I'm able to draw defenses up. When I do that, it allows for the defense to open up, and that's when I can pass the ball.
PB: How do you top what you accomplished last season?
RC: I just have to work harder. I just can't be satisfied with what we did. We just have to come back, keep working and improve.