MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) For McGregor High School senior Cooper McCauley, a.k.a. Coop to his coaches, learning is everything.
Whether it's as an offensive lineman on the football field, or as a student in the top 10 percent of his class, he always wants to be productive. He traces that mindset back to when he first met his current defensive line coach Jeff Burgess, as well as one of his former coaches, Rod Springer.
"I'd get down to practice where my dad was at, the old elementary school, and (Springer) asked me, 'Son, what'd you learn at school today,'" McCauley said. "If I came back and said, 'I didn't learn anything,' he'd be mad. That started to get me thinking that maybe I should learn something every day."
An older member of McCauley's family piqued his learning interest when he was younger. His grandfather, Greg, was also a handyman. Whether it was constructing aircraft parts, grills or chicken coups, the young Cooper couldn't get enough visual experience.
Aside from being McGregor High School's student body class president and FCA president, there are two other things about Cooper that he says he can't imagine absent from his life -- hunting and fishing.
He was recently accepted into Texas Tech and will major in wind energy and minor in ag business, so a lot more education is in his future. But he's always thankful for the life lesson taught by Rhett Hering, who passed away in December of 2015.
"I can remember how this community just came together, and we came together for one common goal," McCauley said. "We had the (Rhett Revolution) and it was something that was good.
"Go somewhere and be somebody. That's something that Rhett would say. We try to do that. That's something that I've kind of brought upon myself."
"You hear guys say it all the time. If I had a daughter -- I have two young boys -- but if I had a daughter, (Cooper) is the guy I want her to bring home," McGregor Associate Head Coach Scott Carey said. "People say that all the time, but I truly mean that. If I was to go on vacation, I'd leave my children with Cooper. That says a lot, because he's responsible and I know he'd take care of them."