Andover Central’s Cooper Elliot wears No. 13 on his baseball uniform, like Ryan Jones, his favorite, friendly Shocker outfielder.
Elliot grew up rooting for the Shockers from the outfield hill at Eck Stadium. Jones played right and center field for Wichita State from 2007-10.
Elliot remembers his personality as much as his playing ability. Jones talked with fans and signed autographs. Between games of a doubleheader, he joined them on the hill for a chat.
“I thought that was cool,” Elliot said. “He was my role model.”
Those memories led Elliot to give Wichita State a non-binding commitment in December. Unlike most athletes, however, he kept that information off his rarely used Twitter account.
“He never puts anything on social media,” said Terry Elliot, his father and a former Shocker catcher.
Cooper Elliot, a senior middle infielder who hits left-handed, grew up at Eck Stadium and that’s not much of an exaggeration. His birthday is April 19 and his father remembers him celebrating his birthday at a tailgate party almost every season. Terry Elliot, who played at WSU from 1984-86 and later worked as color man on radio broadcasts, said he stayed out of his son’s college decision.
“I totally left it up to him,” Terry Elliot said. “You always hope that your kid has the ability to play at that level. It’s a pretty cool thing.”
Dad didn’t need to intervene. Cooper Elliot planned to wear that uniform. He said he didn’t seriously look at any other schools and enjoyed his recruiting relationship with WSU coach Todd Butler.
“Wichita State has been my dream,” he said. “I’m just excited to continue on and make my own legacy.”
Elliot (6-foot-2, 165 pounds) earned All-Class 4A-Division I honors as a utility player and All-Metro honors from The Wichita Eagle. He hit .558 and stole seven bases. His mother, Terri, gets credit for the right-hander hitting with his left and getting a step or two start toward first base each at-bat.
“It was all her,” Cooper Elliot said. “Mom put the bat in my left hand.”
Also add Amarillo (Texas) High shortstop Aaron Haase to the list of known non-binding commitments from the class of 2018. Athletes can sign a letter of intent beginning Nov. 8.
Sticking with the Shockers — A coaching change introduced only the tiniest bit of doubt into Jada Peacock’s mind about Wichita State women’s basketball.
New coach Keitha Adams aggressively swept that doubt away earlier this spring. Peacock, a 5-foot-6 guard from Allen (Texas), gave WSU a non-binding commitment last year as a junior. The departure of coach Jody Adams-Birch in late January didn’t change her mood.
“I fell in love with the campus,” she said. “The people are welcoming and it’s a really nice environment.”
Keitha Adams, hired in late March, watched Peacock play in April in Arizona and throughout the summer. Soon after an early talk, Peacock decided to stick with the Shockers. She plans to sign in November.
“She watched me play twice and said they’re two feet in on me,” Peacock said. “They’ve been very supportive.”
Wichita State recently received a non-binding commitment from East Lansing (Mich.) forward Jaida Hampton, who earned honorable mention Class A honors from the Associated Press and third-team All-Class A honors from the Detroit News.
Worth noting — Wichita State hired Zach Margolis as assistant strength and conditioning coach. Margolis, previously at Cal State Stanislaus, will work with women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, women’s tennis and womens’ golf. … Former Shocker men’s basketball assistant Charlie Sprott, 67, died Sunday. Sprott, of Liberty, Texas, worked at WSU from 1992-96 under coach Scott Thompson. … Shocker Fitness resumes Monday to start a 10-week session (5:30 a.m. or 5:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at Cessna Stadium. Cost is $55 for 30 sessions. For information call (316) 253-4539.
Wichita State’s 2018 baseball recruits
Known non-binding commitments from the class of 2018 for Wichita State baseball. Athletes are allowed to sign a letter of intent beginning Nov. 8.
RHP — Miller Pleimann, Fayetteville (Ark.) East
RHP — Calvin Marley, Fort Collins (Colo.) Fossil Ridge
OF — David Van Vooren, Bedford (Texas) Trinity
RHP — Cameron Hill, The Colony (Texas)
OF — Adam Stephenson, Southlake (Texas) Carroll
IF — Jacob Plastiak, Tinley Park (Ill.) Andrew
RHP — Matthew McWilliams, Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Summit Christian
LHP — Cal Carver, San Antonio Reagan
OF — Seth Morrow, San Antonio Reagan
C — Josh Killeen, San Antonio Reagan
SS — Aaron Haase, Amarillo (Texas)
INF — Cooper Elliot, Andover Central