For The Love of The Game


    Natasha Worley
    The Nashville News

    NASHVILLE – Nashville High School graduate Alan Copeland formed a love for America’s pastime, first by watching games on television as a child with his family, and then playing the sport himself starting at the age of four.
    His early interests in being outside, being active, and being part of a team have led to his 19-year-long legacy of playing baseball for the Nashville Scrappers and the Harding University Bisons.
    Copeland, Infielder/Pitcher for the Harding Bisons of Searcy, graduated from Nashville High School in 2011. He is a senior Finance major at Harding this year. After graduation, he will be interning with White and McGowan, a financial planning and consultant firm in Little Rock. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing, and hunting in the fall.
    When asked about what influenced him to choose Harding, he stated that he never intended to choose Harding at all.
    “I had always said that I didn’t want to go there. I had a couple of places I could have gone to play, but I hadn’t made up my mind yet. On our way to the State Baseball Tournament my senior year of high school, we stopped to practice at Harding’s field. The coaching staff was there, and they watched the practice. Afterwards, the hitting coach gave me his card and told me to call him after our tournament. I did, I went for a visit, they offered, and I signed with them a few weeks later.”
    Copeland’s favorite part of the game is less about the game itself, but more so those he plays it with.
    “I would say my favorite part of the sport would be being able to go out and try to accomplish a goal with a group of guys who you love and have worked extremely hard with and for. Baseball is a tough sport to play, more mentally than physically. But it is a lot easier when you are around a bunch of guys who genuinely care about each other.”
    This plays into the highlights of Copeland’s baseball career, of which the upmost, he says, will come in early June in the World Series.
    “Honestly, the highlights are the guys that I’ve played with and the coaches that have helped me. The friendships and bonds you form from being around the guys and coaching staff is what I will keep with me forever. I won’t remember the homeruns or walk-off hits, or plays that I’ve made or whatever it may be – I’ll remember the relationships.”
    When asked about who has influenced him most, his grandfather, John Ross, tops the list.
    “My grandfather has influenced me more than he could imagine or more than I even realize probably. But he’s just always been someone I looked up to. I think he’s been that way for a lot of people, but I am lucky enough to be able to call him my grandfather. I can probably count on two hands the amount of games he has missed in my career. Even when he can’t be there, he and Nana are watching on the computer. He has coached me and just been there to watch, and I wouldn’t trade the memories made that baseball has provided for the world. My father and mother also influenced me, as well as my Nana, along with friends and other family members.”
    Alan Copeland is the son of Janet Copeland, teacher at Nashville Elementary School, and Rick Copeland, salesman at York Gary Autoplex. He has one sister, Jana Copeland, who also attends Harding University as a Nursing major.

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