THE 411: John Cooper's dual-sport star having breakout season


John Cooper School's dual-sport star Jaxson Pierce has had a breakout season so far toting the rock for the Dragons, who are undefeated.

In the Spring, he will trade his shoulder pads for a catcher's mitt as he goes behind the plate for the Cooper baseball team.

VYPE caught up with one of the city's top private school athletes to pick his brain about his high school career and beyond in the 411.

VYPE: You are blowing up this season. What's been the difference this year?

PIERCE: I've been really invested this season in looking at the film and getting to know the other team, which helps me a lot during game time when I need to make quick decisions. I've been improving on my open-field speed and hitting the hole harder to make myself a very hard back to bring down.

VYPE: People know you for football and baseball. What is something people might NOT know about you?

PIERCE: One thing people might not know about me is that I really like time to myself to keep a positive attitude in life.

VYPE: In football, who do you pattern your game after?

PIERCE: I like to watch football and it doesn't matter who is on. I love to watch backs like Josh Jacobs, Trent Richardson and Adrian Peterson. I try to model myself after them because all of those backs have power but also have the ability to make a man miss.

VYPE: How about baseball? Who's is your model?

PIERCE: For baseball, I really like the hitting style of Vladdy (Guerrero) Jr. On the defensive aspect, I love watching clips of David Ross and his mechanics behind the plate.

VYPE: How does baseball help you in football and vice versa?

PIERCE: Baseball helps me in football with hand-eye coordination. I say this because I am a catcher and I am always catching pitchers which really helps with my abilities to catch balls in football. Football also helps me with baseball because since I'm catching, I have to block balls all the time. Football helps me get used to the feeling of being hit.

VYPE: Five years from now, what are you doing?

PIERCE: If I end up not playing a college sport, I see myself going into an engineering field because math and science are my strong suits in school. I have also thought about becoming a surgeon.

VYPE: What's more fun, scoring a touchdown or hitting a home run?

PIERCE: I definitely think scoring a touchdown is a better feeling because it's a feeling that after six years of playing football that I still can't describe. It's unreal.