Not many can say they’ve grown up with their best friend and gone on to play collegiate baseball with them. From T-ball to Div. I baseball, Alex Copeland and Aaron Mason have had the privilege
Now juniors, Alex and Aaron play on the ACU baseball team together and joined the team for the first time this season. They also played on the same team at Ford Scott Community College from 2012-14.
Even further back, they both attended Broken Arrow High School where they went to two 5A state championships in a row, winning one.
But their history doesn’t stop there. When they were 8, they played coach-pitch baseball together. After growing up living just 15 minutes away from each other in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, these two are still climbing the baseball ladder and have been through it all, together.
Mason, the left-handed pitcher, said having each other around as teammates over the years, especially while playing at the high school and collegiate level, has been a huge help for both of them toward their respective games in their pursuit of bigger and better things playing baseball.
“We’re very competitive in what we do,” Mason said. “I’m a competitive pitcher, he’s a competitive catcher. He’ll ask me how his swing looks and I’m not a professional guy on hitting, but I know enough about him to help him out and he knows enough to help me out. We also push each other in the offseason to get in shape and get ready for the next season, so not only are we close-knit as a catcher and a pitcher, but we all also push each other to be the best that we possibly can.”
Copeland is a catcher, and that’s allowed him to directly connect with Mason on a different level than anyone else on the diamond. This has directly affected their relationship as best friends over the years as they try to continue to help each other become better players.
“I know everything about him on the mound, from the way he comes set to how he delivers,” Copeland said. “If he throws a good pitch, I know what it looks like coming out of his hand, and when he throws a bad pitch, I know exactly what he did to not make his pitch. I can tell by looking at him what pitch he wants to throw and call it, and that’s just something that catching for him since we were little has done for us.”
But the results on the field have only been half the equation. With both men growing up together in the same schools, they also have had the benefit of being able to lean on each other in the classroom to keep each other accountable educationally, which has helped both of them become better students, especially now as roommates.
“I definitely can sometimes be a little lackadaisical on the schoolwork side, and thank goodness that (Aaron) will get onto me,” Copeland said. “I mean, I would eventually get things like quizzes and papers done, but I get them done at a better time and in a better time-frame with him over there yelling at me to do my homework or get up for class, so that’s definitely helped a lot.”
The two recognize their situation is fairly unique and are thankful they’ve made it this far as a pair.
“We’re lucky to have what we’ve had,” Mason said. “The chemistry we have, I mean, it’s really fun to think back. I’ve known this kid since I was 6 or 7 years old, and I’ve played with him since I was 8 years old. We’ve always hung out on the weekends, we go duck hunting together, I mean, we do everything together, so it’s just really awesome to think that we’ve come this far together.”
Both are excited about what the future holds.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Copeland said. “This guy will be in my wedding someday and this is pretty cool, just the experience that we can go back and talk about how in every game in our past, we’ve been there together. It’s a special thing, and we’re very blessed.”