Captain of the James Island teams which won the 1998 and 1999 Tournament of Champions and the 1999 National Academic Championship. Joined the NAC Hall of Fame after his team's runner-up finish at the 1998 NAC, and is apparently the all-time high scorer at the tournament. Enjoyed slamming his hand onto desks after getting questions right.
In 1999, Beall had this to say about Cooper, who displaced Amanda Goad in his favor:
- James Island's Ryan Cooper, referred to this year as "the living legend", had become in 1998 only the second player ever to be elected to the National Academic Championship Hall of Fame as a junior. This year he became the lifetime high point-scorer in tournament history. Baseball had Babe Ruth. Hockey had Wayne Gretzky. The National Academic Championship had Ryan Cooper. There has never been a better player than this young man who is headed for Brigham Young University.