"It's just wonderful," Hanlin said. "I've been really fortunate health-wise. I had a little problem last year, but I guess I'm too old and too ornery to let it get me down. So I got over it ... survived it all and got right back into it."
Hanlin got back into football. The Coopers of Hurricane, meanwhile, haven't missed a beat.
First it was Kyle Cooper who made the North-South roster. Then it was brother Cameron. Now, Zach is taking his turn as a projected starting cornerback for the South.
"With my older brothers playing in the game, it makes you look forward to playing in it," Zach Cooper said. "It's finally here."
Kyle is now 22 and playing linebacker for Robert Morris University. Cameron, 20, is playing wide receiver for Bethany College. Zach is headed to Robert Morris to join his older brother.
"The first time I watched Kyle play, I was excited that someone in my family was in an all-star game," Zach said on Tuesday. "Then watching Cam play, it made it a family tradition. I'm glad to be carrying it on."
Hank Williams Jr. would be proud. And get this: There are three more Coopers brothers - Matthew, who will be a junior; Lucas, who will be a freshman; and Jake, who will be in the seventh grade - on the way.
"I'd like to say I'm the best," Zach said. "My goal was to be better than my older brothers. I'm sure my younger brothers will try to be better than me. I think it comes from our parents putting it in our heads that we were going to be athletes - and then us falling in love with it."
The sport. The all-star game.
"It's different because these [South teammates] are the guys you've been scheming against for the last three years," Zach said. "Now they're on your team and you have to learn to work with them. But these guys are a lot of fun. I'm just sad it's only going to be one game."
Yep. After all, they feel just like brothers.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.