Freshman Joey Cook moved up to be starting JV quarterback in the 2019-2020 season because of his talent and leadership skills. Cook was excited that he had made the team because he had been practicing with JV for weeks and had devoted a lot of time to the team.
“Joey was dedicated to football even before he started playing on the team, throwing with his dad or grandfather, watching film, exercising-he’s all in,” Maureen Cook, Joey’s mother, said.
Cook wanted to play football for years before he was finally allowed to. Maureen Cook believed that football was a dangerous sport and preferred him to do a safer sport such as swimming. But when he started
to play, he became invested in the sport in many ways.
Cook has shown his dedication to football through his game play but also through small things he does for himself. Over the summer, Cook attended an invite-only National Football Academy camp in Tennessee where he picked up the habit of writing in a journal.
“I write in it whenever I find out something new about football, coverages for games, or about teams we will be facing,” Cook said.
This journal allowed Cook to develop as a writer and student in his English class.
“He is a very dedicated student,” English teacher Mackenzie Bedford said. “He is always paying attention, he is always well-behaved, and attentive to what we are doing.”
Another use of Cook’s journal is to better himself for the season, not just as a player but as a leader. One of Cook’s goals for this season is to become a vocal leader for the team and to lead by example. This quality is what led JV coach Tony Franceschini to know he was ready to be moved up.
“He is always talking players up when they mess up and telling them it will be alright,” Franceschini said. “He is the ultimate teammate.”
Cook’s leadership skills aren’t only recognized by his coaches and teammates but by upperclassmen on the varsity team.
“I would describe Joey as someone that leads by example and by voice,” senior Matthew Sargent said. “He’s not just a great player on the field but a great leader as well.”
With Cook’s leadership capabilities, he has been able to see that teamwork is key.
“Joey recognizes that any success on the field is a team success,” Maureen Cook said. “He has been fortunate to play with extremely talented teammates.”
Cook’s participation in team sports since he was five has given him the ability to not only be a strong teammate, but a knowledgeable one. His overall abilities and qualities would not be as developed if it weren’t for the sacrifices he had to make along the way. To be at the level that Joey is today, he had to make notable sacrifices that are visible to family.
“He sacrifices a lot—most of the time he has to choose football first over his friends,” freshman Katie Cook, Joey’s
By Stefania Bitton