(edition of Sunday, November 21, 2021)

Rhea County High School (RCHS) senior baseball player Cade Cook signed his national letter of intent to play for the Lee University Flames on Friday, November 12.

Family, friends, teammates, coaches and administrators joined Cook in the RCHS common area for his signing ceremony.

The two-time All-District 6-AAA Eagle center fielder was eager to complete the signing process and is eagerly awaiting the opportunity.

“I’m super excited. As soon as I got up there I felt right at home,” Cook said of playing for Lee. “I fell in love with the coaches, the program, all the players there. “up and off campus. I was excited after my first visit, and I was like, this is where I want to be. As soon as I got the chance, I signed up in June.”

Having his family, friends, teammates and everyone who is close to Cook and who has supported him throughout his life with him on his special day was very meaningful to the signer.

“It’s a great feeling. All of these people have helped me at some point in my life and made me who I am, ”Cook said. “They’ve helped me, both on and off the pitch, and it’s just great to see them all here today.”

Since picking up a glove, bat and ball for the first time at the age of three, Cook has been eagerly awaiting and grateful for the opportunity, as he will enter Lee in the fall of 2022 with one or more. two goals in mind.

“I want to get up there and play and prove myself,” Cook said. “They take the guys to the next level so hopefully that will be an option every time I finish my four years.

“I’m just excited. It all became real today, ”Cook said enthusiastically. “I am thankful and I am thankful to God for the abilities he has given me, and I am ready for it.”

Cook, a multisport athlete at RCHS and Spring City Middle School, playing basketball in his first year, said he went strictly to baseball in his second year so he could focus more on baseball.

Cook’s favorite moment at RCHS encompassed everything baseball and the Eagles’ team environment.

“Last year’s team was special and the year before too,” said Cook. “It was just that my whole career in high school, all the guys, the coaching staff, it was so much fun. We had great team chemistry. Baseball has been my favorite here.

RCHS Baseball Head Coach Rusty Ray recognized Cook’s strong work ethic by reaching a signing day as he takes pride in his player’s opportunity to play to the next level.

“Cade has been a starter every year here,” said Ray. “All of his hard work pays off, and it’s because of all the hard work he put in. When no one else in the world is there, he works there, because he knows what it takes. A lot of these guys here also know that because they’ve seen you do it, they see where you are now and you’ve passed it on to them, and I appreciate it.

“[Cade] is a man of character and that is the most important thing, ”continued Ray. “And these guys that grow up with you, been four years with them, especially if you’ve seen them grow up until they get to high school and then play with you for four years, you love them whether you like it or don’t. Cade is no exception. He and I have a pretty special bond and I’m really proud of it. […] We have a lot of fun stories and a lot of good times together and I can’t wait to have another race with you this year.

Cook plans to study physiotherapy while at Lee, as he said his interest in the field was sparked because he had to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation and wanted to help people. “I want to work with people and hopefully form a team and do physiotherapy through them,” Cook said.

Lee University is a private, non-profit, 4-year Christian university located in Cleveland, Tenn. The Flames compete in the Gulf South Conference (GSC), with teams including Shorter, Valdosta State, West Florida, Delta State, Alabama-Huntsville, West Georgia, Christian Brothers, Auburn-Montgomery, Mississippi College, Union, Montevallo and West Alabama.

Coach Ray and the Rhea County High School Eagle Baseball team would like to thank Volunteer Electric for their support of Eagle Baseball. Ray said, “VEC is integral to the success of our community! “

To see the video of Cook’s signing ceremony, visit The Herald-News Facebook page.

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