TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — She’s not done soaring with the Lady Eagles yet, but Sidney Cook’s future will be flying with the Falcons.
On Thursday afternoon in the Eastern High School lobby, just a few months before beginning her senior softball season, Cook signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Bowling Green State University softball team.
“It still seems really surreal,” Cook said. “I’ve been working since I was 4-or-5 years old and it has all come up to this point, I can’t believe its here. I have so many people to thank. Coach (Bryan) Durst and Coach (D.J.) Maxon have been with me since I was 7-or-8, and I’m beyond thankful.”
Through three seasons of varsity softball, Cook has helped the Lady Eagles to a 56-15 record, including 44-4 in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division. The Lady Eagles have won two league championships and two sectional titles in Cook’s first three years.
“I’ve known Sidney and coached her up through the ranks,” EHS head coach Bryan Durst said. “I’ve seen her develop into really a good softball player. I think her biggest asset is just her being a good person. She’s every bit as good a person as she is a softball player, she’s always been a thrill to have on the team. You always know what kind of effort you’re going to get out of her, she’s one of those kids that you’ve always been able to depend on in the good times, or the bad times. It’s been really neat to see her improve over the years.”
In her first three seasons, Cook has been named to the first team on both the All-TVC Hocking and All-District 13 lists every year.
As a freshman, Sidney was the TVC Hocking co-Offensive Most Valuable Player, and was an All-Ohio honorable mention. In her junior year, Cook was the outright Offensive MVP in the league, while earning a second team All-Ohio spot.
Defensively, Cook has become a mainstay at shortstop for the Lady Eagles, but has also spent time at first base and as the pitcher.
“We’ve asked her to play multiple positions and I think when she goes on to the next level, it’s really going to be nice for her,” said Durst. “She can play first base, she can play shortstop, who knows, she might even be able to play in the outfield. I think she has expanded her horizons big time and that’s really going to help her in the future.”
On offense, Cook has a career .521 batting average, with 111 hits to her credit. With the 10 home runs she blasted as a junior, her career total for round-trippers currently sits at 18. She also has 33 doubles and trio of triples to her credit.
Cook has scored a 101 runs and recorded 100 RBIs, while picking up 46 stolen bases. Opposing pitchers have walked Sidney 31 times, while striking her out just seven times in three seasons. As a junior, Cook had a career-best .704 on-base percentage.
“Going in as a college player, I guess you don’t really know what to expect,” said Durst. “With her work ethic and the skill set that she has, I think the potential is going to be there for her to play soon. I’m not real familiar with their program, but she’s the type of person that could fit in their system really well.”
Bowling Green State University is NCAA Division I school, located in Wood County, Ohio. The Falcons compete in the Mid-American Conference and are in the East Division.
“There were other schools that I checked out, but when I went and visited Bowling Green, I meet the coaching staff, I got to look around campus and I fell in love with it,” said Cook. “It was a great place and I knew that was where I wanted to be and where I wanted to spend four years studying whatever I choose.”
Cook — who is leaning toward a major in biology — will be joining BGSU program, led by head coach Sarah Willis. The Falcons were fifth in the MAC East in 2017 and improved their overall win-total by six from the previous year.
“Coach Willis is awesome, just from talking to the other girls I know that she’ll push me to be the best that I can be,” said Cook. “That’s something I value a lot, I don’t want a coach that’s going to be really lackadaisical and lets me slack off. Coach (Katie) Reiff and Coach (Lauren) Gambone are great as well, they’re right with Coach Willis on what we need to do. They’ve been great helping me through this whole process.
“I want to continue to contribute to my team and do my part,” Cook added. “Whether its cheering them on from the bench or being a big hitter like I have been here. Whether our goals are winning the MAC title or just winning a game, I need to do my part.”
Sidney — the daughter of Keith and Lynne Cook — is also an all-star in the classroom, boasting a 4.0 grade-point-average, good enough for fourth in the EHS class of 2018, while earning a 24 on her ACT.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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