Coaches were chosen for the award based on their team’s success and the influence it has in the community.
Cook, along with Marist swimming coach Terry Blish, Blessed Trinity volleyball coach Paul Stevens and Wesleyan volleyball coach Ted Russell, will be recognized at the 10th annual awards banquet Thursday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
“Any time you can get an award is an honor,” Cook said. “It’s also a reflection of those all around you, and it’s a reflection of our coaching staff and the players who have done well over the last couple of years.”
Cook has put a stamp on the Kell football program since coming over from South Cobb in 2008. He’s 45-14 overall and has had winning seasons and playoff appearances in each of the five seasons he’s coached. Cook led the Longhorns to an undefeated regular season in 2010, en route to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals.
Last fall, Kell was perfect in region play, and its lone setback of the regular season came against east Cobb rival Lassiter. The Longhorns made it to the second round of the state playoffs, where they lost a high-scoring 61-42 decision to eventual state champion Gainesville.
Off the field, the members of the Kell football team are active volunteers at Horizon Field, assisting disabled children at the Acworth sports facility for children with special needs. They’ve also donated $18,000 to the WellStar Cancer Council over the last five years in the name of the school’s namesake, Carlton “Corky” Kell, the late Cobb County athletic director and Wheeler football coach.
Ten male athletes and nine female athletes will also be awarded at the banquet. Lassiter linebacker James Rowe and Mount Paran Christian running back Douglas Legg are among the male athletes, while Pope basketball standout Andrea Brown and Kell lacrosse midfielder Emily Swift are among the females.
The senior athletes were chosen based on their character, as well as their athletic and academic performances.
Brown reached the 1,000-point plateau this season with the Pope basketball team, leading the Lady Greyhounds into the playoffs by averaging 21 points and shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Swift was named Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year last season after leading Kell to the first postseason victory of its program’s history. She had 101 goals in 20 games, adding 173 groundballs and 45 interceptions.
Swift has put up similar numbers this season, and she and her Lady Longhorn teammates will host Decatur in the first round of the Class A-AAAAA state tournament today.
Rowe was a part of an aggressive front seven that helped Lassiter go undefeated in the regular season before falling to Brookwood 24-21 in overtime in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state tournament. He finished with 47 tackles and three sacks.
Legg rushed for 231 yards and scored a touchdown on 39 carries for Mount Paran.