By Mike Beas
In eighth grade, Kaylin Cook injured her right foot while playing basketball, effectively putting the brakes on her hoop career.
Such misfortune, however, produced a positive effect.
A soccer player since kindergarten, Cook learned to use her left foot to kick and control a ball, skills the Cascade eldest continues to use as a starting forward for a 7-to-1 caddy team. 5-
1 and ranked 15th in class 1A.
“Kaylin was our top scorer last year and is just
a good boy,” Cascade coach Jeff Franklin said. “Teams have kind of adapted to her, but she’s still having a great season.”
If he was still playing basketball, Cook would still be the right-hand jumper. In football, the left foot is the right foot.
Cook is the team’s third-leading scorer with five goals and tied with schoolmate Grace Franklin for first place in assists with four. Cook’s selflessness has benefited second-year forward Creedance Chittenden, who leads the way with 12 goals, and rookie Anna Burns, who has six.
An excellent student, Cook, the eldest of Jon and Melinda Cook’s four children, maintains a grade point average of 4.39, ranking her second in her class academically.
Over the past two seasons, the senior has scored 15 goals and provided eight assists in Cascade’s 2-0 loss at Danville on September 16.
Her role may have changed, but she hasn’t.
“People know second time has to be careful of it,” Coach Franklin said. “Kaylin is a complete player. A tough kid who plays her heart out in every game.
Cook did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: How long have you been studying in the Cascade school system and what do you enjoy the most?
A: I’ve been on it since kindergarten. I like the small community vibe. I know everyone and everyone knows me. It’s a real family environment, which I like.
Q: You are very active in your community both as a soccer official
for local youth games throughout the county and at Hazelwood Christian Church in Clayton. Why
is giving back to your region so important to you?
A: I would like to be a school social worker. I love working with the children in the community and getting
to know them. I love talking to people at church, seeing the impact we have.
Q: Do you know what your plans are after graduating from Cascade?
A: I look at Grace College, Taylor University and Johnson University in (Kimberlin Heights) Tennessee,
but I haven’t decided where I’m going. I will specialize in social work and counselling.
I would prefer to work with kids, but that depends on where life takes me.
After an injury in eighth grade, Cascade senior footballer Kaylin Cook taught
herself to kick with her left foot instead of her right foot, a skill she uses on the court today. (Picture by
By Mike Beas