JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 20, 2013) – Former Dobyns-Bennett standout Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) said having the chance to play collegiate baseball close to home was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and the two-way player made his dream a reality as he signed his national letter of intent to play for East Tennessee State University starting this fall.
Cook, a multisport athlete for the Tribe, lettered in both football and baseball, while his father Donnie was inducted into the ETSU Hall of Fame back in 2002 as he was an All-American football player for the Bucs from 1979-82.
“We are thrilled to have Chris Cook join our baseball program at ETSU,” said head coach Tony Skole. “Our staff is excited to have another great player from tradition-rich Dobyns-Bennett High School and coach Ryan Wagner’s program. Over the last couple of years, Chris has been one of the top athletes in the state. His accomplishments speak for themself. Being a football guy myself, I loved watching Chris play quarterback and then seeing all those intangibles on the gridiron transfer to the diamond. Chris’s athleticism will allow him to be able to do a lot of things for us as he can play any infield position, he has tremendous speed, and he can also perform at a high level on the mound. Our fans are going to really enjoy seeing Chris compete. Chris is a magnificent student-athlete, and will be a welcome addition to our baseball family and campus community at ETSU.”
Cook brings a winning pedigree with him to ETSU has he helped guide Dobyns-Bennett to consecutive Big 8 Conference and Region 1-AAA titles. With his success at D-B and the Bucs most recently winning the Atlantic Sun Championship, the title run helped play a factor in Cook’s decision making with the Blue and Gold.
“Winning the A-Sun championship really had an impact on my decision,” said Cook. “I know they are a competitive bunch and Coach Skole is a really good coach. After I took my visit, I thought it was a good fit. I felt ETSU was the right place for me.”
During his last two seasons with the Tribe, Cook hit over .440 with 29 doubles, seven triples, 10 home runs, 100 runs scored, and 66 RBI, which led to the two-way player receiving back-to-back first team all-conference accolades. In 2012, Cook was named the District 1-AAA Most Valuable Player as he led D-B to the district tournament title. Meanwhile, as a pitcher, the 6-foot, 1-inch, 185-pound right-hander went 6-3 with a 2.35 ERA for the Tribe.
Prior to making the move to shortstop his senior season, Cook spent time as a second baseman.
“Hopefully I can get some playing time in the middle infield, along with get the opportunity to pitch some at ETSU,” added Cook.
Meanwhile, Dobyns-Bennett head coach Ryan Wagner knows Cook can make an impact to the Buccaneer program.
“Chris is another player that will definitely add to the program at ETSU,” added Wagner. “Chris’s hard work and dedication will allow him to hopefully see time on the field very soon for the Bucs.”
Cook becomes the seventh player to join ETSU’s 2013 recruiting class and the second Kingsport product, joining Sullivan South’s Jamin McCann.
For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.
Information from Steve Wilmoth at TriCitiesSports.com was used in this report.