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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Baseball team is Cooke-ing up a Hale-storm

Ellie Claire Gordon
Austin Hale and Billy Cooke led the team to a District Championship against Bishop Moore and hope to become Regional Champions.

To be called a “National Champion” would be exhilarating, but to share the title with your best friend would make it that much sweeter.  For Billy Cooke and Austin Hale, that dream is a reality.

These senior teammates have played baseball together for their entire lives and recieved the National Championship with their travel team.

The Cooke-Hale dynamic duo started back in 7th grade on the Junior High baseball squad.

Two years ago, they began to play travel ball together.

“It’s a huge advantage having a guy like Austin [Hale] that I’m really familiar with because it firms up my confidence,” Cooke said.

Hale and Cooke think of themselves as brothers; they admit their relationship has had ups and downs but realize that their bond only makes their team better.

“Sometimes he can really irritate me, but that’s bound to happen with such a good friend like Billy [Cooke],” Hale said.

The two have come a long way since being pulled up to varsity in their freshman year.  Currently, they’re both captains, and the team is first in the district.Varsity Baseball Coach Derek Wolfe has seen their chemistry first hand.  He has coached them for their entire high school baseball careers.

“They know how to be in the right spot at the right time,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe added to his high praise of Hale and Cooke by commenting on how well they play together.

He talked about how they have known each other’s abilities since they were young.

“Austin and Billy seem like they’ve grown up together, and in a sense they really have,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe said that leadership is definitely a strength of theirs, rating Hale and Cooke an “A+” this season.

He compared their leadership roles to a pair of his former players, Brad Stinson and Max Moroff respectively.  Wolfe said Hale reminds him of Stinson because of his vocal leadership on the team.

The inspiration behind Cooke’s comparison is his quiet mouth but loud talent.

“You really don’t notice [Cooke] until he gets on first, and then he steals second and third,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe’s comparisons don’t end there.

“If [Cooke] had to be a video game he’d be Assassin’s Creed.  Hale would be the loud mouth on Call of Duty,” Wolfe said.

In the summer before their senior year, Hale and Cooke’s AAU baseball team, the Orlando Scorpions, won the National Championship for rising seniors.  Hale was the team’s starting catcher, and Cooke was starting in the outfield.

At first, the odds didn’t seem in their favor.

“Baseball is one of those games that on any given day any team can win,” Hale said.

There were 280 teams in the National tournament, and the Scorpions had to win nine straight games to eventually claim the title.

“My favorite memory was definitely after we won, because we all rushed the field [as a team],” Cooke said.

Both of these seniors are committed to play at the collegiate level.

They had many options to play in college, but Hale ultimately committed to the Stetson University as a catcher, and Cooke committed to the University of Coastal Carolina as an outfielder.

They chose their respective schools based on the notion that they would get playing time immediately.

“[The] recruiting process was fun but at the same time nerve-racking,” Hale said.

Hale was nervous due to the fact that he never knew which coaches were watching him or if they were even watching at all.

Hale and Cooke didn’t get to where they are today on their own.  As anyone would say, in addition to sheer talent, connections are vital in getting to the next level.

Coach Wolfe played a big role in networking for Hale and Cooke.  Wolfe helped lay the bait for scouts and caught Stetson and Coastal Carolina hook, line and sinker.

Beyond college, they both aspire to be drafted by a Major League program.  After their junior year in college is when Hale and Cooke are expecting to get picked up.  They’re hopeful and eager to play in the pros one day.

Although the final games in the season approach, Hale and Cooke haven’t started getting sentimental.

“We still have work to do,” Hale and Cooke both said.

The Varsity baseball team is highly ranked in the state, and both seniors believe that the sky is the limit.  Hale and Cooke hope that the State Championship is their final destination.


Austin Hale and Billy Cooke led the team to a District Championship against Bishop Moore and hope to become Regional Champions.
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