By Mike Beas
As an eighth-grader, Kaylin Cook sustained an injury to her right foot while playing basketball, effectively applying the brakes to her hoops career.
Such misfortune did produce a positive, however.
A soccer player since kindergarten, Cook learned to use her left foot to kick and control a ball, skills the Cascade senior continues to utilize as a starting forward for a Cadets squad that is 7-5-
1 and ranked 15th in Class 1A.
“Kaylin was our leading scorer last year and is just
a great kid,” said Cascade coach Jeff Franklin. “Teams have sort of adjusted to her, but she’s still having a great season.”
If still playing basketball, Cook would still be authoring jump shots right-handed. When it comes to soccer, the left foot is the right foot.
Cook is the team’s third-leading scorer with five goals and tied with classmate Grace Franklin for the top spot in assists with four. Cook’s unselfishness has benefitted the likes of sophomore forward Creedance Chittenden, who leads the way with 12 goals, and freshman Anna Burns, who has six.
An excellent student, Cook, the oldest of Jon and Melinda Cook’s four children, maintains a 4.39 grade point average, ranking her second in her class academically.
In the past two seasons, the senior has made 15 goals and dealt eight assists through Cascade’s 2-0 loss at Danville on Sept. 16.
Her role may have changed, but she hasn’t.
“People know the second time around to look out for her,” coach Franklin said. “Kaylin is a well-rounded player. A tough kid who plays her heart out every game.”
Cook did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: How long have you been a student in the Cascade school system, and what do you like most about it?
A: I’ve been part of it since kindergarten. I like the small community feel. 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 matches throughout the county and at the Hazelwood Christian Church in Clayton. Why
is giving back to your area so important to you?
A: I would love to be a school social worker. I love working with kids in the community and getting
to know them. I like getting to talk to people at church, getting to see the impact that we have.
Q: Do you know what your plans are after graduating from Cascade?
A: I’m looking at Grace College, Taylor University and Johnson University in (Kimberlin Heights) Tennessee,
but haven’t decided where I’m going. I’m going to major in social work and counseling.
I would prefer to work with kids, but it depends on where life takes me.
After an injury in eighth-grade Cascade senior soccer player Kaylin Cook taught
herself to kick left footed instead of right, a skill she uses on the field today. (Photo by
By Mike Beas