ACS’ Chloe Cook leads Lady Patriots after missed season due to COVID-19

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. – ACS lady Patriot Chloe Cook is in the midst of her senior year. In fact, she’s the team sole senior.

“I kinda have enjoyed being the only senior because it gives me that sense of, I have to be a leader and I need to do this for my team,” Cook said. “And it’s really made me step up in places that I didn’t know I could.”

Adversity is something Chloe has embraced throughout her entire high school career. Being the only senior on the roster may be a challenge, but nothing compares to a junior year.

“I lost my junior year due to COVID,” Cook said. “I had a lot of issues after the initial COVID and I’m still struggling some of those today.”

After testing positive for the virus, Chloe’s mother, Melisa never thought the virus would sideline her from sports for an entire school year.

“Yeah, wasn’t prepared at all for her to get as sick as she did,” Melisa Cook.  “I didn’t expect that you don’t expect a 17-year-old healthy athlete to have to deal with what she did, so it was challenging.”

“That broke me,” the dual-sport athlete said. “I thought it was the end of the world. I was thankful it wasn’t my senior year. But I was also thinking I’ve let my team down. This is when they need me. They need me to be there. And I can’t be there for them.”

But this did not stop me from supporting her team. Even though she couldn’t be on the floor due to long term COVID symptoms, she was at every game on the bench acting as a pseudo head coach.

“I want to coach and I get older,” Chloe Cook said. “And I think that really helped me see that that’s something I want to do. And it just helped me that if someone came off and this is what they needed to do, I could go up to him and be like, hey, instead of a coach harping on him, it was their teammate who getting played that year coming up and saying hey, you might want to try this next time.”

“I think back to last year as a junior not playing on the floor seems still impacted our team a lot because she was here every day,” ACS Lady Patriots Head Coach Greg Dunn said. “She’s like a player coach on the sidelines and she still was impacting our team, in her leadership and that kind of thing, even not dressing out. And again, this year, that’s even more.”

“She is such a sweet person and she’s such a great leader and we all look up to her,” teammate Jayleigh Steenbergen said.

A future head coach in the making flow. He is already inspiring others and delivering inspiring messages.

“Older guy like me, I’ve been around a long time in education and sometimes you learn a lot from the kids,” Dunn said. “You want to be their mentor and teach them but she’s one that I’ve learned she’s very mature and handled that situation a lot better than I would have.”

“Missing her whole junior year of basketball was tough on her physically and mentally, but she persevered, and she’s been really excited to get to play out her senior year,” Chloe’s mother said.

“Any day that you get to play appreciate it,” Chloe Cook said. “Love every second of it because it can be taken in the blink of an eye.”