Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Student Athlete of the Week: Ellie Cook

WHSV Student Athlete of the Week - Ellie Cook (Fort Defiance)
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - JMU women’s soccer is currently the top-ranked team in the Sun Belt. The Dukes’ next star is nearby at Fort Defiance High School.

Ellie Cook is a senior who committed to the Dukes program after gaining attention for her skills on the pitch.

“I’m super excited to join a team that’s succeeding, it’s an honor,” said Cook. “That’s where I grew up. I’ve watched so many games there and I’m excited to be playing on that field next year.”

Cook competes for Fort in all seasons, excelling as an all-region player in volleyball and basketball. Last spring, she earned All-State honors in soccer.

“She lifts everybody up,” said Fort Defiance volleyball coach Amber Pitsenbarger. “She makes sure that everybody is playing at their highest levels because she wants to play with the best.”

After her athletic career, Cook wants to help other athletes stay healthy on and off the playing field. This fall, she is shadowing a local physical therapist and plans to pursue that path during her time at JMU.

“Last season I had a few injuries and realized how much I enjoyed physical therapy,” said Cook. “I could see myself doing this later in life.”

Cook has already rewritten the record books at Fort Defiance. She is the all-time scoring leader for the Indians, with over 50 goals in less than two seasons.

However, when she graduates in June, the Fort community will remember her for more than her accomplishments on the pitch.

“Ellie is a phenomenal student,” said Erik Walker, the girls’ soccer coach and social studies teacher at Fort Defiance. “Some people might think of her as an athlete but she is so much more than that. She is a great person and model student.”