The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

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  • April 9Four members of the debate team qualified for States at their Super Regional tournament on April 6. States will occur April 26 and 27 at JMU.
  • April 9Prom guest forms are available in the front office. Guests who do not attend FCHS must be approved by Mrs. Bruce. Tickets go on sale next week.
  • April 8Culinary will be selling Cake in a Cup, sweet tea, and lemonade during April. Cakes are $3 while sweet tea and lemonade are $1 each.
  • April 8SOL retests will take place April 24 at 8:40 am in room 3110. Contact Ms. Blevins ([email protected]) to sign up.
  • March 26The FCHS Speech team won the State Championship on March 23 at Dominion High School. Five students placed first, two placed second, and one placed third.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

FYSA+U18+Girls+Travel+Seniors+pose+with+Coaches+Lexi+Cook+and+Alex+Valladares+for+their+last+club+practice.
Photo Courtesy of Reece Matula
FYSA U18 Girls Travel Seniors pose with Coaches Lexi Cook and Alex Valladares for their last club practice.

A Passion for Coaching

Sports play such a huge role in high school life that it may seem like you’re either actively on a team or hearing other students talking about an upcoming game. This is true for Alexus Cook, Fluvanna’s JV girls soccer coach.

“Lexi,” as she is more commonly known at FCHS, graduated from the high school in 2016 with four years of being a varsity soccer athlete. She continued her soccer career at Emory and Henry College where she studied Economics, Political Science, and Business Administration. Having played the game for over 13 years, she decided to come back to it from a different viewpoint.

“I love the sport so much. I dedicated so many years of my life to soccer and a few years after I stopped playing, I started to really miss it. Coaching was my way back to my passion,” Cook said.

She chose to come back to Fluvanna’s athletic program because she says she “knew what we, as a county, are capable of.” She said she also wanted to help contribute to the program’s progression since she knows it from a player’s standpoint.

In addition to coaching soccer at FCHS, Cook also coaches a local girls club team with Fluvanna Youth Soccer Association (FYSA), an organization with whom she started to learn the sport at the age of three. As a result, she describes herself as a sports person who is capable of appreciating many sports for many different reasons.

However, soccer is her favorite sport “because it is continuous,” she said. “There are no timeouts and very minimal, if any, set plays. Every game and even every situation is completely different,” she added.

Throughout her first season coaching at Fluvanna, Cook said her focus was on finding her footing and deciding what style of coaching best fit her and the team. She learned about coaching styles and how to coach different personalities.

“There is a shortage of coaches in general everywhere, but it’s especially hard to find a coach that has played and knows the sport well from all aspects,” Cook said.

She has brought her experience as both a player and a coach to the field, something which FYSA U18 Girls Travel Captain and FCHS senior Maddie Daidone appreciates. “She’s just so encouraging and passionate about soccer and she truly cares about her players,” Daidone said. In her three seasons under Cook’s tutelage, Daidone added, “She’s taught me how to not get in my head and play with heart.”

This upcoming spring season, Cook expects to continue teaching the JV girls technical skills and overall knowledge of the game. “If I can build on technique and teach the game at a slower pace, like how JV is played, then the varsity program will only get better with more knowledgeable players as [the years go by] and the players move up.”

When she’s not coaching, Cook is a senior data analyst who helps maintain the National Transit Database (NTD) for the Federal Transit Administration. In October of 2020, she married her high school sweetheart, Craig Cook, one of the FCHS boys soccer coaches and a Fluvanna police officer. They share a two-year-old daughter, so their mornings involve tackling the daily obstacle of getting a toddler dressed and out the door on time.

Cook knows all too well that finding your way after high school can be disorienting, and navigating becoming an adult and the independence that that provides can be daunting.

“Unlike what most people tell you, college is easier than high school. The work itself is harder, but you have more time to complete [it]. In college, no one cares… what you do outside of class. It’s way more laid back and easier to focus on the whole reason you’re there: academics,” she said.

One piece of advice Cook shares with students is to “Always enjoy the moment, but never forget the big picture. I hate to say it, but most people will forget you after high school, except for the few close friends you keep. In five years, no one will remember that moment you thought was terrible, whether it’s in school or during a game, so try not to stress the small stuff,” she said.

For a previous article about Lexi Cook, check out this link.

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