Seniors Cook, Moore assert leadership roles for Packers

Mar. 6—MOULTRIE — When Brandon Brock took over the Colquitt County baseball team in 2022, he inherited a pair of outstanding sophomore players in Cam Cook and Mason Moore.

He told them that they were obviously among the team's top players and to concentrate on honing their talents.

"We don't need you to lead right now," Brock remembers telling them. "But one day we will need you to lead."

On Tuesday during an indoor practice at the Ray Goff-Virgil Seay Facility, Brock finished the thought.

"Well, that time is here," he said.

And both have embraced their roles.

Cook has developed into the "alpha," Brock said.

"He is the vocal guy," he said. "He is the guy no one wants to cross."

Moore is less vocal, but just as effective.

"He leads by his actions, for sure," Brock said.

Cook and Moore are two of the team's five seniors who will be honored before Thursday's 6 p.m. game against Coffee at Packer Park.

Also to be recognized are pitcher Garren Wingate and outfielders Cayden Parker and Charlie Thornton III.

Brock said Wingate could have better baseball days ahead of him.

"Garren's long and lean and is still trying to figure his body out," Brock said of the right-hander. "He's going to be better when he grows into his body a little bit.

"If he does and gets some mechanical things figured out, he could play four years of college ball."

Brock also called Wingate "a high-character guy. He's as good as gold."

Although the sport might not figure into Parker's long-range plans, he has demonstrated a high baseball IQ, Brock said of his congenial, versatile outfielder.

"He's a little eccentric, always smiling," Brock said.

Parker's speed has been evident in recent years, whether trying to bunt his way on base, going from first-to-third on a base hit or tracking down fly balls.

And he is one of Colquitt County High's top student/athletes. He has already been accepted to continue his education at Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.

"He is weighing his options," Brock said.

Thornton turned to baseball when his football future was scuttled by an injury.

Brock told Thornton before the season that he could not guarantee how much playing time he would get, but the big and strong young athlete has remained a valuable member of the team despite being used in a backup role.

"He's a very athletic guy and he plays hard," Brock said. "And he also is a high-academic guy."

Cook's and Moore's futures were confirmed when they were named to the Georgia Dugout Club's preseason All-State second team before their junior years.

Both had been first-team All-Region 1-7A selections in 2022.

As the Packers sophomore shortstop, Cook hit .385 as a sophomore with eight doubles, two homers and a team-leading 37 runs batted in.

Moore hit .366 with nine doubles, two triples and a homer and drove in 26 runs as a 10th-grader.

The left-hander also was solid on the mound, turning in a 3.23 ERA.

Last year, Moore was named to all-region first team as a pitcher and second team as an outfielder.

He went 5-4 with a 4.22 ERA and threw a no-hitter in a region victory over Valdosta.

He also hit .309.

After a move to left field, Cook has blossomed this season.

Through the Packers' first 13 games, he is hitting .477 with a remarkable 10 doubles and a homer and has driven in 12 runs.

Moore is right-behind his long-time teammate, hitting .382 with one double, four triples (including three in the 6-4 home win over Cairo on Feb. 21) and two homers. He has driven in nine runs.

After Thursday evening's pre-game Senior Night festivities, Colquitt will take the field and try to avenge a 4-2 loss to Coffee on Feb. 20 in Douglas.

The Packers then will begin preparations for the first Region 1-7A series that will begin with a single game in Kingsland against Camden County on Tuesday, March 12.

The Packers and Wildcats will conclude their three-game series with a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, March 15, at Packer Park.