Community Captain: Wesley Cook

Wesley Cook, senior offensive tackle at Hendersonville (Hendersonville, NC) High School, has been selected as a Carolina Panthers Community Captain. Heavily involved within his community and school, Cook is also one of the top rated offensive tackles in the State of North Carolina according to

Prior to the 2008 season, he was named to the Division I-A Preseason All State team, Charlotte Under Armour/ All Combine Team and selected as a Shrine Bowl finalist.

Cook (6-foot-8, 262 pounds) is a threat in all aspects of the game of football. He never leaves the field on game days due to the fact that he plays on offense, defense and special teams. He has received scholarship offers to play football at East Carolina and Western Carolina.

Along with excelling in all aspects of football, Cook also shines in the classroom. He holds a 3.51 unweighted grade point average and a 3.95 weighted grade point average, ranking him 35th in his graduating class. He has been on the A/B honor roll every semester at Hendersonville High. He was a football Academic All American in 2006 and 2007.

At Hendersonville High, Cook is involved with multiple extracurricular activities. He is president of the DECA Club, which is similar to the Future Business Leaders of America Club, a member of the Spanish Club and the National Honor Society. Cook is also an All Conference Baseball player. He was selected to the baseball Academic All American Team in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Outside of school, Cook does everything he can to help out his community and communities abroad. Through his church, Fruitland Baptist, he has gone on several mission trips. Most recently, he went to Illinois to help build a church. Prior to that he went to Gulfport, Mississippi where he helped clean up and rebuild the city after devastating hurricanes destroyed much of the community. In Hendersonville, Cook volunteers for the Alzheimer's Association and reads to local elementary students.

To be able to do so much at such a young age, the people around Cook say that he is mature far beyond his age. "Based on his maturity, he acts like he's 35 or 40 years old," said Hendersonville Head Football Coach B.J. Laughter. "There is no nonsense about this kid. He works extremely hard and leads by example. Because of this, I find every way to get him involved on game days and at practice. He plays offense, defense and special teams for me."

During this high school football season, the Carolina Panthers will select ten Community Captains based on nominations received from high school administrators and media representatives. Recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events during the current academic year. Recipients will be honored during an on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium.

The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes outstanding high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who have demonstrated strong leadership skills on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The program encourages these future college and NFL players to continue in their positive development as leaders and role models in their communities.

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