By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The New Year will definitely bring changes in the life of Jaxon Cook.
For two years, Cook was a standout for the Millington Trojan Wrestling program reaching State twice. Eying a third trip to the TSSAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament this upcoming February, Cook’s life was going business as usual until September 20.
On a trip for a relatives wedding in Missouri, Cook’s mother Shanna was out running errands when she had car wreck taking her life.
“With my mom passing away, my Dad wants me to go and live with him in California,” Jaxon said. “So I’m just trying to get every mat time I can before I go. I’ve had two matches so far, the first home match against Munford and Briarcrest. I won those and then had a knee injury at St. George’s. I’ve been just trying to get better from that.”
The knee injury sidelined Cook for the annual Trojan Wars Dec. 13. The junior continued to rehab his injury for one more chance to wrestle as a Trojan late last month in St. Louis. Next up for Jaxon is moving in with his dad William Cook and making a name for himself in the Golden State in the Orange County area.
“If my knee doesn’t get better before or after St. Louis, then I’ll take the rest of the season off to prepare for my senior year,” he said. “But I’ll definitely wrestle out there probably at 160.”
Under the guidance of coaches like Bill Richardson, Cook reached the final tournament of the Volunteer State twice at 152 pounds. He finished eighth in the 2014 State Tournament.
“I’ll remember mostly through all the hardships, Millington was home,” Jaxon said. “I started off rough my freshman year but through trial and error I got to become the wrestler I am with the trainers and coaches I have.
“They turned me into who I am today. Luke Walker especially helped with techniques,” he added. “Coach Richardson and my step dad Steve Erwin who is the assistant coach too helped turned me into the wrestler I am today.”
Erwin will take care of Jaxon younger siblings Aaron Madrid and Gracie Madrid. Jaxon said the lost of his mother has been tough on all who love her.
“It’s been really difficult,” he said. “Nothing around the house is the same anymore. Going to tournament or matches, she was always there to support me with cheering or video. But it’s been a rough change but we’re getting through.”
Shanna was always near when Jaxon had a meet or match. In her black and gold, she was serving food during tournaments, running the concession stand or aiming a camera at the mat when Jaxon was in action.
Her son believes she’ll still have a front row seat to watch him in action once he suits up in California.
“I hope to go to California and go there make State, place there,” he said. “I haven’t quite decided to continue in college. There will always be a club or something. And I have a job opportunity out there to wrestle at Rampage Jackson’s Academy. So I’ll always continue wrestling in some form.”
No matter where wrestling takes him, Jaxon said he will dedicate every moment spent in the discipline to his mother.
“Everything I do from training, to what I eat, to everything on the mat whether I lose or win, as long as I give my all,” he said. “I’m going to go my hardest and it will always be for her. No matter what I do, it’s going to be for her.
“If she was there she would be proud to watch me,” Cook concluded. “I believe she is there. She’s with me from the time I get on the mat until the time I get off the mat.”