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Norwalk's Justin Cook to Hiram for academics, football

Mike Greco • Jun 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Another Norwalk Trucker football player is off to college for academics and to play the sport in the fall.

   Cornerback Justin Cook is heading to Hiram College, located in Portage County.

   “I like the way the program is moving,’’ he said.

   Cook, who’s interested in accounting, is the son of Tom and Lori Cook.

   Tom Cook is part of the Trucker coaching staff.

   Hiram, which competes in the North Coast Athletic Conference, finished 2-8 overall, 1-8 in the conference last season.”

   “Justin did an outstanding job for us the last four years,” Norwalk football coach Chris MacFarland said. “He’s somebody we can depend on. In the offseason, he was one of our leaders.

   “He did a great job of finding the right fit in education and with football,’’ the coach added.

   Justin Cook, a 3.2 student, likes Hiram’s defensive philosophies.

   “It’s similar to what we ran here,’’ he said. “I need to work on speed stuff, ball drills and footwork. Before last season, I went to cornerback camps in the state. They taught us techniques to use at the college level.”

   Cook, a second-team all-Northern Ohio League last season, reports to Hiram in early August.

   The season opens Sept. 6 at Westminster (Pa.).

   Cook has been part of Norwalk’s turnaround in football.

   The Truckers captured their third straight winning season in 2013 and reached the playoffs for the first time in 34 years.

   “I’ll take away from here the mindset that coaches instilled,” Cook said. “It was a good chance to make the playoffs. The coaches made sure we did all the little things right on and off the field.’’

   MacFarland talked about Cook at cornerback.

   “It’s one of the hardest positions to play,” MacFarland said. “He was able to work on zone coverages and we worked him man too. Kids are going to catch the ball, but you’ve got to be able to move on to the next play. He matured as the season went on.”

   Also for Norwalk, Larry Case is heading to Marietta, A.J. Scott Mount Union, Jordan Johnson Malone and Garret MacFarland Slippery Rock for school and to play football.

   “It’s pretty exciting for us,” MacFarland said. “It’s something the kids still have a passion to do.”

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