WEEKI WACHEE- It’s taken almost exactly one month for Weeki Wachee High School to decide who the next head football coach of the program would be and it ended up being someone not many expected.
With names swirling around of who might take the head coaching gig, the Hornets went outside of the area. Weeki Wachee has named Moore Haven High School offensive coordinator Chris Cook as the program’s next head coach. Cook was recently at the Hornets’ girls basketball playoff game against New Port Richey River Ridge to give a little bit of insight into his background and expectations of coming to Weeki Wachee.
“One of the biggest things that really jumped out at me before taking the job was the academic strength of the school,” Cook said. “There was a 94.7 percent graduation rate and that academic strength was very appealing to me. Also, I’m taking a look at some film of the team last season, (Weeki Wachee) has a very good quarterback and I think he threw for over 1,700 yards last season. He’s going to be a big piece to the puzzle this upcoming season.”
Cook is no stranger to winning football, as he ran a very successful junior varsity program over at Sebring High School before returning to his alma mater, Hardee High School, as an assistant there. Moore Haven this past season went 8-2 and Cook’s offense averaged nearly 300 yards and 30.5 points per game. Though most of the yardage came on the ground, the Hornets will, of course, remain a more pass-oriented team with quarterback Vaughn Sykora returning under center. Sykora threw for 1,785 yards and 21 touchdowns last fall.
“I have some spread concepts that should really utilize (Sykora),” Cook said. “In watching film, he’s a very good passer. I’ve spoken to him just once and we talked a little bit and he’s going to be a big part of what we do as an offense.”
Cook will replace former lead man Jacob Gray, who came to Weeki Wachee from Bolles High School in Jacksonville, in which he previously served as a special teams coordinator. After taking over a 0-10 team, Gray led the Hornets to a 3-7 record in 2017 and followed it up with a one win improvement this past season. The 2018 campaign was filled with various records broken, including Sykora setting the all-time single-season passing touchdowns record in Hernando County.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.