Cooksey earns ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award
Published 4:03 pm Thursday, June 23, 2022
Following a strong sophomore season on the mound, former Bear pitcher Braxton Cooksey stood out as a big contributor for Southwest during the 2022 season.
Now the Louisiana Christian University signee can add a prestigious individual award to his accolades as he was named 2022 NJCAA DII Baseball ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Winner in the pitcher position.
With winning the award, Cooksey has become the first Southwest Baseball player to do so.
“I was in shock,” said Cooksey. “Coach (Jack) Edmonson explained it to me and I was blown away. It kind of shocked me.”
Cooksey was one of two award winners posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He adds that winning the award provides a confidence boost for him as he heads west to Pineville, Louisiana to play for the Wildcats.
“It just pushes me to work even harder,” he said.
Coach Edmonson said that a lot of Cooksey’s success came from the Parklane alum constantly taking ground balls from the shortstop position during practice, even though most of his time in the field for the Bears came on the pitcher’s mound. Cooksey said that practicing in the middle of the infield is nothing new for him.
“Middle infield has been my primary position since I started playing the game,” he said. “I’ve been fielding ground balls since I could walk.”
Coach Edmonson added that Cooksey’s work ethic was big and his preparation in the field went beyond just fielding ground balls.
He also excelled at other aspects a pitcher is expected to do defensively.
“Pitchers have to be able to field bunts and pick offs and things like that,” Edmonson said.
“Coach (Derek) Mount talked to our pitchers about doing ‘the other 10-percent’. And ‘the other 10-percent’ is PFPs (Pitchers Fielding Practice), picks and things like that.
That is 10-percent of pitching and Coach Mount did a good job of stressing that to our pitchers this year.”
Cooksey appeared in 23 games this past season for the Bears with 12 of those on the mound.
In addition, to Southwest’s Cooksey winning the award for pitcher, the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference was also represented by Northeast Mississippi catcher Jackson Owen and Jones College first baseman Colson Harris who also earned the honor.