Erika Cook signs with UW for golf

Erin Mullins

In less than a year, Erika Cook overcame a car crash, won a fourth state title and signed a generous offer to play golf for the University of Wyoming.
Cook was drawn to the school because of the coach.
“I liked the coach. Yeah, I got to know her a lot this year,” she said. “The offer, it was just, it made the most sense.”
Cook is excited for her freshman year. She is looking forward to traveling to play golf in warmer places than Wyoming and experiencing another level of competition. The other school she was considering in the end was the University of Texas at Austin, but she wanted to be closer to home and go to the same school as her sister.
So far, she loves the team. Although her freshman year will be a whole ‘nuther ball game, Cook is not intimidated to enter her collegiate career as a green newbie to collegiate sports. So far, she loves her future teammates and coach.
There are 10 women on the UW golf team, and five to seven girls travel to tournaments to compete. Cook hopes to be a part of the travel squad her freshman year. Those chances look promising, considering she got quite a few scholarship offers from different schools.
UW Head Women’s Golf Coach Josey Stender is excited to have Cook on the team.
“I’m so excited to have someone like Erika with her resume that she has. To be able to keep a Wyoming kid with her resume in state really complements the other girls we have that are from Wyoming,” Stender said.
She said UW has facilities that are “second to none” and said the team has a high focus on academics.
Cook, of Greybull,  started practicing golf “a little bit” in eighth grade and then joined the Lovell High School team her freshman year. She contributes being successful right off the bat to being coached by her dad, who she said is a “really good coach.”
Trouble hit the semester before her senior season when she was involved in a car crash. At first, she was worried she would not earn the state title that year.
“It was hard. It was tough. I could hardly walk because my leg was in such pain,” Cook said. “I worked as hard as I could and got surgery that winter, which really helped me get through everything.”
Remarkably, Cook came back from the crash stronger. She attributes that newfound strength to all the physical therapy she did, which got the pinched nerve out of her leg.
Throughout her career she has been a dedicated athlete. She practices her short game, lifts weights and does cardio. In the winter, she does the golf simulator. She prefers the bike or punching bag for cardio.
Cook plans to major in business and either become a professional golfer or own her own golf shop. She was voted WyoPreps Athlete of the Year for girls golf in 2021 and Wyoming Girls’ Player of the Year in 2021. Cook has been an “A” Honor Roll student throughout high school.