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Hornets dedicate tree in memory of Sylvia Cowan

On Wednesday afternoon, March 22, 2023, the Cook High School Hornet Tennis Program recognized seven senior players and dedicated a tree in memory of Coach Sylvia Cowan at the Hornet Tennis Complex.

“Despite two excruciatingly close losses to Thomas County Central (boys 2-3 and girls 2-3), it was an absolutely wonderful day at the Cook Tennis Complex,” said current Hornet Tennis Coach John Smith. 

“We honored our seven seniors and recognized them for the good athletes and great students they are,” Smith said. “We were able to honor their dedication and contribution to this program. They will never know how much they have enriched my life, my wife Margaret Adrian Smith’s life, and the life of our children.”  

In addition, “we were able to show an outpouring of our appreciation for Coach Frankie Cowan and Coach Sylvia Cowan with a tree dedication in Mrs. Sylvia’s memory,” Smith said. “Their dedication to this community and to our small, but growing, tennis community is immeasurable. As a former player for both of them, it was an honor to make sure that the Cowan name is always attached to this program.”

According to the Hornet Tennis website, Mr. Cowan served as Boys and Girls Head Tennis Coach while his wife, Mrs. Cowan, served as Boys and Girls Assistant Coach in the 1990s. 

Sylvia and Frankie first met at Georgia Southern, from where they both graduated. Their first date was to play tennis.

The Cowans came to Cook County in 1974. They coached girls basketball for 15 years together, and tennis teams for eight years. 

Mrs. Cowan passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at the age of 72.

In a special message to Coach Smith and all who turned out for the ceremony, Mr. Cowan said, “Just want to say ‘Thank You’ to you, Margaret, and everyone that was in attendance. It was a special life memory that I will always remember. I thank you all again, and I love you all.”

Last week’s event also was intended to welcome home former Hornet tennis players. 

“As always, my favorite part of the season is welcoming home our former players, and this year was tops,” Smith said. “We welcomed three Hornet Tennis babies to The Complex and players from the 80’s, 90’s, and more recently. 

“Lastly, it was a great day to witness and watch the maturity and integrity that our tennis players demonstrate. Last night, they were presented with so many opportunities to display poor sportsmanship and many opportunities to be immature, and in all of it they kept their composure. Wins and losses come and go, but the image and reputation of this program is constant. I am very proud of my kids.” 

Coach Smith added, “A huge thanks to everyone that made (last Wednesday) a perfect day for our kids and our program.”

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