After his second straight record-breaking season, Holy Innocents’ star fullback Michael Cox was named Recruit Georgia Player of the Year on Dec. 19. Cox won the honor based on a statewide vote involving players, coaches, and fans.
“It’s a great feeling to know that there’s an entire group of people who have your back,” Cox said. “The relationships I have made at the school have been priceless, and I really don’t know what I would’ve or could’ve done without my teammates and coaches. I have them to thank for the entire ride.”
Cox was a major reason for the Golden Bears’ 10-0 regular season and region championship, 12-1 final finish, and the school’s first trip in history to the Final Four. During the regular season, the squad knocked off eventual state champs Eagles Landing 42-41 in overtime. Eagles Landing took out their revenge in December, topping Holy Innocents’ in the state semifinals, 21-7.
Cox broke his own records carrying the ball this year, scoring 32 touchdowns, rushing for 1,986 yards while averaging 8.7 yards per carry. In his 235 rushes, he never fumbled, building on last year’s 240 carries in which he also never put the ball on the ground.
He is currently being heavily recruited by Division 1 colleges and universities; he began drawing attention after helping the Bears into the playoffs his junior year in which HI became the only No. 24 seed to win a round in postseason.
“Michael is a great player, but more importantly, he is a servant leader,” coach Todd Winter said. “He played each and every game for his teammates.”
Cox is no “one trick pony” either. He is currently back with the wrestling team where he advanced to a second in state finish after advancing out of regionals and sectionals last year. He is once again expected to make a deep advancement when regular season ends.
In the spring, he competes on the track squad and is a proven asset for coach Stephen Jayaraj in the sprints. Last year he competed in the 100-meter dash and in the short relays.
Cox is the first Golden Bear football player to win the Player of the Year honor; HI has been competing in varsity football since 2005.