Family ties: Baseball has long been a way of life for the Cox brothers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 2, 2019

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By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

There is no denying the significance of the pedigree or the bloodlines the Cox family has on local baseball.

The West Forsyth baseball team gets to experience it firsthand with brothers Scout and Christopher, also known as Banks, who have shared their talents together with the Titans for the last two seasons.

Scout, a senior, has played all four years on the varsity team in the outfield after getting moved up from the JV team six games into his freshman year.

Banks, a sophomore, has been mashing balls as a designated hitter and third baseman for two years now.

Their father, Chris, is an assistant coach for the Titans and has always coached one of both of his sons along the way.

Chris starred at Reynolds before graduating in 1989 and enjoyed a stellar career at UNC before being drafted and spending several years in the Atlanta Braves organization.

Their grandfather, Bob, also played at UNC and led Reynolds to 11 conference championships as a coach. He was also a pitching coach for Wake Forest and served as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees.

Their uncle, Greg, was also a standout in high school at Reynolds and later at Wake Forest.

“You’re kind of born into baseball in this family,” Banks Cox said. “It’s always been something I’ve looked forward to doing. I can go out and be myself and have fun doing something I love, surrounded by lots of people I love.”

“I don’t know where I would be or who I would be without baseball,” Scout Cox said. “It’s been a big part of my life for as long as I remember. I’ve always had the passion. Once I started playing when I was little, it’s pretty much been non-stop ever since.”

Both brothers credit their family ties to helping them to develop their passion, knowledge, and skills for the game.

“Dad really can’t get away from the field,” Banks Cox said with a laugh. “He’s always been one of coaches in some capacity. He also can’t stop talking about his playing days. He has all these tapes that he’ll have us watch from time to time of when he played.”

“Our dad has been a huge influence for us,” Scout Cox said. “He’s been coaching us most of our lives and now getting the chance to play with Banks the last two years, it’s been different — and a lot of fun.”

When their father was helping to coach at Forsyth Country Day, the brothers would go to games dressed in full uniform.

“We were bat boys and got to wear helmets and everything,” Banks Cox said. “He would always take the time to explain to us what was going on and what the players were doing right and what they could improve on. We were always getting coached by him, even if we weren’t actually playing in the game. It’s definitely helped me out. I’m pretty sure Scout would agree.”

“He has definitely showed us how to play the game the right way, both on and off the field,” Scout Cox said. “I like to think I lead by example and try to be a good role model for everyone. I want to have a positive influence on everyone on the team.”

There are differences in the brothers’ personalities.

“I’m definitely more mild-mannered and he’s kind of got a hot temper and more wide open,” Scout Cox said with a laugh. “He’s an interesting character but it has been a lot of fun playing with him here the last two years. Might be the last time it happens, so we want to make the best of it.”

Banks Cox said he admires his older brother and relishes being on the field with him every day.

“Scout is the best baseball player I’ve ever played with,” Banks Cox said. “It’s been amazing. He’ll still tell me what to do and we don’t always agree, but he always seems to be right. He has made me fall even more in love with the game. I considered myself very lucky to have his influence help me last year when I was trying to make the varsity team as a freshman. He was the example for me.”

Their future plans also differ.

Banks Cox looks forward to playing in college and even beyond that.

Scout Cox will attend college at UNC Wilmington in the fall and has no plans to play baseball once he leaves West Forsyth, despite being an all-state selection last season.

“I just want to go to school and be a student, focus on my schoolwork,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll miss it and I might still try to walk on when I get there, but I’ll make that decision once I know how I feel after the season is over. It’s been a big part of my world growing up. I’ve always been known as a ‘baseball kid.’ So, we’ll see. I know I got emotional on senior night because that might have been the last home game we play here.”

With the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference tournament starting this week and then the NCHSAA 4-A state playoffs to follow, the Titans aren’t guaranteed any more home games.

“We’ll hopefully have a nice run in the playoffs like we did last year and keep it going as long as we can,” Scout Cox said. “I’m not ready for it to be over by any means. It would be a perfect end to my career to go out on top.”