Athlete Worth Watching: Lauren Cox
Oct 05, 2018 12:00AM
● By Brian Saucedo
By Cate Reynolds
Softball seems to run in Lauren Cox’s blood. Having two umpires in the family, both her grandfather and great-grandfather, Cox began learning the ins and outs of the game at a young age. Cox’s grandfather still works as an umpire for the Calvert County Umpires Association and has always enjoyed quizzing her on the rules of softball and game scenarios.
When her older sister, Allie, decided to play softball, Lauren Cox wanted to follow in her footsteps. Although she was just seven, it didn’t take long for her family to realize softball wouldn’t be just a phase for Cox; she belonged on that field.
“She’s been a starter ever since she walked on the field,” says Cox’s father, Bill. At the age of 10, Lauren Cox began playing for the Northern Calvert Little League (NCLL) team. After making the NCLL all-star team the following year, Cox was invited to tryout for the Northern Calvert FURY travel team, where she has pitched and caught for the past six years. Her impact has been dramatic.
“Lauren is a true warrior on the field and a player to look up to,” Northern Calvert FURY Head Coach John Greever says. “One of the most memorable tournaments with Lauren behind the plate as the catcher was during the 2017 USSAA Virginia College Showcase. The team was short a player, so Lauren offered to catch for all four games. With temperatures in the high 90s, she pushed through every single game and didn’t want to come off the field.”
With Cox’s help, the team won all seven games and was named the 2017 USSSA Virginia College Showcase champions. Cox also helped lead the FURY team to 21 tournament finals and 16 championships, including the 2014 NSA State Championship, the 2016 World Fastpitch Connection Nationals, and the 2018 USSSA Maryland 16 State Championship. According to Cox, her coaches and teammates are like family. “Everyone on the team sticks together,” Bill says.
“Her coaches are other father figures.”
“I can’t say enough about this special young lady and how she carries herself on the field,” Greever adds. “I am proud to call her one of my players, and even more proud to think of her as a daughter.”
Cox’s athletic success isn’t limited to the FURY team. The Southern High School senior has been on the Bulldogs’ varsity softball team since her freshman year and was named captain her junior year. She calls every pitch and catches every game, including doubleheaders. This past spring, Cox had her best year, batting over .300 and hitting consistently to all fields.
“Lauren is one tough young lady, both mentally and physically,” Southern High Softball Coach Lionel Makell says. “She is a coach on the field and displays a positive attitude at all times. She is, and always has been, our unsung hero.”
During her sophomore season, Cox helped lead the Bulldogs to the regional final and state semifinals for the first time in school history. With Cox catching the ball for the last out of the game, Southern beat La Plata in the regional championship with a 1-0 victory.
“[The hit] was a pop-up, and I usually have trouble with pop-ups, so catching that was amazing,” Lauren Cox says. “It was definitely the cherry on top of the cake.”
Though softball is her primary focus, Cox ran varsity indoor track during her sophomore year, has played on Southern’s field hockey team since her freshman year, and earned a spot on varsity as a starting midfielder in her sophomore and junior years, and was named captain of her summer field hockey league this past season.
The 17-year-old seems to be just as busy and successful off the field. Cox is a member of the Student Government Association and prom committee and is enrolled in all advanced placement and honors courses. She has earned the Minds In Motion award—which is presented to student-athletes with a grade point average of 3.25 or higher—every semester since her freshman year.
“It’s definitely hard to balance sometimes, especially during the school year,” Cox says of her heavy schedule. “You get maybe an hour of free time, and usually that is spent sleeping, so it can be difficult.”
With college just around the corner, Cox is still debating whether to play softball at the next level. She has attended several college softball camps, with James Madison, Maryland, and Georgetown being top contenders if she plans to pursue softball. If not, Cox hopes to join her older sister at Towson University.
One thing Cox knows for sure is that softball will always remain a part of her life. She has attended 5 Star Athletics Softball Camp since age five, run by former University of Maryland player and coach Jill Callaway. She hopes to coach one day and, at the very least, join a club team in college.
“Softball is a big part of my life, and I think it always will be,” Cox explains. “I love playing, and that’s why I keep doing it.”