Throughout his baseball career, things have always been changing for Emerson Hancock, pitcher at Cairo High School. His skill level expanded, he played in various leagues, and his perspective on winning and losing evolved. But one thing remained the same: the dream of becoming a professional baseball player. So far, that dream has pushed him toward great accomplishments, including an offer to play college baseball at the school he always dreamed of representing.
“I’ve been a Georgia fan my whole life; ever since I was little, it’s always been Georgia,” Hancock said. “They started recruiting me over the summer, and once it was offered, it was a done deal. That’s where I wanted to go.”
The senior plans to head to Athens, Georgia and progress on the team. He hopes to eventually be their Friday night pitcher as well as make a positive impact on the university in any way he can. With his talent level, it’s no surprise that Hancock looks beyond what he can do as a collegiate athlete. He wants to go pro, and nothing will stop him from doing everything in his power to make that dream a reality.
Although Hancock grew up in a small town, he and his family created opportunities for him to gain exposure.
“The biggest thing is to accept what’s around you,” Hancock said. “A lot of what I’ve experienced through baseball hasn’t been through Cairo, but through travel ball. It’s taught me all these lessons that I use in school ball that kind of make me a role model to the people around me.”
The Syrupmakers had a successful 2016 season. Overall, they were 23-6 with an 11-game winning streak. They earned second place in the region, losing to Central High School, which had just been dropped from 5A to 4A. Hancock ended the season with a 1.09 ERA, 98 strike outs, and 16 walks. He and his team are underway to have another great season and are currently preparing to make another strong region showing.
No matter how the season ends, Hancock will take whatever he can and turn it into constructive experience to boost him throughout the future of his baseball career.
“I think the thing about baseball is it teaches you to deal with adversity,” Hancock said. “You know you’re going to fail 70 percent of time, and you can succeed 30 percent of the time and still be a hall of famer. When I was younger, it was hard for me to deal with that because I didn’t want to fail. But I think the thing is, with it being a hard sport, that drives me even more to try and master it.”
Hancock’s ability in the classroom is just as impressive as that on the baseball field. He has a 4.0 GPA and is currently fourth in his class. As for what he plans to study in college, he is still undecided, but he has considered a few options.
“My brother is in exercise and sports science, and the kind of stuff he learns is interesting to me,” Hancock said. “He wants to be a physical therapist; that might be something I consider.”
Hancock is the type of student-athlete who likes to be involved. He sets an example in any setting, and he hopes to continue that at the University of Georgia.
“I really hope to go up there and help the university any way I can,” Hancock said. “Whether that’s academically, athletically, I just want to try to make Georgia better as a whole.”
Hancock has a lot of natural ability, but he wouldn’t let the opportunity pass without crediting his biggest baseball supporter.
“My dad has been the man for me,” Hancock said. “He’s always been there. He taught me the game. There’s no telling how many pitches he’s thrown to me in the cage. He’s been there all the way. He’s the first person I talk to after a game, and we can just talk for hours just about one game.”
Cairo Pitcher Keeps His Eye on the Dream, Commits to Play College Baseball at the University of Georgia
Emerson Hancock | Cairo High School | April 2017
Written by: Sarah Turner