By Chad Wingert
CARO — Caro’s Bailey Cockerill completed the family trifecta last week when she graduated from Caro High School.
Bailey, the youngest of three daughters of Mark and Lisa Cockerill, earned the Evans Scholarship through the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation just like her sisters Terran and Brett once did.
The trio of Tiger sisters became eligible for the scholarship through their love for golf. Bailey, Brett and Terran each had solid high school careers on the links, but it was their knack for carrying clubs that helped them pay their way to college.
This summer will mark Bailey’s fifth year of caddying at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc, former home of Michigan’s only PGA tour event, the Buick Open.
“I started caddying just after my eighth grade year,” said Bailey.
“I actually only caddied for two summers before being awarded the scholarship, which is the minimum,” said Terran. “I did caddy regularly the summer before I attended MSU, then sporadically the next few summers when I was home.”
If awarded the full-tuition, four-year scholarship, recipients can choose from one of 14 colleges to attend, two of which being the University of Michigan and Michigan State.
Terran, the oldest sibling, chose Michigan State.
Brett chose Michigan.
So, with Bailey playing the family tie-breaker, it came down to academics.
“I chose Michigan because it offered Bio Medical Engineering, which is the program I am planning on going into whereas State did not offer it,” Bailey said.
Now, with Bailey becoming a Wolverine, the Cockerill residence is truly a “house divided.”
“Now the house is evened out, three-to-three. Myself, my fiance’ John and my mom are all Spartans while my dad, Brett and Bailey are all Wolverines,” Terran said. “As cool as it would have been for her to go to MSU, I know she’ll be happier at Michigan and she will do better career wise, so I can’t be mad.”
While attending college, it is required that recipients of the scholarship live in the house provided for them.
“When living in the house, I have a chore I will have to do every week, just very basic things,” Bailey said. “But, I’m very excited to be living in the house. I know from watching my sisters what great friendships they’ve made living in that house. So, I’m excited to form those kinds of friendships as well.”
Aside from being in two different cities, at two different colleges, Terran’s experience in the Evans House was a bit different than Brett’s. While living in the Evans House in East Lansing, Terran met her fiance’, John, who was also an Evans Scholar. The two are set to wed in August of this year. But aside from finding love at the house, Terran has been able to hold on to numerous friendships formed over her years of living in the house.
“The cool thing about living in the house was that we all went in with one thing in common. Golf,” Terran said. “There could be multiple things that would set us apart on the street, but we all came from a caddy background, which helped to build a family-type atmosphere while we were living there.”
Bailey has already began forming friendships with some of the other Evans Scholars via the internet. But, of course, as with any incoming college freshman, the struggle of balancing a social life and academics is already on Bailey’s mind.
“Some of the other new scholars and I are trying to get together. We have a group on Facebook that everyone is on, that way we can try to get to know each other ahead of time,” Bailey said. “I think the biggest challenge will be my time management. I can be a procrastinator at times.”
Terran, being the trailblazer, was very proud to see her younger sisters follow in her footsteps with each of them earning full scholarships to Big Ten Conference schools. Terran was pleased and excited when Brett won the award but when Bailey landed identical honors, it just seemed fitting to keep the scholarship in the family.
“I think we all worked pretty hard to meet the requirements, but we also enjoyed what we did because we all had a golf background,” Terran said. “Being the oldest and the first to get it, we were’t sure if it would affect my siblings chances or not. But, when Brett got it, I was very excited and proud. The same goes for when Bailey earned it.”
“Not only is it an awesome opportunity for the three of us, it also helped alleviate some stress off of my parents shoulders.”
Now that all three Cockerill sisters have graduated, it’s safe to say that they have all, without a doubt, left their mark on Caro High School.
Bailey, a three-time state finalist in girls golf, won an individual championship as a junior.
“My high school career was amazing and so much fun. I made some great friendships with girls from other schools, as well as girls from my school,” said Bailey. “I’ve also accomplished almost every goal that I set for myself. Obviously, winning states my junior year is still the highlight of my golf career.”
It has also been rumored that Cockerill’s final year with the Tigers golf team will be the program’s last.
“I don’t believe that the program will end this year. But, if it does, it will truly be sad.”
Chad Wingert is the Sports Editor of the Advertiser and can be reached at [email protected]
By Chad Wingert