Updated Tuesday with accompanying article.
Darnell Cooks, a star player on Ansonia’s back-to-back state championship seasons of 2002 and 2003, died Sunday in a car accident in Bridgeport. He was 25.
Cooks served as team captain on the 2004 team and graduated from Ansonia in 2005.
Updated: Funeral arrangements, via Jenkins King and Malerba Funeral Home, have been announced. Calling hours are Friday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the The Evangel Temple C.O.G.I.C. of Ansonia. The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. followed by a burial at the Pine Grove Cemetery.
Cooks was a three-year starter from 2002-2004. He played quarterback and defensive back as a senior captain in 2004. He threw for close to 400 yards and 9 touchdowns and also ran for 500 yards and four touchdowns, according to stats left on MaxPreps. Cooks also made 33 tackles and had an interception and three fumble recoveries. Ansonia finished 8-3. Cooks scored two touchdowns in a 27-19 Class S semifinal loss to Cromwell.
“He’ll always be remembered as good player for us, he made a lot of plays over the years even though he might have been overshadowed a bit by Kenny Tinney and some of the others,” said Ansonia football coach Tom Brockett, who was the offensive coordinator on Cooks’ teams.
“But most important, he was a kid everybody liked. He had different way about him. There really was only one Darnell. He was a real likeable kid, a good hearted kid that everybody loved being around. He’ll always be remembered. He’ll always be loved.”
This is the third player from the 2002 Class S championship team to have died. Damontis Johnson was shot and killed the day before Thanksgiving 2002.
Steve Zuraw, Cooks’ co-captain in 2004, died in a car accident in 2009.
“It’s a sad thing,” Brockett said. “These kids are dying way too young.”