Believe it or not, baseball and basketball were not Cole's greatest athletic talents. His true skills were in the game of golf. He was exposed early to golf due to his father's love of the game, and also because his uncle, Eric Axley, is a pro golfer on the PGA tour. He enjoyed the game immensely, and his talent was evident from the first time he held a golf club. Cole made his first par from the ladies' tees at the age of three. He won the Knoxville Player of the Year in the six and under age group. He won every single event he entered, including the tour championship.
Cole Allen Puryear was born to Glen and Cayci Puryear on August 14, 2002. His older brother Cade was almost 3 years old, and they bonded immediately, becoming the best of friends. Those two boys were never far away from one another. The love they shared was evident to anyone who was around them even for a short time.
Cole had a way of commanding everyone's attention whenever he was near. He was outgoing, fun, and had a sweet nature. He loved people, and accepted them, faults and all. He was a jokester, and could make anyone laugh. He had a love of God that was undeniable, and Eastanallee Baptist Church was really a second home for him; the congregation is a family and support group for one another. Cole loved memorizing scripture verses and was well ahead of others in his age bracket at meeting goals in this endeavor. Cole was academically gifted, and always tested at the higher levels. He made straight A's in school.
Cole's real talent, however, was athletics. Sports and competition were his passion, and his talent was beyond measure. He really didn't even seem to have to try in this area; it came easily to him as he played his games with a huge smile rarely leaving his face.
At the age of 3, Cole was already playing baseball with the 5-6 year old age group. Not only was he playing with the older children, but he led the team in batting average, as he did every year he played baseball. His team even won the tournament that year. By the time he was six, he was playing with the 8 year old team. He was MVP and made the All-Star team playing at first base.
Cole was also a talented basketball player. He began his basketball career while in Kindergarten, and played as the starting point guard. He scored 20 points in 3 quarters of one game. He outscored every team played single-handedly, easily leading the team to an undefeated season and tournament championship. While in the first grade, he played on the 2nd and 3rd grade team. He either led or was second in scoring every game. He guarded the best player in the league, a third grader, and held him to only six points when his average in all other games was 18.
In 2009, both Cade and Cole qualified for the US Kids World Golf Championship. They played in Pinehurst, NC in August of 2009. In the second round of the tournament, Cole shot his best score ever of 39 on 9 holes. He finished 42nd out of 84 golfers worldwide. Cole actually had his first real golf lesson shortly before his death. His coach, golf pro Brad Rose, told his father "You can go ahead and count on a golf scholarship for him. He's THAT good." Cole had been in the hospital 3 and 1/2 days when he received an invitation in the mail to play in the US Kids British Open Championship in Scotland, to be held in the summer of 2010. He was pronounced dead the following day - December 19, 2009.
Cade continues to miss the comradeship he shared with his younger brother. He is a strong Christian who holds fast to the assurance of one day being reunited with Cole.
If you do not yet have that same assurance in your life,
we pray that you reach out to a pastor or Christian friend
who can help lead you in giving over your life to Christ.
Jesus died that you might live!