When Cooper sophomore Noah Garcia was last seen at Shotwell Stadium, he was leaving the Cougars’ regular-season finale against Amarillo High on a stretcher.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pound running back had just taken a hard hit near the line of scrimmage and spent several minutes face down on the turf awaiting and receiving medical care.
But the thumbs up he gave the crowd as he was wheeled away from worried coaches, teammates and family members seemed to offer assurance that he would be back at some point to help the team he’d been so good for to that point. Little did anyone know that would occur just one week later.
Not only was Garcia back for the Coogs’ playoff opener at El Paso Eastwood, he was good enough in their 49-41 bi-district victory to earn Big Country Preps Player of the Week honors for the first time this season.