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Kneed to know: the remarkable recovery of Jerrick Peterson - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Kneed to know: the remarkable recovery of Jerrick Peterson

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SHREVEPORT, La -

We have reached the final week of the regular season in Louisiana high school football and the Falcons of Northwood High in Shreveport will host Minden knowing a win will keep them unbeaten in district play and give them a second straight district crown.  Considering Northwood lost its talented quarterback in the first half of the first game to a knee injury makes it all remarkable enough. The fact Jerrick Peterson is back may be even more remarkable.

Expectations were high for senior quarterback Jerrick Peterson and Northwood's football squad as they started their first practices of 2013, but what the falcons didn't know is that they would face on of their toughest challenges of the year in week 1 when Peterson suffered a potentially season ending injury.

Head coach Jim Gatlin said he was very optimistic to start the season, "Offensively I think we had 9 guys starters coming back.  District MVP quarterback in Jerrick and you look out there in the first half of the first ball game he goes down.  It was the emotions that just sort of crushed us."

Peterson had a short road back for his type of injury, but it was long and difficult to him.  "It was tough just in therapy trying to come back and fight through injury."  Coach Gatlin says the team rallied, "A lot of heads down but everybody picked their head up.  They knew that losing him was a tough loss, but we just had to go out there and play football"

With their starting quarterback out coach Gatlin and staff found the right man for the job in running back Aaron Varelas.  Varelas inherited the starting spot and with it those high expectations and he didn't disappoint.  "It was difficult at first because I had all this sprung on me in such a moment, but I just had to get in there," Varelas said.  "The players helped me, the coaches helped me and we had to overcome some adversity especially after the loss to Shreve and I think we did that"

Peterson was confident in his replacement. "He's a tough player, he's the toughest player I know.  He runs hard and he's smart, so I had confidence in him to get the job done."

Coach Gatlin agreed, "Honestly, we knew what type of character we had and obviously, we knew what type of athlete he was.  We really thought that it would be Aaron for the rest of the year.  A doctor tells me you got a torn ACL and my little mind doesn't think you're coming back."

But he is back.  Peterson proved his dedication to his sport, and his team by undergoing a rigorous recovery process...one that has one loss falcons excited about the road ahead with the playoffs right around the corner.  Peterson said, "The doctors said it was a good possibility because my legs were strong, so I just went to therapy and worked hard to try to come back for my senior year."

"We can still reach the goals that we set.  Now that we've got the quarterback back, everything's fitting into place and hopefully we can make that run."

And with two talented quarterbacks in the backfield the falcons will certainly be a team to watch this postseason.  

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