Cowan Leads Chester After Concussion

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By WSIL Sports

CHESTER -- Jake Cowan doesn't remember it, but on the last play before halftime in a game against Carmi-White County last season, he went down. The junior complained of a headache and didn't return, figuring he would be fine.

"I went up the hill after the game, got dressed and went into the parking lot and fell over," Cowan said. "I started seizing a little bit."

Cowan was taken to the emergency room and transferred to Children's Hospital in St. Louis. After numerous tests, doctors delivered the news Jake feared most, his second football-related concussion.

"The doctor told me I was never going to play the game again."

Determined to prove them wrong, Cowan saw a doctor who works with the St. Louis Rams. He was eventually cleared to play this season.

"Some people want to be astronauts, some people want to be nuclear physicists, Jake wanted to be the varsity quarterback at Chester High School," Yellow Jackets head coach Bryan Lee said.

Jake's safety was Lee's first priority. That's why he insisted the school buy Cowan an NFL caliber helmet to help protect his head.

"I think in some ways it's kind of his shield," Lee said. "He puts it on, he feels comfortable and it's not as big a deal."

That shield cost about 500 dollars, roughly twice the amount of a standard helmet.

"It's pretty expensive but it's definitely worth it, I'd say," Jake added.

With the new safeguard, Cowan has completed 80 percent of his passes this year, only throwing one interception. Making the most out of the season he almost didn't have.
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