TUSCOLA, Texas - The Jim Ned football team has made quite the turnaround, going from a 3-7 record in 2016 to a 7-2 mark with one regular season game remaining this season.
One part of that turnaround effort is Cooper Castro, who scored four touchdowns in the Indians' mammoth win at Clyde on Friday to earn the KTXS/Abilene Teachers' Federal Credit Union Player of the Week honor.
"It made us take a whole other step as a program," said Castro about the 46-43 victory, which was Jim Ned's first against Clyde since 2003.
Castro ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and had four catches for 62 yards and perhaps the biggest score of the game -- a 22-yard TD catch with one second left before halftime.
"I had no idea the ball was going to come to me," said Castro. "I had all eyes on the ball and it was lucky, to me. t gave us a lot of confidence going into the second half."
"Castro made a great catch. It was a great throw," third-year head coach Jerod Womack said. "More than anything, executing right before halftime was big."
Castro and his family moved to Tuscola over the summer because of his father's job in the oil industry. He has bouncing around from California to Louisiana, and now back to Texas.
"Honestly, I say I'm from Texas. My parents grew up here. I feel like I'm at home. love it here. The whole environment here, every Friday night is just amazing. it doesn't get any better than that."
"He's a fun kid to be around, a great teammate, all the things you want when it comes to a player," said Womack. "He's such a positive guy. Him and his family are a great addition to our family here in Jim Ned."
While the junior running back has made an immediate impact on the Jim Ned football team, the same has been done to him.
Castro said the coaching staff has inspired him to become a coach himself.
"It really came about this year because the coaching staff here is amazing. They're always focused on the little things, and the little things turn into big things in the end."
Castro and the Indians finish the regular season at home against Merkel on Friday night at 7:30. A win for Jim Ned would give the Indians the number two seed in the playoffs out of District 3-3A Division I.
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