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story.lead_photo.caption Pleasant Grove's Jackson Cobb missed his senior football season because of an injury in the first quarter of the Hawks' opener, and he was cleared to play baseball after the first six regular season games. With the UIL suspending all athletic competitions, school and practices, Cobb awaits the decision that he can get back on the baseball field. (Submitted photo)

TEXARKANA, Texas — Twice Jackson Cobb has had his athletic season taken away during his senior year.

The first was in Pleasant Grove's football season, when a torn ACL on the Hawks' third offensive possession ended a promising year for the team's top returning receiver.

The second time was a week and a half into his baseball season, when the COVID-19 pandemic halted all athletics, Cobb able to play in just five games.

The senior shortstop has persevered through both situations and remains optimistic that he will play in a PG baseball uniform again.

A receiver and defensive back, Cobb left the Hawks' opener against Paris before the first quarter had finished, and his knee injury kept him out of the rest of the year. He remained with the team, providing leadership from the sidelines, as Pleasant Grove went 15-1 and won its second state championship in three years.

"There were a lot of mixed emotions during football," Cobb said. "I loved being around my friends and teammates, but it was very tough to watch practice, knowing I couldn't be out there with them."

Two weeks after his injury, Cobb had surgery to repair his torn ACL, and then he started the rehab process. For nearly six months he rehabbed before finally getting clearance to start playing baseball again on March 4 — six games into PG's season.

"When I started rehab, I was going three times a week, and it ended up being one day a week," Cobb said. "It was a lot of the same exercises over and over again, trying to build by quad (muscle) up and get my range of motion back on my knee,

"I really liked going to the rehab sessions because it was the only time I got to work out."

When Cobb was cleared to play again, he took full advantage and didn't worry about his knee, which he said felt strong.

"I missed our scrimmages, the first tournament and our first home game," Cobb said. "Once I got out there, it was like every season, starting out. I didn't think much about it or worry about my knee; once I started playing, I just played without fear."

Within 10 days of Cobb rejoining the baseball team, the UIL suspended all athletic competitions and, a few days later, announced practices and team meetings were also cancelled until further notice, due to the COVID-19 threat.

Already recruited by and committed to the University of Arkansas' baseball program as a preferred walk-on, Cobb wasn't terribly upset when the UIL announcements were made.

"I looked at it as more time to recover," he said. "I already know what my college plans are, so I wasn't worried about getting any looks (by recruiters). But I wish I could be out there playing.

"From what I hear, I'm pretty hopeful we'll get to continue playing (this season). I hope that happens; we've got a really special group, and I think we could win state."

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