Tri-West senior leads football team in action and at various positions on the field
By Mike Beas
Not only has Tri-West senior Garrett Cora run the option, he has options.
A three-year starter for the Bruins football and boys basketball programs, Cora hopes to eventually parlay his athletic successes into a roster spot for a football program at the Division II, III or NAIA level.
Should that not materialize, the 5-11, 161-pound running back is leaning toward taking his 3.4 grade-point average to Indiana University to study physical therapy.
In the meantime, Cora, who recently helped lead Tri-West football to its eighth winning season in the last nine years, is doing what’s necessary for the Bruins to engineer a lengthy run in the Class 3A playoffs.
Averaging 6.9 yards per carry through the Bruins’ first seven games this season, Cora knows a thing or two about that, as well. Additionally, he’s one of quarterback Kai Ross’s favorite receivers, been utilized as a punter, return man on special teams and can step into the defensive backfield, if needed.
Perhaps fittingly, Cora, the team’s leader in all-purpose yardage, wears No. 1.
“It’s his versatility,” said second-year Tri-West football coach Jason Ward when asked how Cora most benefits his program. “Garrett has great vision, is elusive, but when he gets in a crowd he runs like he’s 200 pounds. He’s a good running back and a good receiver.”
The example Cora sets each day in practice is another way the senior sets himself apart.
“Garrett is not a vocal leader on the practice field, but every play, every repetition, it’s 100% all of the time,” said Ward. “He does not take a play off, and it’s noticed. People follow Garrett. They watch how he practices, and he’ll help the younger guys.”
Cora did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: How long have you played football, and have you always been a running back?
A: I’ve played since kindergarten, and I’ve always played running back. I love the ability to get the football and make something happen with it. I’ve had that ability to try and make a play.
Q: Describe your running style and what you pride yourself on the most.
A: I’m fast and have the ability to make moves in the open field. I have no idea where that comes from, to be honest.
Q: If we check up on Garrett Cora a decade from now, what would he like to be doing in terms of a job?
A: I would like to be a physical therapist for a college or pro sports team and be able to travel around with that team. It’s just something that catches my attention. I want to stay in sports, and if someone needs help, I could be that person who helps him or her.