Gow injured, Caldwell becomes ‘next man up’


Leila Pulaski

Sophomore step up: George Caldwell will be the starting quarterback for the game against Second Baptist on Sept. 7.

Afraaz Malick and Noura Jabir

Two weeks ago, sophomore George Caldwell was thrilled to learn that he had made the varsity football team as the second-string quarterback after spending last season playing for the JV squad.

With three-year starting QB Wesley Gow firmly established as the starter, this season looked to be an opportunity for Caldwell to watch and learn from the sidelines. That plan lasted all of one game.

Gow suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter of the first game of the season, a 42-21 road win over Concordia Lutheran, which means that Caldwell will make his first career start on Sept. 7 in the Mavs’ home opener against Second Baptist. Junior Lucas Desjardins will serve as Caldwell’s backup.

This week Gow was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a sprained medial collateral ligament. The expected recovery time is at least seven months.

Caldwell said that Gow’s skill and work ethic will be a huge loss for the team, but he hopes that he and his teammates can step up and accept the challenge: “People are going to have to give more effort to compensate for the loss.”

Offensive coordinator Aaron Vice acknowledges that Gow’s presence on the field will be missed, but he recognizes the importance of moving forward.

As a team we hate to lose any player—especially one as valuable as Wesley,” Vice said. “At the same time, it’s a team sport, and the whole team must step up.”

After completing a week of practice as the starter, Caldwell said he feels both excited and well-prepared for the upcoming game against the Eagles.

“I know that the team will support me no matter what happens,” Caldwell said.

Gow says that the team will adjust their offense to fit Caldwell’s skill set, likely implementing more run plays and easier pass plays to make his transition as smooth as possible.

As someone who knows the challenges of becoming a varsity starter as a sophomore, Gow has advised Caldwell to stay calm and focus on the big picture, even in high-pressure situations.

“The position he is in is stressful, but in two years this game is going to be in the rearview mirror,” Gow said. “It is only one game in his long career as a Maverick.”

Additional reporting by Harrison Blanton