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Proving his worth

After spending his junior year on the sidelines on Friday nights, Straughn senior Caleb Cochran has proven his worth on the field this season.

Last year, Cochran’s season came to an abrupt end during the second game against Choctaw County.

Cochran tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his knee and had to lean not only on his faith, but on his family and teammates to pull him through.

“When I first found out that I was out for the season, it was real tough,” Cochran said. “But, my church family — at the Good News Baptist Chapel — they prayed for me quite a bit and God gave me a peace about it.

“I trusted in Him that He would bring me back if He wanted me to, that He would provide it,” he said.

So far this year, at 6-foot-4-inches and 240 pounds, Cochran has wracked up 62 total tackles — 31 solo tackles and 31 assists.

“I trusted in God and my rehab went great,” Cochran said. “The doctor did a tremendous job on my knee. I came back and I just wanted to see how far I could go.”

Straughn coach Trent Taylor, during an interview with The Andalusia Star-News earlier this season, said that Cochran was excited to be back at practice on Aug. 3.

“When you stand on the sidelines for an entire year and watch people hit each other — I was just ready to come back and get as good as I could,” Cochran said. “I just missed the contact of the sport and that’s my favorite part of it.”

Cochran is originally from Mobile, but at 9 years old, he made the move to the Straughn community.

“My time here has been great,” he said. “It’s been a great place to live. I just love it up here. It’s great to have the support of the community and just to know that everyone is rooting the team on.”

Cochran said he enjoys playing football because “there is no other sport that is like it.”

“When you come out on Friday nights and the stands are packed and everybody is yelling for you — it’s such an adrenaline rush,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing like it.”

This week, Cochran will try to help lead his team to a Class 3A first-round playoff victory over Geneva.

He said the team will be up to the challenge, if they are “ready to play.”

“It’s the playoffs and you can’t underestimate anybody,” Cochran said. “Geneva has a good football program. If we don’t come out and play, then we probably won’t advance.

“If we come out focused and ready to play, then I think we’ll be able to take the game,” he said. “The coaches have got us pretty well prepared. We’ve been watching a lot of film and are putting a good game plan into action.”

As far as college plans next year, Cochran said he is getting interest from Troy University, Samford University and Auburn University, but he hasn’t decided where to go.

Cochran is the son of Richard and Nancy Cochran of the Straughn community.