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Bulldog leader lost for season
The pain was excruciating. Josh Edwards, starting quarterback for Ceres High School's varsity football team, remained on the turf at Dunlavy Field for what seemed like an eternity. The senior suffered a career-ending knee injury in the Bulldogs' Valley Oak League opener on Oct. 2 in Sonora.

"You never want to see any kid get injured, especially during their senior year," Ceres High head coach Brett Johnson said. "It's a bummer."

Edwards sustained ACL and MCL tears in his right knee. Josh left school early on Oct. 7 after receiving the bad news. He had surgery last Thursday.

"This is the first time in my life ever being out in any sport because of injury," he said. "It's going to be real hard watching everybody else play and being on the sidelines. It kills me."

Wearing a brown earflap hat, a letterman's jacket and a brace on his knee while leaning on crutches, Josh watched helplessly during Ceres High's 56-6 blowout loss to host Oakdale on Oct. 9.

Junior George Borden started in place of Edwards. He passed for 95 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

"It's too bad Josh got injured," Borden said. "He was going to have a great season. I just have to fill in for him. Every time I come off the sidelines, he's there to tell me what I did wrong."

Said Edwards: "I've been helping him out. I got a lot of confidence in him."

Josh's leadership will be greatly missed. Bulldog receiver Justin Canatsy has been teammates with Edwards for the past four seasons. They're also close friends.

"It's a heart killer," said Justin, who's caught 64 passes for 912 yards and nine touchdowns from Edwards since their junior year. "But injuries happen in football. We got to fight through it. There's no need to mourn or feel sorry for the loss. It's hard but we got to adapt and make due with what we have."

Edwards started 14 games at the varsity level, including all 10 as a junior, for the Bulldogs. The 2008 VOL second-team quarterback totaled 2,335 yards and 20 touchdowns.

"I don't know why it (knee injury) happened to me but it did," said Josh, who never missed a game while playing quarterback for the Bulldogs' JV and freshman football teams. "I'm going to rehab really hard so I can come back early for baseball."

Edwards should be able to make a full recovery. He'll be able to play sports again, possibly this spring.

"It could have been worse," said Josh, who avoided a life-altering injury that could have had catastrophic results. "God was watching out for me."

Added Johnson: "I'm proud of how he's handled the tough situation."