Josh Cox emerged from a rather hellish journey and ultimately found a dream destination.
Cox sat out nearly his entire junior football season at Boyd County as he rehabilitated the knee injured in the first game of that fall.
A torn ACL, MCL and meniscus sidelined the two-sport athlete for football and track.
“It was excruciating,” Cox said. “But I kept telling the coaches that I was going to be able to play my senior year. I just worked my butt off in rehab and in the weight room.”
Cox not only saw the field again, he thrived. The linebacker/fullback turned in an All-Area senior campaign as he tallied 50-plus tackles to lead the Lions, more than 300 rushing yards to go with five touchdowns, and nearly 150 receiving yards and two TD catches.
Union College took notice of both Cox’s football and track skills. On April 26, he signed with Union to play both sports. He’s planning to take pre-pharmacy courses.
“I’ve always wanted to go to a small private school,” Cox said. “I’m not big into lecture halls. I like one-on-one type learning.”
Union football went 2-9 last season as part of the Mid South Conference West division. By this fall, the Bulldogs will be back in the MSC East.
Cox became a well-rounded player while playing under coach Lee Evans at Boyd County. Evans was let go after this past year, in which the Lions went 5-6.
“I love Coach Evans,” Cox said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better coach. He worked with me while I was hurt and pushed me.”
As a sophomore, Cox was a pinball player, bouncing around to and from different positions. He played running back, offensive lineman, defensive lineman and linebacker.
“I think that helped me in the long run,” said Cox of frequently relocating. “It helped me know where to fit in on defense and how to find holes on offense.”
Cox played a big part in bringing Boyd County its only Senior Night win in his career as a Lion, when Boyd County blew out Magoffin County on Oct. 14.
Cox will likely continue to assume the role of inside linebacker as he moves on to Union.
“I just like to hit,” he said.
Cox is just glad he still has the opportunity to hit. He vividly remembers going down with the knee injury in August 2010 in the first quarter of the first game of the season.
“When I was laying on the ground, I thought, is this how my high school career is going to end?” Cox said. “Thank God it wasn’t.”
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.