Wyoming tries to maintain routine after player death
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming coach Dave Christensen says his team is trying to maintain its normal routine to help players cope with the death of a teammate and prepare for the Cowboys’ game against No. 5 Texas.
“We think it will help the kids get their mind on something different at different points of time throughout the day,” Christensen said Tuesday during the Mountain West Conference’s regular coach’s conference call. “And we’ll take it one day at a time. There’s not a manual on how to do these things.”
The team held its regularly scheduled position meetings on Tuesday morning, he said. Practice was to be held Tuesday afternoon as usual.
“What we’re trying to do now is just get back on track to do everything we can to prepare to go down to Austin, Texas, and play a very good Texas team,” he said.
Freshman linebacker Ruben Narcisse, 19, of Miami, died in a wreck Monday after he and several other UW teammates visited friends in Fort Collins, Colo., over the weekend.
“Just a great young man, had a smile on his face all the time,” Christensen said of Narcisse.
One player remained hospitalized Tuesday, while two others were treated and released.
Christensen said wide receiver Christian Morgan, 18, of Aurora, Colo., had surgery on his elbow and may be released Wednesday.
The Colorado Highway Patrol says the accident occurred about 5:30 a.m. Monday when the players’ pickup drifted off U.S. 287 south of the Wyoming state line and crashed.
Narcisse was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle driven by freshman cornerback Trey Fox, 19, of Glenwood Springs, Colo., the patrol said. Another passenger was redshirt freshman linebacker J.J. Quinlan, 19, of Everett, Wash.
None of the four played in Wyoming’s 28-20 win over Southern Utah on Saturday.
Christensen said the team plans to wear a decal with Narcisse’s initials and he hoped his team would pull closer together because of the tragedy.
“You know kids are fragile, they’re invincible at this age, they think, and how they react to the situation it yet to be seen,” he said.
The highway on which the accident occurred was the same road where eight UW track and cross country athletes died in a collision with a pickup driven by a UW rodeo team member on Sept. 16, 2001.
“I know that road has claimed a number of lives and that it’s been a very tragic road, but in this situation I guess tragedy could have struck if they had taken (Interstate) 80 up also,” Christensen said.