The Labor Day weekend proved to beĀ  a very emotional weekend for the young Cowboys. The Pokes won their home opener against their FCS foe, Southern Utah Thunderbirds in front of a nice crowd at War Memorial Stadium in the War’s “re-opening.” The Pokes won a close battle 28-20 vs the Thunderbirds from Cedar City, UT. The Pokes were riding high in their saddles Saturday night as the crowd in Laramie was treated to a fireworks show after the game.

Riding high quickly turned to tragedy as the Pokes lost one of their own early Monday morning. Ruben Narcisse, a true freshman linebacker for the Pokes, was killed in an automobile accident on Highway 287, six miles South of the Wyoming border. Also in the vehicle were freshman JJ Quinlan, CJ Morgan, and Trey Fox. Fox, who was driving the Toyota Tundra allegedly fell asleep at the wheel as the group was coming back from visiting friends in Colorado. Colorado troopers say drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Narcisse, from Miami, FL, was a true freshman playing in his first game for the Cowboys. He did not see action in the opener but was suited up. Players and coaches both have commented on Ruben’s great attitude and how happy he was to be a Cowboy. Out of high school he received offers from South Florida to play football, but ultimately ended up at Wyoming. Ruben will be honored with a decal on the helmets of the Pokes this Saturday at Texas bearing his initials. Coach Dave Christensen is quoted as saying a few players have expressed to him that they want to wear his number.

Two of the other players in the vehicle received minor injuries and were treated and released from Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie. CJ Morgan was sent to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and was in fair condition Monday night. He’s apparently had surgery on his elbow, and expects to be released from the hospital on Wednesday. JJ Quinlan was back at practice, but not participating on Tuesday.

The Cowboys face a difficult week as they deal with the death of a teammate, and they prepare for a game on Saturday with the #5 Texas Longhorns in Austin. The game will kickoff at 5pm Mountain from Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium.

Go Pokes!