One semi-professional athlete is hospitalized for a severe neck injury while a college athlete sits in jail, all because of a wild altercation at the Lobo Bar on Alpine’s east side.
At least 5 Big Bend Cowboys baseball players and a number of other men got into a fight early Friday morning as the Cowboys were leaving the bar, said Cowboys general manager J.R. Smith.
Cowboys outfielder B.L. “Trey” George remained at Odessa Medical Center Hospital early Wednesday, undergoing treatment for a neck fracture and other injuries, according to police and Smith.
In Alpine, Sul Ross Lobos quarterback Dominque Carson is in the Brewster County Jail on $25,000 bond, charged with aggravated assault.
Alpine police Lt. Darrell Losoya said that despite the fact many people were involved in the fight, only one other Cowboys player, Nick Ochoa, was injured badly enough to require hospital treatment. He went on his own to Big Bend Regional Medical Center shortly after the fight and was released, Losoya said.
George’s injury, however, was considered severe enough that he was flown from Alpine to Odessa MCH.
Losoya said that when police were called to the Lobo Bar to break up the fight, they detained a number of men and started sorting out assailants, stories and witnesses.
“A lot of people are saying they threw a punch,” the lieutenant said.
And although only Carson has been formally charged, police could file another aggravated assault count against Ochoa’s assailant when his identity is confirmed.
The investigation is still in progress, Losoya said.
The Cowboys had been scheduled to play the Coastal Kingfish at Kokernot Field last Thursday evening. But just before the game was scheduled to start, a heavy rainfall forced a cancellation.
According to reports, players from both baseball teams then headed to the Lobo Bar, across from the Sul Ross campus. As George, Ochoa and fellow Cowboys Javier Arrieta, Rene Ruiz and Eric Garcia were leaving the club, they were jumped and beaten, reportedly by a dozen or more men.
Meanwhile, George’s mother told Losoya that the family plans to have the athlete flown home to Houston as soon as his condition stabilizes. The family said George had been able to get out of his hospital bed and walk around a bit late Monday.
Smith had told Cowboys owners and media representatives over the weekend that George was sedated and “it’s possible he will [not] be able to play again.”
The Cowboys signed George, a former MVP for the Continental Baseball League, from the Texarkana Gunslingers. Last year, the outfielder/designated hitter had a .337 batting average, and led the loop with 61 runs batted in. The 6-footer had been drafted in the 2001 amateur entry draft by the Colorado Rockies. In his pro career, George played 304 games with over 1,100 at-bats and 26 home runs.
Carson, the Waxahachie athlete who’s in jail, was in the news a little more than a month ago for an accomplishment, not a crime: He was honored at the Sul Ross awards banquet as football’s most valuable offensive player, despite the fact that he had suffered a season-ending leg injury in October during a game against McMurry.
During his short career as the Lobos’ quarterback, Carson was named American Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week after Sul Ross pummeled Texas Lutheran, 35-7 in mid-October. In that game, the quarterback ran for ASC season-highs of 287 yards and four touchdowns, a performance that was the third-best rushing output in conference history.
At that point in the season, Carson led the league in rushing at 140 yards per game and 42 yards better than anyone else. Carson’s 287 yards against Texas Lutheran tied a single game rushing record at Sul Ross; Bubba Jones had posted 287 yards in a 45-18 victory over McMurry University in 1988.
Last October, Sul Ross head coach Wayne Schroeder had said that Carson, a sophomore, “paced the offense. … He has adjusted well to what we’re doing. He’s the guy now. … He is such an athletic quarterback.”
That same month, Carson, who was an all-district running back in high school, told the Alpine Avalanche that the transition to quarterback was tough, especially for someone who had never played the position in his athletic career, which dated back to the third grade.
“The game is starting to slow down now,” he told the Avalanche. “It’s getting easier to make the reads. … When the coaches first approached me, I thought it was a joke,” he said, “but now I know I can do it.”
Sul Ross President Ricardo Maestas said of the fight and subsequent arrest: “There is often more than one side to a story. This matter is still under investigation and until more of the details are known, I cannot comment further on the incident that took place on June 17. Our thoughts and prayers are with Trey for a speedy recovery as well as with the other young men who were involved in this very troubling incident.”