Ten months after being shot in an unsolved shooting that killed two friends, Jordan Howard played in the final regular-season game for Cajon High School.
Playing football has helped him deal with the shooting and the loss of his friends, Howard said.
"I’m in touch with them all the time," Howard said of his slain friends. "Two friends I grew up with since I was little. Andrew, preschool. Quinn, middle school. Something that hard, they’re my motivation now."
Howard was shot near his left eye back in January while he was walking to the movies in Redlands with his friends. Howard’s friends, Quinn McCaleb and Andrew Jackson were killed, and another teen was shot in the leg. A fifth teen with the friends was not harmed.
Howard lost all vision in his left eye and doctors told him he’d never play football again.
"I thought the worst," mother Gail Howard said. "I actually thought he was dead. I went to the hospital, they said he wouldn’t see again."
But Howard regained his eyesight after two months and transferred to Cajon High School, where administrators call his story of perseverance an everyday teachable moment. On Friday, the team captain played in the final game of the season for the Cajon Cowboys, fully recovered from a gunshot to the head.
"You saw Jordan already had a great runback tonight," said Frank Janse, Cajon High vice principal. "Love to see his anger on the field for sure, that’s where it belongs."
Police do not have any suspects in the shooting.