MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - West Texas Pride's Chris Ware, calls West Texas home. He grew up in Amarillo, playing a year of varsity football at Tascosa before his family moved to Oregon. He had committed to play college ball before suffering major injuries in an accident that caused his athletic career to be put on hold.
"I fractured my skull in three places and had a blood clot so I had to have brain surgery. They told my mom that if I lived I'd have to re-learn how to do everything. They said I'd have to be in the hospital for about two to three months before even starting any rehab, and I actually left the hospital in eight days," said Chris Ware.
Somehow Ware escaped a lengthy hospital stay, but the road to full recovery and a return to the football field wasn't as quick.
"I mean I wanted to keep playing. I didn't know if I'd get to play. Of course, I went to see a head specialist and my first question was am I gonna get to play again?" said Ware.
At twenty-two, Chris began college football at Eastern Oregon. After four years he played professionally in Sweden and arena football after that, but eventually, he found his way back to West Texas.
If you see him play in Midland, he'll always have crosses drawn on his face. Something he started during college to honor who he believes gave him a second chance.
"I mean obviously my story is a bigger part of his story. That's the only reason why I can explain why I'm here," said Ware.
As to why? He's still searching but for now, he's a mentor to his teammates, a manager at Orangetheory Fitness and a dad to his one and a half-year-old son.At the pride's game tomorrow night fans will be given Chris Ware bobbleheads, with the chance for a little customization.
"Never have I ever thought that I'd actually have a bobblehead so it's kinda surreal. The bobblehead doesn't have the crosses but after I sign them they will," said Ware.
Chris Ware and the Pride will face the Amarillo horned frogs at Grande Communications Stadium at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.