Posted May 2, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Garçon, Cooley join lineup for Apple Blossom Sports Breakfast

Tight end Chris Cooley, an NFL free agent who has played his entire eight-year pro career with the Washington Redskins, has been announced as a sports celebrity guest for Saturday's Apple Blossom Festival sports breakfast. Courtesy photo

Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon has been announced as a sports celebrity guest for Saturday's Apple Blossom Festival sports breakfast. Courtesy photo

Daily Staff Report -- sports@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Shenandoah Apple Blossom President Lou Ann Thompson announced on Thursday that Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon has joined the growing lineup of stars at the 2013 Wells Fargo Sports Breakfast.

Garçon joins NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, NBA 10,000+ point scorer Johnny Newman and emcee Ken Mease at the Sports Breakfast podium.

Garçon also will be in attendance at the Grand Feature Parade with the Washington Redskins Band and current and former Washington Redskins cheerleaders.

Garçon was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 205th overall pick. He displayed himself as a deep threat in Peyton Manning's offense, recording 47 receptions, 765 yards and four touchdowns in his second season.

In 2010, Garçon had the starting spot most of the season. By the end of the season, he had 67 receptions for 784 yards and six touchdowns. During the 2011 season, despite Manning being out the entire season due to injury, Garçon had his best season with the Colts. He started in all 16 games of the season and recorded 70 receptions, 947 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

On March 13, 2012, Garçon signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract with the Washington Redskins. He was the Redskins' first free agent signing for the 2012 season.

In the season opening 40-32 win against the New Orleans Saints, Garçon scored the first touchdown. After catching a 16-yard pass from Robert Griffin III, Garçon ran for an additional 72 yards and a touchdown, which gave Griffin his first career scoring pass. Unfortunately, Garçon struggled much of the rest of the season with a serious foot injury.

Also announced on Thursday is the attendance of Redskins fan favorite, Chris Cooley. Cooley attended Utah State University where he majored in Art Education and was a standout football player for the Aggies.

In his senior season at Utah State, Cooley led all tight ends in the nation in receptions and was the runner-up for the John Mackey award. After becoming the first non-wide receiver to lead the team in catches, he was voted the team's offensive MVP. Chris finished his collegiate career with 95 receptions for 1,255 yards.

Cooley was selected 81st overall by the Washington Redskins in the 2004 NFL draft. In only his second year he broke the Redskins single season record for catches by a tight end with 71 and was the team's nominee for the league's Walter Payton award. In his short career, he has caught 231 balls and racked up 2,600 yards and 27 touchdowns. He earned a spot on the 2008 Pro Bowl roster after serving as an alternate in the previous three seasons. Cooley is currently an NFL free agent, but has said he won't play for any other team than the Redskins next season.

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