Pacheco selected to play in national all-star game
Austin Pacheco made national headlines earlier this year when he kicked a Carson High school-record 64-yard field goal to beat Bishop Manogue.
That kick led to many letters from interested colleges, and on Jan. 14 Pacheco will have a chance to impress those schools in person when he participates in the Blue-Grey National All-Star game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Pacheco, who posted some impressive kicking numbers, is believed to be the first Carson football player to ever be invited to a game of this magnitude, and local fans will be able to watch the national telecast.
The Carson senior, who is currently playing basketball for the Senators, found out Tuesday night that he had been invited to the contest.
“Coach (Blair) Roman came up to me Monday and said he’d gotten a call from somebody connected to the game,” Pacheco said after Carson-Reed basketball game Tuesday night. “Then the guy (from the game) called me and said they were interested in me. We talked about my stats. He asked if I punted, and when I told him that I did that sealed the deal.
“It’s an honor to be selected. It’s a chance to represent my school. It’s kind of surreal. It really hasn’t hit me yet.”
Pacheco’s kicking stats speak for themselves. He kicked nine field goals, including back-to-back game winners against Bishop Manogue and Douglas. He averaged 38.2 yards punting with a long of 63 yards and he put four punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He averaged 56.6 yards on kickoffs and had 37 touchbacks.
Roman said it was the 64-yard field goal against Manogue that initially got the attention of the game’s director.
“The game director heard about the publicity that Austin got on the Internet after that kick,” Roman said. “He talked to me about Austin and his career. Obviously he feels that Austin is a dominant kicker. I’m very happy for Austin.”
Pacheco now has the job of getting back into kicking shape. Since he went straight to basketball the day that Carson’s football team was eliminated from the playoffs, he hasn’t been practicing at all. He said that will change.
Pacheco said he’s already talked to kicking coach Jim deArrieta about working with him.
“I’ll kick right after school when we have late practice, and on B days I get out at 9:30 so I can go out and kick then,” Pacheco said.
Roman said he told Pacheco that he needs to get his kicking leg back in shape.
Roman said players will go through two or three days of practice prior to the game, and no doubt there will be college recruiters doing some serious evaluating because national letter of intent day is in the first week of February.
“I expect him to do well,” Roman said. “He’ll only be kicking and punting and not having to play offense or defense. Austin handles pressure very well. He needs to be focused on his job.”
“It’s going to be a great experience,” Pacheco said. “I’m going to do the best job that I can. We’ll see (if any offers re forthcoming) afterwards.”