Twentynine Palms Football
"It means a lot that people see me as a leader," said Chris Pacheco, Twentynine Palms senior football captain.
"Chris is the type of kid that every coach wants to coach," said Michael Usher, Twentynine Palms defensive coordinator.
Chris Pacheco is currently the only named captain on the Twentynine Palms football team. His coach calls him a selfless leader, who does so by his actions.
"Not only is he at the 6 a.m. workouts every day, but he's also going to be calling people and seeing if people need rides. Whenever there's been anybody that transfers in or moves in or anything, Chris is always hitting me up to get their contact information because he wants to bring them into the fold as soon as possible," said Usher.
"I've always been taught to treat people with respect and I think it's important to do that as a teammate because, you know, you'd rather have a team that has chemistry than, you know, broken up into mini groups," said Pacheco.
"Leadership from one of your best players on your team is something that really permeates to the rest of the team and really starts the culture that you want to be successful," said Usher.
That leadership extends off the field as well. Pacheco is top 15 in his class, and a student leader in the yearbook and AVID programs at Twentynine Palms High School.
"I don't think it's just football that has taught me a lot of things. It's definitely interactions with my teachers," said Pacheco.
He says football has taught him not to quit. He's an All-DVL defensive back… but last year Pacheco got his first opportunity at running back in the fourth game of the season. He took it and literally ran with it - amassing over 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns.
"He just really kept his, kept his head down and kept working and doing things the right way, wasn't complaining about his playing time, wasn't complaining about not getting touches and really just trusted the process and trusted things to happen for him," said Usher.
"It's the people around me. They push me. They believe in me. It really goes a long way. And at the same time I believe in myself. I trust myself," said Pacheco.
Pacheco's dreams for the future involve playing a lot more football.
"It's someone that's easy to bet on and easy to vouch for," said Usher.
"I can achieve anything I put my mind to," said Pacheco.
NOMINATE A STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
- SENIOR: Must be a standout senior athlete
- STUDENT: Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher
- PERSON: Must be a leader in the community, person of high chracter
Send nominations to Blake.Arthur@KESQ.com or Taylor.Begley@KESQ.com
The Student-Athlete of the Week segment airs every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. on KESQ News Channel 3.