By signing his name on Sunday, Wyatt Orozco became the first Pacheco High athlete to sign a college letter of intent when he agreed to a partial scholarship to play football for Menlo College of the NAIA.
Orozco, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound left guard, was a leader on the offensive line that led the Panthers to a 7-4 season and the playoffs for the second year in a row, but missed the last two games with a dislocated shoulder.
“He was a huge part of it, like all the guys,” Pacheco coach David Snapp said. “Him going down late in the season with his shoulder really made it tough for us in the Christian Brothers game. Wyatt was the centerpiece and one of the glues that held that offensive line together.”
Orozco was a three-year starter, taking the field as a sophomore for Pacheco’s first varsity season. At Menlo, he will play alongside Los Banos High graduate Bryce Howard, who was a senior that year.
“I thought that was one of the best things,” Orozco said. “I faced him when I was 190 pounds, and now we’ll be teammates instead of enemies.”
Orozco had similar offers from other small colleges, but felt Menlo was the best fit based on the college’s academics and location.
“When I saw them play, they play with a chip on their shoulder,” Orozco said. And they’re big. They have a great strength and conditioning coach. That, and it being a nice area to live.”
Snapp said he can’t take any credit for Orozco landing a scholarship, saying the senior had a plan for college and stuck to it, but Orozco can’t agree with that completely, saying Snapp helped him get his name out to recruiters.
“I’m excited for him. I’m proud of him,” Snapp said.
“He’s not the most athletically gifted guy, but he had a plan and made it work. I like to think I helped, but he did it all on his own. He’s real hard on himself and committed to what he wanted to do.”
He’ll be the second college athlete from Pacheco (along with any other from this class that compete at the next level) after Ryan Salcido ran cross country last fall at Sacramento State.