Carl Schofield easily could have made the situation about him.
Plenty wouldn’t have even blamed the then junior. While it wasn’t exactly the stuff of Wally Pipp and Lou Gehrig, Schofield went down with an injury about midway through Pacheco’s 2015 football season. Aric Barton assumed the reigns as the Panther quarterback and never relinquished the job.
Rather than pout about his misfortune, Schofield offered up his services at another position of need. He became Barton’s go-to receiver in 2016, hauling in a team-high 42 catches for 640 yards and eight touchdowns. While Schofield quietly went about his business on the field, he continued to hone his craft under center, visiting as many camps as he could.
His selflessness and hard work paid dividends as he caught the eye of Sterling College in Kansas. Schofield made it official last week, participating in a signing ceremony with his family, teammates coaches and friends in the Pacheco cafeteria.
“It could have been really bad, but Carl accepted how things turned out and wanted to help the team,” Panthers coach David Snapp said. “He could have easily pouted and caused dissension in the team, but instead went out and turned himself into a pretty good receiver. I even felt bad for him, because it wasn’t a result of his play. Aric just came in and started putting up numbers. He earned the job.
“You have to give him credit, too. He went to camps all over the West Coast keeping that fire stoked for playing quarterback at the next level. I think it’s probably going to take a little bit of practice time to shake off the rust, but he’s so fundamentally sound at quarterback, it should come back to him pretty quick.”
It sounds like Schofield is going to have plenty of time to get reacclimated.
“They have a guy there right now that was all conference last season,” Schofield said. “They want me to come in an redshirt and learn from him. They run a spread offense and like my ability to throw on the run.
“I’m not really sure how I got on their radar, but they invited me out for a visit. I really connected with the coaches and the people. It’s a small town, but it’s a great community and they really love their football. I’m looking forward to playing in front of a packed house.”
Schofield is joining an NAIA power. Sterling finished the season 8-3 and earned a postseason rank of No. 14 in the country.
The senior had already committed on a trip to Kansas earlier in the month, but said he was grateful for the opportunity to share the experience with his family and friends back home.
“It was a good moment having everyone there with me,” Schofield said. “It made me look back on the last three years and all the work I’ve put in to try and get this opportunity. To be able to share it with the people that supported me through that time was special.”