STORM LAKE, IOWA (KCAU) – Every team wants an Eric Pacheco.
“His teammates respect him,” Buena Vista head football coach Grant Mollring said. “He’s the hardest working guy out here.”
A star in high school, Eric has become all that and more at Buena Vista. He’s been filling up the Beaver stat sheets, while becoming the program’s all-time leading receiver last Saturday.
“It feels good to get those accolades, but at the end of the day we’re just looking to win some games,” Buena Vista senior wide receiver Eric Pacheco said. “It takes a lot of hard work, I’m just a product of Coach Mo’s offense.”
“It’s just good to have somebody that leads by example, that’s not a rah-rah guy that’s not in your face,” Mollring said. “He doesn’t tell you how good he is, he just goes out and plays.”
But when his mind isn’t on football, it’s on physical therapy. After football, Eric plans to attend graduate school so he can merge his profession with his passion for the game.
“I just love rehabbing guys,” Pacheco said. “I’ve always been kind of a geek with the science stuff and learning about human anatomy. The ultimate goal obviously, I’d like to work for a pro team being a physical therapist there.”
However, Eric’s football career may not be over after college. Several NFL clubs have made the trip to Storm Lake to get a look at Buena Vista’s record-breaking receiver.
“30 of the 32 teams have either contacted us or planning to be here this fall,” Mollring said.
“Definitely made me feel good when the Browns scout came, because I put BV on the map a little bit, maybe some more guys will come,” Pacheco said.
“A lot of them think very highly of him and want to see him perform well again as a senior,” Mollring said. “But his proof is in the pudding. He’s put in the work.”
Whatever happens, the future for Pacheco looks bright. But Eric is keeping his feet on the ground, while staying true to his character.
“Can’t let it get in your head I suppose, having scouts that are watching your every move,” Pacheco said. “But that doesn’t define me. I just look to bust my butt every day.”
“He’ll have his name on the record books he already does, but more importantly it’s the legacy of being a great student-athlete and that’s what BV is about and he’s been given a lot of opportunity here and he’s making the most of it,” Mollring said.
With the Beavers aiming for their first winning season in 13 years, Pacheco knows he and his team have business to take care of this fall.
“We’ve been practicing our own guys against our guys for over 100 practices now since last fall 2020,” Pacheco said. “We’re just itching to get out there and face someone knew. We’re looking to create fireworks out there.”
Buena Vista travels to St. Paul next Saturday to face the University of Northwestern (MN) for their final non-conference matchup.