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Velasquez: Working hard on the field and off

At the first game against Eldorado, in the second quarter, an unknown running back named Nico Velasquez dazzled the Trojans fans with his 99-yard kickoff return that had everyone in the stands cheering.

“I thought it was crazy,” Velasquez said. “It was my first TD ever. I knew from the start of that run that I would score. I just knew it.”

Three touchdowns later, sophomore Velazquez is not letting up. Velasquez is the latest running sensation for the Trojans. At the moment he is tied with Case Murphy with four touchdowns apiece.

“We have been watching Nico since his eighth grade and freshmen year,” assistant Trojans coach Craig Rieger said. “He has good balance and can be explosive. He doesn’t go down easy. He is a playmaker with great hands and he goes to the ball.”

Trojans coach Joe Clayton agrees.

“He is a great athlete,” Clayton said. “I knew he was special, and he sees the field well and has great hands. He’s just a good, solid, well-rounded athlete.”

Velasquez said he has been playing football most of his life, starting in Pop Warner and playing in middle school for the Sharks.

He is a three-sport athlete who also plays basketball and baseball. On the field, he works hard to study his game and keep it sharp. Off the field, his work ethic extends to his schoolwork. Velasquez said he has a 3.6 GPA and wants to go to college.

He said he loves the game so much that he would like to play some college ball and maybe even make it to the NFL.

“Football is my favorite sport,” he said. “It was the first sport I played and it’s the one I am best at.”

Whatever the future has in store for him, the Trojans fans are just glad to have him for two more years.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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