Getting to kick down under

Cazarez is picked to represent California in Australia


Sara Abdeltawab

During senior night, Ricardo Cazarez helped the team come back by making the field goal. In the last quarter, Stagg was able to put six points on the scoreboard winning 38-35 against Edison.


Senior Ricardo Cazarez started off his high school athletic career as a soccer player. He played center, and he was known by his coach and teammates for his powerful kick.

Toward the end of his sophomore year his coach pushed him to try out for football. After seeing how adamant his coach was about him playing football, he decided to try it out. Cazarez’s coach took him to a one-on-one practice with the football coach, and he “just kicked footballs for the whole practice.”

Recently, Cazarez was invited to a handpicked American high school in Australia. Cazarez received a letter from football coach Don Norton before his practice started.

He was sure that the letter was from one of the many colleges seeking to recruit him, but to his surprise when he opened the letter he found out the great news.

“I was having a terrible day that day, I woke up late, had a headache, and I was tired,” he said. “Opening and reading that letter immediately made my day better.”

The letter was from Down Under Sports, an organization that puts high school sports teams together from all over America. The letter stated that Cazarez was chosen to represent California for kicking on the U.S. team against other teams from around the world.

Cazarez’s has yet to fill out the registration form, but he plans to get it done soon. His entire family will be accompanying him on this trip, something that Cazarez is grateful for. “I’m happy my family is going, but I wish my team could go too,” he said. “After all, they’re the ones who motivate and push me to keep going.”

Receiving an offer like this is a great accomplishment, but not much of a surprise since he has had 28 touchbacks and a total of 2,900 kicking yards this season alone.

“I’m really excited to have this oppurtunity to something great for California,” he said. “I’m also excited to progress in my football career.

Cazarez hopes to play college in college, and he dreams of making it onto an NFL team one day. “I wish I would’ve played football sooner,” he said. “I really love it, and used to think it would interfere with soccer.”

Although Cazarez dominates the field with his powerful field goal kicks, he does mess up from time to time. “I’ll never forget the day I missed a field goal tie with Bear Creek last season,” he said. “It made me feel terrible at first, but everyone makes mistakes, I guess.”

One of the fondest memories Cazarez holds of his football career is his first field goal he made last season in a game against Modesto. “I honestly couldn’t stop smiling, I felt amazing.”

Cazarez is the only kicker for the football team, so he sometimes feels immense pressure to perform the best he can from his coaches and teammates. Also seeing as he has no replacement, he takes extreme precautions not to get hurt during games and practices, although those efforts weren’t always perfect.

Cazarez has gone through a countless number of injuries this past year, all ranging from minor to major. He recalls pulling a hamstring, and limping for days. One of his most recent injuries was to his “glute.”

“It hurt really bad to be honest,” Cazares said. “But you know how it is, I just had to ignore the pain.”

Although Cazarez believes he’s only known for his kicking, that’s not the case according to the football specialist coach Anthony Lee. Most kickers for the football team usually only kick at practice, but Cazares does everything, ranging from weights to actual contact.

“He’s the first kicker that’s truly done all the exercises,” Lee said. “He’s not known as Ricardo the kicker, he’s known as Ricardo the football player.”