MONTEREY PARK, CA — Moe Vasquez received an academic scholarship from Colorado State University. Vasquez, who played two years of football at East Los Angeles College, puts his education at the forefront of his current goals.
“My major is Construction Management, which will help me build for my future family,” said Vasquez. “This is my most important goal right now.”
CSU is “home to one of the oldest and most successful Construction Management programs in the country,” according to the school’s website.
Vasquez will attempt to play NCAA Division I, CSU Rams Football as a walk-on and is no stranger to this role.
He was a walk-on at ELAC and made the team as a tight end in his freshman year. Battling rotation his final year on the team, Vasquez added 25 pounds to his frame in order to fill a hole on the ELAC “O” line and was pulled into that position just before the season.
Preparing for his work as walk-on at Colorado State, Vasquez took to the gym and changed his diet. Today he is a impressive 235 pounds. “Anytime that you work hard in the weight room—athletically, physically—this sport is going to pay off,” said ELAC football coach Bobby Godinez. “Depending on what they (CSU Football) want him to do, he’s going to do the right thing. His future is bright and he’s going to accomplish whatever it is he wants.”
Even though he received scholarship offers from other schools, Vasquez chose Colorado State. “I have to put my future first so I chose Colorado State because it’s a great school in my field and,” said Vasquez. “The challenge of being a walk-on and earning a degree so far away from my family will help me mature.”
Vasquez acknowledges that ELAC and its football program helped prepare him for his move to Colorado State. “Football is a big part of my life,” said Vasquez. “I’ve had to balance my education with playing football at ELAC, learning real life situations that turns out to be a big key in my future plans.”
“Things such as teamwork, working under a high-pressure environment, and time management teaches you to mature and grow up” said Vasquez. “I’m grateful to the coaching staff for their wisdom.”
“I am hoping very much to play football at Colorado State,” said Vasquez. “I want to eventually give back to the sport someday. Many kids from Whittier don’t have opportunity to go to school through sports. I want to go back and give to my community.”
Vasquez was a recipient of the Dean’s List at ELAC during his freshman football season exceeding the 3.5 GPA minimum for such award. He earned an AA in Engineering at the end of the 2016 Fall Semester just days after the football team won its first bowl game in several years, 63-17, against College of the Desert. Vazquez received an ELAC Scholar-Athlete Academic Award this summer in recognition for his GPA.
His degree was one of his biggest accomplishments, “as well as humbly going from a 2-8 season in my freshman year to a 9-2 record, Metro League champions and the Bowl win,” said Vasquez. He stresses the importance of his ELAC education in learning to “Study, and being able to break down mistakes in the classroom or on the field.”
“Never lose sight of your ultimate goal, said Vasquez. “My education with a goal of playing football at Colorado State are a challenge, which I embrace with humility and adjust if things don’t work out as planned.”
Vasquez draws his inspiration from his family, which has taught him by example. “And my ELAC family. Coach Carter, Art Hoomiratana—all the coaches as well as the football team,” said Vasquez.” I had friends who played ELAC football and asked me to check it out while I was deciding on a college to attend. It felt like home here and ELAC was the best choice.”
“ELAC is on its way to becoming a football powerhouse. I will watch the team through streaming each week while I keep moving forward, doing what’s in my control, everyday giving my all,” said Vasquez.
“Moe is an excellent example of an ELAC Scholar Athlete. He places his academic development as his first priority. He is able to perform anywhere the Football Coaches need him,” said 2016-17 teammate Paula Kava, a 6'3" 270-pound freshman from the defensive line. “I remember playing with him this past season.”
“He started off with playing defensive line with me and my brother Sione (Vea, a 6'6" 260-freshman last season). The coaches later moved him to Offensive line where they felt he could be of great service to our team -- and he was. Towards the ending-half of our season Moe was playing both Fullback and Tight End,” said Kava.
“Everybody loves Moe because he's a great person off the field and he's an absolute Animal on the field. I just wanted to thank Moe for being a great example for us ELAC student athletes to look up to,” said Kava. “Ofa Lahi atu toko!”
submitted by Tadzio Garcia