Player Profile: Ronnie Ochoa

Because Kickers Are People, too, You Know?

Ian Caffarel, Staff Writer

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Anyone who has an intimate knowledge of football is aware of the role that special teams, especially kickers, can play. Kickers are special kinds of people, who do not get a lot of attention. However, they have an important role to play, especially as they more often than not score the most points on their teams. They rarely get credit if their team wins, and often take all the blame for a loss. (Blair Walsh, anyone?) Kickers, then, may be a special kind of people. But they are people.

This season for Mesa’s football team has been one filled with struggles. So far, the team’s 3-6 record shows it, losing 3 of the first four, and then three straight in October, despite blowout wins against EC Compton Center and LA Pierce. Special teams has played a role, good and bad. The good was a 100-yard punt return score against Victor Valley. The bad was Bryce Pasky, the team’s former kicker, who was benched early after going seven for eight on extra points, and 0 for two on field goals.

However, as with every cloud, there is a silver lining behind it. And one of these linings comes in the form of journeyman freshman kicker Ronnie Ochoa.

Since stepping up, Ochoa has been relatively consistent, making 8 out of 11 field goals and 18 of 19 extra points, with his season long FG being from 43 yards.

On and off the field, he has had quite a ride.

After playing football in high school in Bakersfield, he came down to San Diego. Though he didn’t enjoy his time on the field in high school, he has enjoyed things here. “The team has a family attitude”, he says. He enjoys the coaches and team at Mesa.

Ochoa presently is taking general ed classes about Mesa. At the moment, he is undecided on both his major and what else to do off the field, but wants to join a club-and is considering drama and speech. Despite his indecision, he remains optimistic. He hopes to eventually transfer to a Division I school, preferably SDSU, and train to become a firefighter. If not, he plans to go back to Bakersfield and go to school there.

Ochoa’s plans, both on and off the field, seem headed in the right direction.

I asked him how the season has been for him. He said that he enjoyed it, despite the losses. About the game against College of the Desert, he said “it was a good one, but a tough L. Hopefully, we get the W’s the next two weeks to finish the season out strong.”

So far, his prediction seems right. In a game against Mt. San Jacinto on November 5, the Olympians won, 23-14. During the game, Ochoa hit a 21-yard field goal and two extra points.

Who knows, if Mesa wins its season finale against Southwestern, Ochoa could have the opportunity to hit the game-winner.

(Writer’s Note: In the game against Southwestern, Mesa lost 42-14. Ochoa hit two extra points in the game.)

Mesa Olympians Kicker Ronnie Ochoa (#97, left) with teammates Marcus Rosser (16, center) and Bryce Pasky (47, right) before a game against Compton Community College. Photo Credit: Ronnie Ochoa.

Mesa Olympians Kicker Ronnie Ochoa (#97, left) with teammates Marcus Rosser (16, center) and Bryce Pasky (47, right) before a game against Compton Community College.
Photo Credit: Ronnie Ochoa.

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Player Profile: Ronnie Ochoa