Submitted to the Optic
Mathew Baca, 15, of Las Vegas recently competed in Coach Dave Schuman’s National Underclassmen Combine.
The event is a football competition where high school athletes go through testing in the 40 yard dash, shuttle run, vertical jump, broad jump, and bench press. They then have specific position skills evaluations by former NFL players and college coaches.
MVP awards are then given out for each position at each grade level. The biggest award at each Combine is the Overall MVP, which is for the best player in their grade, regardless of position.
Baca repeated as Overall MVP for the second time in as many years. He also made the All-Combine team for a second straight year. Competing as a running back, he posted a 40-yard dash time comparable to other MVPs in the region, and his shuttle time, 4.6 seconds, is among the best in the nation for his grade level.
Select reviews: “Mathew has quick feet, runs great routes, possesses good hands, great speed, nice potential, and a great overall athlete.”
“All of us here at NUC would like to congratulate all the award winners for an excellent job well done. Each of the award winners stood out and demonstrated excellent athletic football-related ability. Our award winners are truly the best of the best.”
Baca most recently competed in varsity track at Robertson High School and was a member of the state-qualifying 1,600-meter medley relay team.
No stranger to the state meet, he also competed in last year’s state-qualifying 800-meter relay team as an eighth grader, one of the few in the state to do so.
Baca wishes to thank Coaches Mike Maldonado and John Maldonado for taking of their time to help him prepare for the Combine. He said he would also like to thank his parents Victoria M. Baca and Gary G. Lopez for all their support in his many endeavors.
Baca will take part in his next football event, the NUC Ultimate 100, an invitation-only event in Los Angeles in June.