Glenwood’s Pacheco signs with Elmhurst College in Illinois
After scoring 13 goals and adding 11 assists during his senior season at Glenwood Springs High School, senior forward Alonso Pacheco will take his talents to the state of Illinois, where he’s set to become a member of the Elmhurst College Bluejays’ soccer program, under the direction of head coach Dave Di Tomasso.
By signing with the Bluejays, Pacheco becomes the first player under Glenwood Head Coach Wayne Smith’s regime with the Demons to go on to college to play soccer.
“I’m really excited [to be the first guy under Wayne],” Pacheco said following the signing ceremony inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium at Glenwood Springs High School. “Wayne has done a tremendous job with this program, and I know that the players here are going to be incredible moving forward.”
“He’s an example of a player who’s taken advantage of every opportunity that he’s had; that’s what it takes,” Smith said as Pacheco signed his paperwork. “He’s a hard worker, he’s coachable, and he followed through with all the opportunities he was given. His character and persistence is off the charts, too. He’s everything that college programs want, and he’s a great example for what it takes for our younger guys. He’s earned all of this.”
Pacheco, the son of Alonso and Maria, transferred into the Glenwood program from Coal Ridge during the 2016 season. Due to Colorado High School Activities Association rules, Pacheco had to sit out varsity competition in his junior season. While missing out on varsity action, Pacheco dominated junior varsity action for the Demons, earning JV offensive player of the year honors.
Despite playing just one year of varsity action for the Demons, Pacheco left a lasting impact, helping the Demons go 9-6, while earning 4A Western Slope League First Team All-Conference honors and 4A All-State Honorable Mention accolades.
“I feel like I learned [in that JV season] that I could become a leader in this program,” Pacheco said. “Going from varsity at Coal Ridge to junior varsity at Glenwood wasn’t something I was happy about, but there was nothing I could do about it. Since most of the team was freshmen at that time, I’d have to step up as a leader and a mentor at that time. That helped me in my senior season here.”
Aside from his accomplishments as a Demon, Pacheco got involved in the recruiting process early, traveling around the country for ID camps, putting himself in front of recruiters at the collegiate level.
“My parents and I have been part of the NCSA [Next College Student Athlete] program since my freshman year,” Pacheco said. “I’ve wanted to play college soccer since I was a little kid. Getting into that program was big for me. Once I got to my junior year, things started to pick up.”
Prior to signing with the Bluejays, Pacheco said he visited roughly six schools before choosing Elmhurst, giving the Bluejays an aggressive, attacking playmaker at the midfield position, which is something the Bluejays could use after going 8-8-2 last season.
“They’re getting a very creative player and a very determined player,” Smith said. “He’s got great vision, and he’s going to come in right away and work hard in training. He’s very coachable; he’ll fit right into whatever system they want him to.”
When not playing soccer for the Bluejays, Pacheco will major in computer science, a subject he’s currently taking classes for at Glenwood Springs High School. With the world quickly shifting further and further towards technology, Pacheco wants to carve out a career in cybersecurity.
“It’s an up-and-coming field,” Pacheco said. “I originally just wanted to get into the field and figure it out once I was there, but I really want to look into cyber ecurity. That’s really appealing to me, and hopefully I can make something out of that.”
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It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.