Many have been hit hard by the news that schools will not return to campus for the remainder of the academic year. It’s a tough and transformative time for all, but especially for the senior class, the class of 2020. Sports360AZ wants to hear from those seniors on how they’re adjusting, what they’re feeling and how this experience can make them stronger moving forward in a segment we call “2020 Vision.”
Cristofer Carrillo didn’t grow up playing football. In fact, it wasn’t until just before his junior year at Central that he even considered playing the sport.
He showed up for an off-season workout intent on playing wide receiver.
Once head coach Chandler Hovik and his staff noticed his long, rangy frame they knew his place would be up front, working mostly at defensive end.
Fast forward the story two years and the team captain and defensive team MVP tallied a jaw-dropping 90 tackles, including 19 for loss, to go along with his 7.5 sacks last fall for the Bobcats.
“I felt like I put a lot of work in,” Carrillo said to Sports360AZ.com of his jump in production between his junior and senior year. “I gave the best of myself for the team. It felt really good to be appreciated and see all that hard work come to fruition.”
More importantly, Carrillo has also showed off that work ethic in the classroom carrying a 3.0 grade point average, despite having to balance his time management at home since the pandemic started back in March.
“It’s been a little tough but the school has been communicating with the student body,” he explained. “It’s a little difficult to stay as focused on the subject matter and stay on top of assignments but I’ve been [doing ok].”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder will attend ASU in the fall and study automotive engineering. He said he’s hoping to walk-on to the football team this year or possibly take a year off to improve his strength before trying to catch on with the Sun Devil program.
As he leaves Central, he’s hoping his hard work and commitment will pay forward to some of the younger Bobcat players.
“I’d really try to stress finding the passion,” Carrillo said. “The thing that really did it for me was the brotherhood that you [have] in sports and you make with a team. It no longer becomes about trying to make all the tackles but it becomes about the team. You have to want it for yourself, as well. It’s about finding that balance.”
Cris Carrillo has certainly found that balance, both on the field and off.