Off of another strong season, one of the top 5A programs in El Paso continues to send talent to the next level. This time around, the three players were a core part of a defense that head coach Hernandez had called “the best defense I’ve ever coached.”
Cornerback Rosario Hernandez, defensive lineman Hinckley Lavea and linebacker Angel Carrillo of the Chapin Huskies all made their commitments official earlier this week. Hernandez and Lavea both signed with Southwestern University in Georgetown while Carrillo signed with Abilene Christian. With the three latest signees, seven former Chapin Huskies have signed to play football at the next level from the Class of 2017.
“They were all such great team players,” said head coach Rene Hernandez, “With Angel Carrillo, you can’t teach a lot of the things that he does. He has great instincts. Hinckley was so strong for us and teams really had to account for him and Rosario (Rosie) was just the quarterback for us in the secondary. These guys are going to be missed.”
For Rosario Hernandez (no relation to Rene) and Lavea, the two defensive standouts will play with teammates Ryan Wilson and DJ Banks, who signed with Southwestern back in late February. For Hernandez, getting to play with some familiar faces played an important role in his decision.
“Playing with those guys was a big part of my decision,” Hernandez said, “I went and visited the school by myself and it’s great, but having that chemistry with three of my teammates is great and I know we can do something special there at Southwestern.”
Like Hernandez, Lavea he’s also looking forward to starting his collegiate career with a few other Huskies. The senior defensive lineman hadn’t played football until he got to Chapin and four years later, he finished his senior year as the District 1-5A defensive co-MVP, racking up 117 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Simply put, it’s a dream come true.
“It’s surreal, it doesn’t feel real,” Lavea said following the ceremony, “I remember being in the stands my freshman year watching guys ahead of me sign and I told myself ‘I want to be here’ four years later and here I am now.”
Angel Carrillo was the leading tackler for the Huskies in 2016, finishing with 149 tackles and earning a second team All-District selection. He’ll be going on to Abilene Christian as a preferred walk-on and he’s ready to embrace the opportunity he’ll have with the Wildcats even after his football career is over.
“It’s exciting,” Carrillo said, “After football, I want to become a cardiologist and Abilene Christian really was a great school and a great fit to help me pursue my dreams.
As the three former Huskies prepare to take off to the next level, Rene Hernandez says that the player and his team will “have a special place in my heart.” Hernandez says they will be difficult to replace, but he’s confident in each individual’s ability to succeed because of what they learned at Chapin and taught the classes behind them.
“As individuals, they were great but they came together as a team so well,” Hernandez said, “I think that’s what they learned here and they’re going to carry on with them everywhere they go.”
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