Playing football at the next level was always the goal for Cade Lopez, who graduated from Salina Central High School. Now listed as a freshman for the Blue Dragons, Lopez said the transition from high school to college went very well.
“All the coaches impact the players in special different ways. Coach Omli, my linebacker coach, has helped a lot with understanding the game at a whole IQ standpoint and realizing the details matter. Coach Maurice Gray helped me work on pass coverage. When I had gone up here, it had been my weak area but now I’m pretty good at it. Playing with the top-level guys every day makes you play at the top level also, so it impacts you. Coach Dallas really knows football and what it takes to do really anything involving the game; he is a good leader,” said Lopez.
Being a college athlete brings more responsibility as well. Lopez said Hutchinson Community College is a great place to be both, a student, and an athlete.
“Hutch is a good place not only because everyone is here for a reason, whether it’s for grades or to get better opportunities, we all grow and help each other and develop in every aspect of the game and in life,” said Lopez. “My biggest adjustment is really just knowing there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and when there is a closed door, there will be an open door. With that, sometimes you have to keep working knowing something good/rewarding might come soon.”
The business major offers some great advice for new students.
“Some advice I would give someone going to Hutch is to work on and off the field. When you aren’t in the gym or in football, find your way to the library at the tutoring center and spend time studying or doing homework.”