That emptiness that Jackson Ortiz has felt all year from being absent from the playing field has been fulfilled for the future.
Unable to play football during his senior year at Monterey High because of the ongoing pandemic, Ortiz had enough tape and attitude to impress a handful of prospective colleges.
One college in particular got his attention, as the defensive back is headed to Arizona Christian University in Phoenix on a football scholarship.
“A scholarship is what I’ve worked for my whole life,” Ortiz said. “This year was a real eye opener. We had what we worked for our entire life stripped away from us. Words can’t explain the anger and frustration. But it pushed me to drive and work harder. Now I’m seeing it pay off.”
Quietly Ortiz put up impressive numbers in two seasons for the Toreadores, recording 14 interceptions, with eight coming in 2019.
“Arizona Christian has been welcoming from the jump,” Ortiz said. “They have shown me what a brotherhood is like, while putting Christ first. That was important to me. I’m blessed and excited.”
The 6-foot-1 multi-sport athlete also compiled 310 tackles — 68 for losses over two seasons. Used as a receiver, Ortiz also scored 15 touchdowns in 21 career games at Monterey.
“I’m relieved this decision is finalized because this past year has been full of unpredictable events,” Ortiz said. “From the 831 (area code) to the 602, we ain’t done yet.”
Contributed by local news sources