UCLA Football to Honor Late TeammateBy: Courtney Wills - September 12, 2013
A little over a week and a half ago UCLA redshirt freshmen football player, Nick Pasquale, 20, would step on the turf of the Rose Bowl field in Pasadena, California for both his first and last time. In a tragic turn of events the wide receiver Pasquale was found dead sometime early Sunday morning (September 8) after being hit by a car in his hometown of San Clemente (Orange County, CA). According to the coroner’s report Pasquale died of the apparent blunt force trauma inflicted by the vehicle’s impact.
Pasquale, who was awarded the honor of being an All-Orange County Football player in high school, was to said to have been walking in the street in his hometown in the early morning hours when two motorists came within sight of the athlete. While the first vehicle was able to dodge the young Bruin, the lack of response time the driver of the other vehicle had inevitably led to the fatal tragedy.
As to the reason why Pasquale was walking in the streets the public is currently unsure, however the case is currently under investigation. The driver who struck Pasquale immediately notified the police and no arrests have been made.
Pasquale was vital to the success of San Clemente High School in 2011, where he helped lead the team to the Southern Section Pac-5 Championship Game. Standing at 5’7’’ and weighing only 175 lbs., Pasquale relied on his impressive 4.4 second 40-yard dash speed to impress the UCLA coaching staff. Although Pasquale was only on the field for a few plays in the opener against the Nevada Wolf Pack, friends and family alike will certainly remember how it was ‘a dream come true’ for their hometown football hero.
UCLA went on to defeat Nevada 58-20.
Photo courtesy of Twitter.
Coach Jim Mora stated in his address to the public, “You don’t move on from moments like this,” and solemnly continued, “You can move through them. I can never forget this kid. I can never forget that there is family out there that lost a son.” Nowhere else feels the immense truth of this statement than back in San Clemente where hundreds of family and friends continue to mourn.
To honor Pasquale, homemade signs filled with encouraging and hopeful words have been placed around the UCLA practice facility. During UCLA’s game on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska against the U.N. Cornhuskers both teams will be honoring their late teammate and fellow player. Nebraska’s Coach Bo Pelini had this to say, “That’s a lot bigger than any football game. Obviously, this has got to be a very difficult time for them.”
After this terrible tragedy, the UCLA Bruins look forward to playing with increased passion and intensity this Saturday against Nebraska under the slogan, “Play for each other. Play for your brother.”