Camdenton’s Chaparro to play football at Central Methodist University
Camdenton senior Cesar Chaparro is charting a new path forward and the best part is that it will include some football.
He signed up for that new path and his future on Thursday when he signed his letter of intent to play football for Central Methodist University.
“It is pretty crazy, honestly. My family has not been real lucky with people going to college and I’m pretty sure I’m one of the first ones going to college so it is a huge opportunity for me and getting to play the game as I go on makes it even better,” Chaparro said at his signing ceremony, noting his mother had some tears of joy for her only child. “It is going to be a big step for her, but the opportunity is amazing and I could not ask for anything better.”
And while he embarks on this new journey, intending to study business management at the NAIA school in Fayette, he will not be alone. His former Camdenton teammate and All-State quarterback Paxton DeLaurent is currently on the roster along with former All-Conference and All-District lineman Jeremiah Wilkens. It is the school Camdenton assistant Parr Pitts once played for as well.
“Looking forward to playing with those guys again because I did not get to play with them this year. Playing with them again is going to be amazing and looking forward to that,” Chaparro noted.
DeLaurent is glad another one of his own will be back on the offensive line as well.
“When I was talking to Coach (Jack) Goulet about him, I said he is a guy you want on your team and not the other team,” remarked the former Laker quarterback who was present at Thursday’s ceremony. “He is a superb athlete and I’m very excited to have Cesar up at CMU to be able to protect me, start a little mini ‘Camdenton Methodist University’ and a little tradition going here.”
That is likely because not only is Chaparro reuniting with his quarterback, but because being a lineman means something at Camdenton. Chaparro is a proud member of “Pappy’s Hogs,” an esteemed group of linemen that became a staple of Laker football tradition under former assistant Jim Pirch.
“As all ‘Hogs’ have to do, they have to embrace the motto of what being a ‘Hog’ is. You have to live it and he is one of those kids who did that,” said Camdenton assistant Shawn Maschino who coaches the offensive line at Camdenton. “He embraced being a ‘Hog’ and we are not going to get the numbers or anything like that, but we know we have one job and that is protecting the guy to the back of us. You have to have that protective nature, get the job done and he did that very well.”
Chaparro, a 2-year starter for the Lakers, was previously named All-District in 2019 by the media of central Missouri and Maschino also noted the leadership he provided to the team.
“He is a good kid and makes good decisions. The kids look up to him on the offensive line and the rest of the team also,” the coach said. “That is what enabled him to move on to the next level because he is a kid that colleges want.”
One of them just happened to be Central Methodist and Goulet, who was also present at Thursday’s ceremony, did not hesitate to state why, either.
“I think right away when you look at him on tape, you see how athletic he is and that is pretty rare for a high school lineman- to see an athletic guy,” the offensive line coach at the school noted. “We always saw that he was kind of the last one moving on tape, too. He played to the whistle every time so it definitely popped out and those were the first two things I noticed, for sure.”
Conversely, Chaparro noted the school’s size and atmosphere that made it an attractive option for him in addition to reuniting with some old teammates. He said he is expecting to play the center or guard position with the Eagles, but it was not always an easy journey to get to this point, though.
Sometimes he said he wondered if the grind was worth it, but he always reminded himself that it was and continued to put in the work. He is glad he stuck with it.
“That feeling you run out with on a Friday night or even in college when you run out on a Saturday, that is what keeps me going and wanting to play,” he said.
It also helped to have a strong supporting cast and he is grateful for the brotherhood the game provided him and the opportunity to grow up playing with his friends. He said he is also thankful for his coaches.
“Being a Laker has so much meaning to it. You see our coaches all used to be Lakers,” the senior noted.
“Being able to continue that line of ‘Laker Pride’ and coming back and still feel like you’re at home,” the senior continued, “I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
So, take it from someone who is charting that new path forward and was not always sure what his future would look like. That grind is certainly worth it.
“Just keep pushing through it,” Chaparro advised to his Laker teammates. “There is always light at the end of the tunnel so no matter what, keep your hopes up because at the end of the day anything can happen and everyone has their own paths. Just keep following it.”
It is an example Camdenton Head Coach Jeff Shore would be glad to point to as well.
“He represented his family well and represented the Camdenton Lakers and his school well. I think that is the main thing and all those things led to an opportunity for him to play some more football,” the coach stated.
“He is going to try to take advantage of it and continue protecting that DeLaurent guy,” the coach added with a smile about the former Laker quarterback.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com or 573-346-2132