VIckers looks to lead team to playoffs

VIckers looks to lead team to playoffs

Elias C. Ahumada

BC wide reciever Derrick Vickers (1) makes a one-handed catch against Cerritos College on Oct. 25.

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

Football is one of the toughest sports, so for any incoming freshman there is a steep learning curve that usually comes along with playing for a college team. The freshman learn from returning classman and try to stand out enough in practice so that they get a chance to show their worth during a game.

There are, however, certain players that, despite being freshman, are relied upon and looked to when the team is in need of a big play.

One of those players is Bakersfield College’s very own wide receiver Derrick Vickers.

Vickers has been a revelation for the Renegades this season; he leads the team in receiving touchdowns and is second in receiving yards, but the accolades don’t stop there. Vickers has also stepped in to help give the running backs a breather, he’s third in rushing yards and has also become the team’s top kick returner.

As an incoming freshman, and fresh off a season in which he helped lead Bakersfield High School to its first state championship in the modern-era, Vickers had a modest goal of earning a starting spot as a wide receiver on the football team.

With only two remaining games in the season, Vickers has not only surpassed that modest goal, but he has also become BC’s standout wide receiver.

He has accumulated 520 receiving yards to go along with a team high 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 209 yards and averaging a team high 4.6 yards a carry, not to mention the 21.5 yards Vickers averages as a kick returner as well.

Vickers credits the atmosphere and reactions that he sees during home games as one of the reasons for his success on the field.

“It feels good to know that the reason they are here is to support us. When I’m out there I’m playing for them,” said Vickers.

The crowd has had many reasons to cheer as of late as both Vickers and the football team have started to heat up as the season draws to a close.

In a recent game against Moorpark, Vickers had a career night hauling in five receiving touchdowns helping lead BC to the win.

For Vickers, that game was business as usual, “My team needed me to step up. I fed off their energy and did what I was supposed to do,” he would go on to say.

That game echoed what head football coach Jeff Chudy had been saying all season long, “find a way to get Vickers the ball.”

For that game, it was mission accomplished, and now comes the added pressure of trying to keep it going while knowing that the receiver will most likely face tougher coverage as the season moves along.

That’s where the BC football coaches step in and they have succeeded at teaching the players and showing them what’s required each week in order to compete.

This late in the season it’s not so much teaching anymore as it is refining what you already know.

“The coaches help us get better at the little things and trying to make all of us perfect with our techniques,” said Vickers.

The momentum and winning streak that has come late in the season is the result of not giving up despite a slow start that saw the Renegades drop three of its first four games. During the losing games and during practice the team wouldn’t give in.

“We just stayed positive at practice and with our teammates, then we all came together,” Vickers said.

Now it’s about continuing this current run of success and wins out with the hope of having an outside chance of making it into the playoffs.

“We have to come out and execute instead of worry. We have to come out and play our game,” Vickers said about his thoughts about BC’s remaining games.

First, Vickers helped lead BHS to a state championship, and now as a freshman he is trying to help lead the Renegades back to the playoffs.

Whether it will happen has yet to be seen but one thing is for sure, Vickers has elevated his status as a wide receiver for the Renegades and has raised the expectations for his sophomore season next year.