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Trejo rebounds from heart surgery to play role in Bearcats’ run

Omar Trejo’s football career as a kicker began his senior year. He had never played football in his life or any other sport for the Pilot Point Bearcats. The only connection Trejo had with sports was through club soccer but that was outside of UIL athletic competitions.

Trejo is your typical shy teenager. He is 5-10”, weighs about 155 pounds and a lot smaller than his teammates. Even he acknowledges he’s “a nervous guy.”

“I am usually quiet; … I am the quiet one,” he said. “It’s kind of hard for me to get out there and talk to people and expose myself.”

Nonetheless, Trejo wanted to try playing football for the Bearcats. He wanted to be part of the team whether he played a minute or not. He wanted to be a punter.

“I just wanted to try out something new,” Trejo said. “Something I felt like I was going to be good at. I wanted to try it out once since it was my last year.”

Trejo got that and more. Not expecting to play a minute of a game, he got thrown into a game where he made his first field goal.

Trejo was very surprised when his name got called and said it all just happened like a flash.

“I had no experience,” he said. “I was never really supposed to be playing when I came in. It was my first year.”

He got his chance to play in a game against Aubrey after starting kicker Sammy Giron could not finish the game. The only caveat was he was making his debut as a kicker and not a punter.

“It was really nerve-racking,” Trejo said. “I didn’t really want to be called out to the field. They asked me if I knew how to kick, which I said yes, but I didn’t know they were going to throw me in. I wanted to be a punter, and I was starting to get pretty good at that. I had never worked with the snapper or anything, so I just went out there and just kicked it.”

Trejo’s football career has been moving along smoothly his senior year. He got playing time, which he wasn’t expecting at all. He made his first kick as a kicker not a punter, but as he would say, “a kick is a kick.”

But right after that Aubrey game, as he was finally coming out of his shell, a heart condition was threating to cut his football career short. Trejo had to undergo heart surgery midway through the season and didn’t know how long he would be out.

“It was just insane,” he said. “Like at random times my heart would just palpitate really fast. It was an abnormal speed. I felt, like, dizzy and lightheaded, out of breath, and stuff like that. It was really random. I never knew when it was going to happen; it would just happen at random times.

“I felt a little bit down since I was one of the only few kickers. I thought I was going to be out for like two to three weeks or like the rest of the season or something like that. But luckily it was just one week.”

Lucky indeed, Trejo was only out a week and picked up right where he left off. He was a little out of rhythm and his legs were a little sore from the procedure, but other than that he kept working and practicing. After all, it’s his senior year, and he will not get another chance to do it again next year.

“It makes me really upset,” he said. “I am grateful that my heart condition was not anything serious, but I wish I could have started much, much earlier, not just one year and done.”

Now, Trejo and the Bearcats are making a run for the state championship. He has made two out of two field goals in the postseason. His longest, a 33-yard field goal, came against Wall last Friday. He has made 23 out of 24 extra-point attempts. His only miss came against Brock during the regular season, the Bearcats rival in Friday’s Region 1 championship game.

Regardless, Trejo feels confident in his ability to get past the missed field goal and play to the best of his ability.

“I am very confident, not overly confident, but I feel confident,” he said. “If they put me out there, it’s because they know I can do my job and I just feel like I can. I know every point is important throughout the game and that any mistake can be costly. That is why when I’m on the field I just block everything out. I don’t listen to anything around me during the whole game; …I just block everything out.”

Bearcats coach Danny David is just as confident about his kicker. He said he wouldn’t hesitate using Trejo if that’s what it takes to win.

“I have all the confidence in the world in him,” he said. “He’s got a really strong leg. He can probably kick from about 47 yards or so, so that’s really good. He’s pretty accurate and if he happens to miss one, I don’t think it really bothers him.”

David said Trejo is a joy to be around. He said it’s great to see kids succeed, but the thing he likes most about him is the way he enjoys the game when he is playing.

“He is like a kid playing in a backyard and that’s exciting to see,” he said. “When he makes a field goal and just sprints off the field, that is awesome. It’s his first time playing, and you can tell he’s playing with a lot of joy, and that’s what this game is about. Sometimes people try to make it more than that.”

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