Mark Carganilla had already earned an academic scholarship and was accepted by Pacific University with an eye on the private school’s popular exercise science program.
He wasn’t satisfied just yet.
“All I wanted to do was play football in college,” Carganilla said, “and they were No. 1 on my list.”
After he was accepted, the Weston Ranch senior was contacted by Pacific head coach Keith Buckley and scheduled an official visit. He toured the campus in Forest Grove, Ore. on April 16 and was drawn by the small-school atmosphere
A day later, he signed.
“I’m really excited that I’ll get to continue my football career,” said Carganilla, who will be reunited with former Weston Ranch teammate Sean Visperas. Visperas plays tight end for Pacific, and his one catch in 2014 resulted in a 30-yard touchdown.
Pacific’s football program — which is going into its sixth season after being reinstated — appears to have established a pipeline to the Manteca area. Former Manteca High standout Bobby Ladiges was the Boxers’ leading rusher (478 yards, seven touchdowns) this past season when the team captured a share of the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference title — its first since 1952. Pacific was 6-1 in conference play and 6-3 overall).
Ripon alumnus Bradley Clark, a wide receiver, is also on the Pacific roster.
Carganilla will likely play middle linebacker for Pacific, though he also started at center for Weston Ranch. The Cougars were 3-7 last year, and the 5-foot-11, 225-pound Carganilla racked up 68 solo tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and three recovered.
“The one thing with Mark is that he had the biggest heart on our team,” Weston Ranch coach Seth Davis said. “We got every ounce of athleticism and potential out of him. I know that getting to play at the next level was very important for him. It’s big for our school and big for our program.”