The very first athlete to sign an athletic scholarship with the new Dalton State Roadrunners had his day in front of the cameras Thursday.
Isaac Pacheco gathered with family and coaches in the North Murray High School media center. “It’s a good school,” the two-time area runner of the year said of Dalton State.
Pacheco’s older brother, Rafael, has also signed to run for the Roadrunners. He is already a student at Dalton State and had a great deal of influence in Isaac’s decision. “He told me that the teachers really push you there,” he said. “I like the campus,” he added. “I’m from this area and by going to school there I am staying at home.”
Pacheco probably doesn’t need to be pushed. “He blows everybody out of the water,” said NMHS track coach Andrea Linsley. “He really didn’t face any competition in the region,” she added.
“”Once he got to sectionals he started going up against the best of the best and competed with the best of the best,” said Linsley. “You can’t ask for a more dedicated and motivated athlete.”
Pacheco plans to major in criminal justice at DS. “It’s a degree that I can use to help people,” he said.
Linsley, who also taught the running star in senior economics, said he does well in the classroom. “He is an amazing student,” she said. “He will be able to multitask and direct things wherever he needs to.”
“It’s cool to have Isaac as the first athlete to sign with Dalton State,” said cross country coach Matt Chambers. “It doesn’t matter if it is raining, he goes and goes,” Chambers added. “It doesn’t matter if he is tired, he goes and goes.” That type of stamina is shown most recently when he ran in the state track meet on a Thursday and Friday and won the 5k Bill Gregory Classic in Dalton on Saturday morning.
Dalton State coaches also like what they have seen. They look forward to begin work with their recruits in mid-June. “With his work ethic, Isaac is going to be just a quality runner,” said Margie Bruner. “He has fantastic talent,” echoed Andy Meyer. “The sky is the limit for him,” Meyer said.
Isaac is the son of Anna Maria Godinez and Rafael Pacheco.