Central Valley High School graduate Oso Fregoso’s college football career came to an abrupt end this past week.
Occidental College announced on July 15 it will not participate in athletics this fall to protect the health and safety of its student-athletes and coaching staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I found out this afternoon,” stated Fregoso, a 6-foot-1 245-pound nose tackle. “The school sent out an email saying there’s going to be no in-person classes and fall and winter sports this year. It’s an unfortunate situation. I wanted to get one last year of football in before calling it a career. The first three seasons didn’t go as planned.”
Fregoso played in just 12 games during his first three seasons with the Tigers due to injuries and circumstances beyond his control.
He made two tackles while appearing in two games junior year. He missed the final five games with a concussion.
“I still went to all the practices and games,” Fregoso said. “It was tough knowing I couldn’t help my team.”
Fregoso totaled 17 tackles while starting all seven games as a sophomore. He broke his right thumb at summer camp.
“That was the only season I was able to complete,” he said.
Fregoso collected seven tackles and one sack in three games as a freshman. Occidental had to cancel its last four games due to a lack of numbers.
“It was a dream come true to play football at the college level,” Fregoso said. “Many people don’t get that opportunity. The thing I’m going to miss the most is the brotherhood you obtain while playing the sport. It’s unfortunate I didn’t get to perform at my best. I gave it my all when I could.”
Fregoso doesn’t plan on playing football again if he’s granted an extra year of eligibility.
“It’s time for me to move on and start a new chapter in my life,” he said. “I’m focusing on school, getting an internship and applying to grad school.”
Fregoso had a cumulative GPA of 3.0 through his junior year.
“It’s challenging,” he said. “You have to manage your time precisely. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind.”
The 2020-21 school year will get underway on Aug. 24.
“I might move back to Los Angeles,” he said. “I’ll live off campus. I’ll make a decision within the next couple of weeks. It’s different because everything is online. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. You have to more accountable. The faculty will try its best to teach and help you.”
Fregoso will graduate with a bachelor’s degree economics in May of 2021.
“I’m thinking about becoming an investment banker or financial advisor,” he said.
Fregoso graduated from Central Valley in 2017.
He was named the Western Athletic Conference’s Outstanding Defensive Player senior year.
He garnered first-team all-league recognition as well.
Fregoso racked up 72 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles, two pass deflections and on fumble recovery at defensive end.
The Hawks (9-2) reached new heights by winning their first-ever conference title, setting a program record for victories in a season and participating in the playoffs for the second time in three years.
“It was the most enjoyable season I’ve had playing football,” Fregoso said. “We made school history. We accomplished all of our goals.”