By Mark Ambrogi
Jake Pasch capped a special year with a coveted award.
Not only did the senior strong safety/wide receiver win a state title along with his father, Lutheran High School coach Dave Pasch, but he captured the Mr. Football position award at defensive back Dec. 10 in a vote by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. Jake led the Saints with 149 tackles, including 13 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and caused two fumbles.
As a wide receiver on offense, Pasch had 34 catches for 705 yards and eight touchdowns. He had rushed for 211 yards and four TDs. In addition, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Jake helped lead Lutheran High School to a 15-0 record, topping Adams Central 34-28 in the Class A state championship game. Jake had six catches for 51 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown catch. He also ran for the 6-yard TD. On defense as a strong safety, he had eight tackles and forced a fumble.
“Jake is a very solid player,” Coach Pasch said. ‘I define him as a guy who exceeds some physical limitations. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s not always the fastest guy. He plays well above what some of his physical attributes would allow him. He has very high IQ. He’s very physical and has a great feel for the game.”
His father said the position award wasn’t necessarily a goal.
“I think you just want to be the best player you can be,” Coach Pasch said. “I thought he had a phenomenal state final. He’s a guy that jumps off the screen when you watch him. He makes plays everywhere in the game. As a defensive back you see in the mix everywhere on film. He’s a factor in the run game. We often put him on the best slot receiver. What you see consistently throughout the years is Jake was making impactful plays. He’s very diverse in his skill set.”
The Saints lost to Lafayette Central Catholic 29-28 in the 2019 state title game. In 2020, “It means a lot, it’s the ultimate goal,” Jake said of winning the state title. “After we had been there in 2019, it brings a certain desire in all of the underclassmen and everyone else who had been there, our goal was to get back there and, of course, win it.”
Jake said there was a certain expectation from the seniors of winning it.
“As a group, we were planning to win it from Day One,” Jake said.
Jake had a good chemistry with quarterback Montasi Clay.
“He’s always looking for me,” Jake said. “We’ve been friends for 10 years-plus, so there is a trust between us. It displays on the football field.”
Jake is hoping to play strong safety in college. He is considering DePauw University or Wabash College.
“I’ll play wherever they need me to play,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
Jake is undecided on his major Jake’s older brothers, John and Jackson, have decided to be teachers and coaches, Both played football for Lutheran. John was an All-State offensive lineman and played two seasons as DePauw. Jackson is a sophomore at IUPUI. John is on the Lutheran staff and was John’s position coach at safety.
“They tried not to recognize me as their brother or their son,” Jake said. “It’s all about the work and trying to get better. They tried to treat me the same but I don’t know if that always happens., They like to beat up on me a little.”
Coach Pasch added, “any time you have a son on the team, I think there is a different expectation. It’s not always how you play. There is a different expectation on how you carry yourself and different responsibility you have as coach’s son to represent the program.”
THE JAKE PASCH FILE
School: Lutheran High School
Position: Strong safety/wide receiver.
College plans: Playing football at DePauw or Wabash
Favorite movies: Original “Star Wars” movies
Favorite TV show : “The Mandalorian.”
Favorite musician: The Weeknd
Favorite athlete: Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu
Favorite genre of music: Pop
Parents: Dave and Liza Pasch.