Emile Palacio (left) gives his son Kache Palacio (7) some advice on the sideline during a game. Kache, who has verbally committed to SMU, has no issue listening to his father, who has coached him for his entire career. Photo by Jason Lewis
Kache Palacio has recorded 85 tackles and 12.5 sacks this season. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Kache Palacio had it made. He was the big man at Westchester, where he was terrorizing quarterbacks as a defensive end.
As a junior Palacio recorded 70 tackles, 16 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and he returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. He also batted down five passes.
Westchester is a basketball school, but Palacio was one of the stud athletes on campus.
But that all changed one morning. Palacio hopped in the car with his father, Emile Palacio. It did not take long for Kache to notice that they were traveling the wrong direction. When he informed his father, Emile told him that he was going to the football powerhouse Gardena Serra now.
That bit of information had caught Kache off guard, because he had a lot of friends at Westchester, and he had convinced his father not to transfer him the year before.
This decision was made for a number of reasons. Emile felt that his son needed a bigger stage to play on, and Serra was just coming off of back-to-back State Bowl appearances.
Serra has been known as an offensive juggernaut, but Emile knew that his son could make a name for himself as a defensive player there.
Moving Kache to Serra was also a coming home for the Palacio family. Emile attended Serra, where he excelled as a wide receiver and defensive back, and so did three of his family members. All of them were standout athletes, so having Kache dominate at that school meant a lot to them.
Kache has not disappointed, as he has produced 85 tackles and 12.5 sacks so far this season.
This past Friday night Kache played in the biggest game of his life as Serra hosted Chaminade, with the winner walking away with the Mission League title and potentially the top seed in the Southern Section Division IV playoffs.
In the biggest game, Kache came up big, racking up 13 tackles, one sack, and one batted ball. Serra went on to win the game and they now have the top seed in the playoffs, and a home game this Friday night against Culver City.
Kache credits his father as the person who has inspired him the most. Emile has been another coach for Kache, spending many hours during the summer fine-tuning his son’s skills. Emile also watches his son closely during games, and gives him tips when Kache comes to the sidelines.
Emile knew all along that his son had the genetics, so he just had to create an environment for him to develop into a star player. Emile did not just tell his son how to play football, he set the example.
After playing football at Cal State Fullerton, Emile played in the World Football League, and when Kache was younger, Emile played semi-pro football for the Inglewood Blackhawks. He decided to play so that his son could see how it was done. So that his son could see that he knew what he was talking about.
It created an interesting dynamic between the two. They would go to Kache’s Pop Warner game on Saturday mornings, where Emile would always give him advice. Later that day they would go to Emile’s semi-pro game, where Kache would stand on the sidelines, not only cheering on his father, but coaching him too.
Watching his father from the sidelines made Kache into a student of the game, and he picked up the tricks of the trade. Studying his father and watching a lot of NFL football has given him an advantage before the ball is even snapped.
“Before the snap I’m thinking, ‘How can I beat this guy?’” Kache said. “I’m looking at the setting of the offense. I’m looking at the quarterback and the running back to pre-judge what the play is going to be. I read the offensive lineman’s stance, if he’s going to drop back, overstep, I make quick judgment of the offense.”
Today, Kache stands at six feet and two inches, and weighs 225 pounds, and he uses a few different moves to drive past offensive linemen. The spin move is his favorite, but he uses swim moves effectively, and sometimes he just has to give his opponent a good old fashioned bull rush, just to show who is the strongest.
Kache has played both defensive end and linebacker, and has the right attitude to make it far as an athlete. When asked what his favorite position is, he said, “My favorite position is the position that the coach gives me.”
Kache showcased his talents at numerous camps, including B2G, UCLA, and USC, and he racked up a number of MVP awards. He has verbally committed to Southern Methodist (SMU) in Texas, but there are a number of colleges looking at him.
Wherever Kache chooses to go to college, he should be a terror on the field at the next level, and it just goes to show that with a strong support system from a great father, a young man can succeed on a high level.
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