BELOIT - After four All-Midwest Conference selections and starting all 40 consecutive games in his Beloit College career, senior guard Jake Karlicek still has one more game left to play.
The 5-foot-11, 275-pounder from Hickory Hills, Ill., will be on display in Mexico City on Dec. 8 in the Aztec Bowl where Karlicek looks forward to playing alongside of the best college football players from all three NCAA divisions.
"I'm not too sure about the team we are playing, all I know is that it is some sort of Mexican National Team with players from Mexico," Karlicek said. "I'm looking forward to play against some good competition and at the same time playing with some really good guys, too. It should be a lot of fun being on the same field as those guys."
Karlicek most recently wrapped up his senior season with the Bucs which ended in a disappointing 1-9 finish. It was about halfway during his final season when he learned about the all-star game opportunity through Beloit Head Coach Seth Duerr. Describing the senior as a leader and a player who loves the game of football, Duerr nominated him to play in the game.
"Obviously Jake has been a really great player for us and is a four-time all-conference guy, so his name popped in my head right away," Duerr Said. "There are groups that look at players and send invites out based on their evaluations and he was luck enough to receive an invite."
The options were between playing in Mexico City or in Minnesota. For Karlicek, playing in a different country was an added interest, especially considering that the game draws crowds into the tens of thousands.
The Aztec Bowl will surely be the cherry on top for Karlicek who has had a career filled with many personal accolades. Surely his fourth All-Midwest Conference honor justified his place in the game south of the border, but Karlicek took more pride in being a team leader and a two-year captain.
"I put a lot of work going into this year cause I knew it was going to be my last one," Karlicek said. "I kind of wanted to just help the team in any way possible. I just wanted to win games. I'm glad I was able to help the team out, and play at a high level for four years. I'm not the most talkative of guys so this year I kind of had to speak up more and pick guys up."
With the date approaching fast, Karlicek will seek to take in the Mexican football spectacle one frame at a time.
"I mean, just memories I'll have for the rest of my life," Karlicek said. "Playing in a different country is gonna be awesome. Playing with a lot of great guys, and playing against some good competition is just going to be something I remember. It's a good way to go out I feel."