J-M soccer player who started kicking for football in 2023 signs to Shaw University

Aguila to play college football just months after first ever game


Jordan-Matthews senior Giancarlo Aguila, the soccer player that joined the football team as a kicker in 2023, earned a scholarship and signed to play football at Shaw University Thursday.

Aguila played four years of varsity soccer under head coach Paul Cuadros from 2020-23. Before last season, he had never kicked a field goal, let alone played football, but now he’ll be playing on the NCAA Division II level.

“(It’s) exciting,” Aguila said. “It’s everything. It’s everything for my family. No one has ever done it. I’m excited to be the first.”

The future Bear will focus on field goals and kickoffs in college. He plans to major in biology.

Aguila started kicking footballs in September after a conversation about banners between he and J-M athletic director Barry West turned to football once Aguila spotted a football helmet nearby.

“I saw the football helmet, and then, I was asking (West) about it,” Aguila told the Chatham News & Record in September. “He said, ‘you could be a kicker.’ I was interested in that because, why not?”

In his first ever kicking practice session, Aguila hit field goals from close and mid-range distances, backing up as he made them. Using a water cooler handle as a holder, Aguilar nailed a 55-yard field goal, sending it just over the front cross bar.

West send the footage of the long-distance make to former J-M football head coach Ryan Johnson, and shortly after, Aguila started kicking on Friday nights.

Aguila made his first extra point and kicked all of the team’s kickoffs in his first game against North Moore on Sept. 22, the Jets’ sixth game of the season. He made his first field goal attempt from 37 yards against Southeast Alamance on Sept. 29, scoring the Jets’ only points in the 54-3 loss.

In November, Aguila attended the Chris Sailer Kicking Camp in Charlotte, picking up new tips and skills to fine tune his mechanics.

During his college recruitment, Aguila had Florida Memoria University in mind, but the distance really didn’t work for him. A teacher helped him discover Shaw, who was holding a camp earlier this year, but he couldn’t attend, so West helped Aguila get a walk on tryout with the Bears in May.

Aguila mostly trains himself, watching well-known kicker Deestroying, other NFL and college kickers and workout videos on YouTube. In his final months at J-M, Aguila has been training rising junior Josh Carcamo, another soccer player that will join the football team as a kicker next season.

“I’ve learned that (Aguila) is very on time when it comes to kicking,” Carcamo said. “Sometimes I don’t want to kick, and he spams my phone or calls me to go kick. And once we’re here, we have our routine and everything. We’re out here for an hour and 30 (minutes). We kick at least twice a week.”

So far, the furthest field goal Carcamo has made is 45 yards. Just like Aguila, that’s not bad for another newbie to kicking a football.