Cherokee’s Tommy Pajic to kick at West Chester

by Marc Narducci | Feb 28, 2024
Cherokee’s Tommy Pajic to kick at West Chester
 During his senior football season at Cherokee, Tommy Pajic got very little rest. Pajic was a starter as a receiver and cornerback. He was also the Chiefs’ place kicker and punter while also returning punts.

Heck, if they asked him to sell popcorn at halftime, he probably would have done that as well.

Pajic was a big reason why Cherokee went 9-4 and won the Central Jersey Group 5 championship, the 12th sectional title in this tradition-rich football program.

Now he is taking the next step by continuing his career at West Chester, which competes in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, among the top Division II leagues in the nation. 

Pajic, who was among the top kickers in the state, was recruited to be a kicker and punter at West Chester. 

“West Chester was one of the first schools I visited, and I really liked the campus and their program with a long-standing record of winning,” Pajic said.

Pajic and his family are surely familiar with the PSAC. His father Tom, an all-South Jersey receiver at Paul VI, was also a standout at PSAC member Bloomsburg. The elder Pajic, who once was an assistant coach at Bloomsburg, was recently named the offensive coordinator at Albright.

“It’s funny that we ended up in the same conference,” Tommy said.

There is a reason why Tommy Pajic was recruited for his leg.

During his senior season, he converted 7 of 8 field goals. Pajic shined in the most pressurized of settings.

During Cherokees 19-13 double overtime win over Marlboro in the Central Jersey Group 5 championship game, Pajic’s leg played a major role. 

He kicked field goals of 30 yards in the second quarter and 41 yards in the third and Cherokee needed every point. The teams were tied 6-6 through regulation, with all six of the Chiefs points off the foot of Pajic.

“That was probably my best game kicking-wise,” he said. “It’s been the most intense situation since I have been a kicker.”

Pajic has been kicking for what seems like forever.

“Since I have been walking,” he said laughing. 

Pajic played soccer as a youngster, which no doubt helped him develop as a place kicker.

He recalls being a youngster and having his grandparents field his kicks. 

While the 6’ 2”, 180-pound Pajic will miss playing on offense and defense, he feels that devoting all of his time to kicking and punting, will help him hone his craft.

“Just focusing on kicking will definitely help me,” he said. 

With his background as a two-way player for Cherokee, Pajic is one kicker who has the ability to make the tackle on kickoffs. As his versatility in football showed, he has great athletic ability that is also evident by the fact that he is a key member of Cherokee’s basketball team. 

As for his future academic plans, Pajic says he hopes to major in some form of business. 

“My mom (Julie) has enjoyed a great career in business, and she has been an inspiration,” he said.

As for football, he will get down to business with his kicking, training through the spring and summer. West Chester returns its punter-placekicker, rising senior Sean Henry.

Pajic hopes to learn from the veteran, and he also could be used as the holder. 

“I just want to help the team any way I can and eventually be in the spot that he (Henry) is in,” Pajic said. “Being able to kick at West Chester is an awesome opportunity and I am looking forward to it.” 

Photo Courtesy of Tommy Pajic


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Author: Marc Narducci


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