Juan Diego senior Gabe Colosimo, a First Team All-State guard, returns to lead the boys basketball team who is currently ranked #2 in the state.
The Juan Diego Catholic High School basketball teams advanced to the 3A state tournament last year after solid seasons. Both programs have been working hard to get back to the postseason and advance further this time around.
Second-year coach Drew Trost subscribes to the idea that “You’ve got to beat the best to be the best” so he scheduled tough 4A and 5A games to begin his team’s season.
“Going up against those teams really helps us see where we’re at and certainly helps prepare us for the postseason,” he said.
Juan Diego junior Alex Hoffman (right) returns as a starter from a 19-6 team that reached the second round of the 2014 3A state basketball tournament.
Juan Diego returns First Team All-State guard Gabe Colosimo who averaged more than 20 points a game last year as a junior before breaking his foot just prior to the state tournament. Colosimo recently signed to play in college next season for Seattle Pacific University, a Division II school.
Three other seniors – Joel Bruder, Zach Nickels and Chris Ward – bring solid leadership and experience to the Soaring Eagle program, according to Trost.
Juniors Alex Hoffman and Avery Ames, along with newcomer Maliik Fagan-Foster, also a junior, will also be expected to contribute heavily at both ends of the court.
“We are a lot more balanced than last year with even more talent,” Trost said. “On paper, it looks like we could be among the top teams in the state, but we need to match the effort and enthusiasm and play as a team to reach our goals,” he said.
Juan Diego began the season Nov. 26 with a 29-point performance from Colosimo to lead them to a win over Fremont 60-52.
“The first game is what coaches want: it woke us up, it humbled us, and we got a win,” Trost said, referring to the come-from-behind effort his team gave with a 22-point fourth quarter to win by eight points.
The team is 2-1 on the year following a 53-52 victory over East and a 49-43 loss to Orem.
The girls team is “ready to get the monkey off our back” of having a great year and falling in the first round of state, according to first-year coach Josh Archuleta.
Juan Diego senior twins Monique and Domonique Mills return to a girls basketball squad that begins the year ranked fourth in the state among 3A teams.
Archuleta has also stacked the preseason with playoff-type games to help his team go against top competition early on in the year.
“With everyone trying to earn their spot and give their best effort, it will really help us see where we’re at,” he said.
Senior twins Monique Mills and Domonique Mills, who are both All-State players, return to lead a team that has failed to get past the first round in the state tournament the past few seasons after being among the favorites.
“In order to get where we want to be in this program, we need to finish with 100 percent effort in everything we do,” Archuleta said. “So with every drill and in all of our practices, we are trying to make sure that we finish strong.”
Senior Sarah Christiansen, junior Ann Nelson and sophomores Anna Ewionuk and Becca Curran are also among expected contributors offensively and defensively, according to Trost.
So far this season Juan Diego has defeated Brighton 63-59, Hillcrest 69-43 and Hunter 66-39.