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Juan Diego football state’s best again

Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM ● Published by Catherine Garrett

Juan Diego Catholic High School football players surround the 3A state championship trophy after defeating Morgan 45-20 Nov. 11 at Weber State University.

Gallery: Juan Diego [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

For the third year in a row, the Juan Diego Catholic High School football team has won the 3A 

state championship. This season, the Soaring Eagle squad defeated Morgan 45-20 Nov. 11 at Weber State University.

Senior quarterback Zach Hoffman passed for 162 yards and a touchdown, ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a 76-yard pass to lead the offense. Running back Tristan Tonozzi rushed for 127 yards and a score while wide receiver Hunter Easterly also scored two touchdowns — one rushing and the other a 72-yard reception.

“Winning the state championship is always a great accomplishment and a great tribute to the young men who sacrifice so much to be champions,” said head coach John Colosimo “As a coach, it is memorable to see the joy and excitement from the boys. Achieving this goal is very satisfying because it happens only through the work of all the boys to become a team that plays together as one.”

Juan Diego lost its first game of the season to Bear River 20-10 before winning seven straight. In its last regular season game, the Soaring Eagle lost to Summit Academy 51-49. 

During the 3A state playoffs, Juan Diego defeated Carbon 66-6 on Oct. 18 and Grantsville 14-13 on Oct. 27 before avenging the loss to Summit with a 38-37 double-overtime victory Nov. 4 to secure a spot in the title game.

Hoffman led Juan Diego’s offense all season with more than 1,000 yards on the ground while passing for over 700 yards. “He was the heart and soul of the group and was exceptional behind center,” Colosimo said. 

Defensively, middle blocker Max Butkovich was “the man,” according to Colosimo. “He was our leading tackler and the emotional leader of a very good defensive team,” Colosimo said.  

“Overall, the senior class was outstanding in their leadership, dedication and hard work,” Colosimo said. “Each contributed in their own way in making the Soaring Eagle champs.”

Also on the 11-2 championship team this season were Kyle Abundo, Brendan Bass, Matthew Bathurst, Alex Bemis, Cruz Berenguer, Kaden Bravo, Quinn Brown, Jackson Butler, Cordial Miller, Michael Curran, Dallen Davis, Rylan Davis, Grant Dhondt, Trevor Easterbrook, Hunter Easterly, Laurbong Gai, Michael Gately, Austin Gillespie, Hunter Gough, Cartur Gray, Dax Haney, Mason Harris, John Charles Herrmann, Samuel Howells, David Hulverson, Lake Jacobs, Konnor Kaczka, Matthew Kaiser, Gage Killion, Samuel Knudson, Matthew Kobs, D. J. Larson, Dylan Mack, Jayden Madry, Josue Magana, Kaiser Mataele, Kekoa Mataele, Monroe May, Parker McPhail, Zachary Mecham, Chinonso Opara, Alfonso Preciado, Luke Prokopis, Mark Rippetoe, Alexander Saunders, Brennan Savage, Peyton Seim, Graham Skirucha, Colby Smith, Dawson Stiefel, Jesse Trujillo, Connor Turner, Caleb Walker, Sean Wolfe, Jackson Woolley and Trent Zaffino.

“This group of boys were very resilient and fought through much adversity to stay together when trying times came,” Colosimo said. “They never quit and played hard each and every game.” 

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