Juan Diego football ready to roll
Aug 29, 2019 09:31AM
● By Catherine Garrett
Juan Diego football is back. (Photo courtesy Juan Diego)
by Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Juan Diego Catholic High School football team always seems to be there at the end — as evidenced by six state titles since 2008 along with three state semifinal appearances during the past decade. And yet, they are continually rebuilding their program, particularly in the beginning stages of a season, and turning football players into stars.
This season, head coach John Colosimo — in his 20th season with the Soaring Eagle program — said he isn’t loaded with returning experience on either side of the ball. “It’s still pretty early to tell,” he said. “I don’t have a real good grasp on what we have. We’ve got a lot of new kids, particularly to varsity play.’
Offensively, junior Justice Brusatto returns as quarterback after starting the first two games last season. He produced more than 250 yards and two touchdowns through a loss to Bear River and a win over Judge Memorial to begin the 2018 campaign. “We know what he can do and have confidence in him leading the team,” Colosimo said.
Three offensive lineman in guards Graham Skirucha and Trace Monson and tackle Konnor Kaczka return for Juan Diego and Colosimo is counting on their experience on the line. “They are instrumental in keeping the team together and we are excited to see them back for us,” Colosimo said. “We are expecting great things.”
Running back/linebacker Jackson Butler will be joined in the backfield by Jayden Madry as the key rushers for the Soaring Eagle. “Jackson is very motivated and hard-working and is an enthusiastic presence on the both sides of the ball,” Colosimo said. “Jayden will also be a great asset to us this year.”
Other expected contributors on offense are center Logan Huggard, running back Dominick Lewis, offensive lineman Lake Jacobs and tight ends Kekoa Mataele and Xavier Carlton. Carlton is a four-star recruit who recently moved from California and is already fielding more than 30 Division I scholarship offers for his 6'7" 285-lb. frame.
Strong safety Cartur Gray, the team’s leading tackler last season, headlines the defensive returning starters — who also include Butler, Mataele, Kaden Bravo and Grant Dhondt. Carlton (defensive end), Isaiah Taufaasau (lineman), Mau Roopinia (cornerback) and Rangireva Colombel (linebacker) are newcomers to watch this year.
Colosimo also noted wide receiver Mason Harris, who will also handle kickoff returns, as well as JDCHS basketball star Kemari Bailey, who has never played football before but is a “proven athlete,” are welcome additions to the squad.
“We’re always wanting to be the best football team we can be,” Colosimo said. “The question is ‘Do we want to be good or do we want to be great?’ and ‘How are we gonna get good enough?’ We have to try and answer those questions with how we work and let the chips fall where they may.”
In its first game of the season, Juan Diego lost to Bear River 27-14 Aug. 16. Juan Diego is also scheduled to face Park City Aug. 23, Skyline Aug. 30, Emery Sept. 6, Copper Hills Sept. 13, South Summit Sept. 20, Summit Academy Sept. 27, Morgan Oct. 4, Grantsville Oct. 11 and Judge Memorial Oct. 18.