Young team returns for JDCHS footballSep 07, 2023 03:03PM ● By Catherine Garrett
The Juan Diego Catholic High School football team is 0-2 so far this season. (Bob McClellan Shooting Star Photography)
Juan Diego Catholic High School senior wide receiver/defensive back Angelo Lewis returns along with six juniors from a 6-6 squad who lost to eventual 3A state champion Morgan in the second round of the playoffs last year.
This season, quarterback Hayden Mezenen, running back/linebaker Antonio Archuletta, lineman Adric Liljestrand, lineman Jeremiah Onwo, wide receiver/defensive back Peyton McCormick and wide receiver/linebacker Andrew Garzella are being looked to by fourth-year head coach Ron James to help a young squad on the field this season.
James also noted newcomers in senior lineman Weston Eder and junior running back/linebacker and junior Dario Otto tight end/defensive end are also ones to watch with his group that has been working hard in the weight room and on developing more speed.
Also on the JDCHS squad this year are seniors James Curran, Weston Eder, Suarjana Indra, Kayson Larson, Austin Lund, Viftor Silva, Sharafeldin Wesaga and Aidan Wigton; juniors Alec Antonio, Antonio Archuleta, Sebastian Duarte, Manik Gill-Martin, Aidan Greenwood, Toby Hardin, Avie Hernandez, Joe Herrera-Limas, John Lewis, Dylan Magleby, Roman Rossano, Daniel Sosa, Zac Szymakowski and Theo Yatta; sophomores Tevaiarai Arapa, Nick Carvalheiro, Loklan Cruz, Deng Deng, Garang Deng, Braylen Fail, Kynoa Jaeger, Aidan Janiga, Hunter Landers, Mario Maestas, Tage McKinley, Colby Pugmire, Sebastian Ramirez, Nicholas Richardson, Liam Ross, Anderson Schmitz and Kingston Taban; and freshmen Kysen Dowland, Zabian Flores, Gavin Greenwood, Nolan Jones, Kristian Mitchell, Cooper Pecora and Parker Stolz.
In its first game against Highland Aug. 11, the Soaring Eagle team lost 35-13. Juan Diego scored first and last in the matchup, but gave up three touchdowns in the middle of the game—while being shutout for two quarters. Mezenen threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to McCormick to open the game and Mezenen scored on a two-yard TD run on its last possession.
“We gained some experience against Highland but made too many mistakes playing against a bigger more physical 5A opponent,” James said.
Against San Juan Aug. 18, Juan Diego lost 40-6. The Soaring Eagle’s only score—a 38-yard TD run by Mezenen—came in the first quarter.
Juan Diego is also scheduled to play Logan Sept. 1, Manti Sept. 8, Morgan Sept. 15, Union Sept. 22, Ogden Sept. 29, Ben Lomond Oct. 6 and Grantsville Oct. 13 this season.
James is being assisted by Danny Larson (special teams coordinator), DJ Larson (offensive coordinator), Connor Dumont and John Morby (wide receivers/linebackers), Wayne Tuinei (tight ends/special teams), Sam Salts (head JV coach) and Jim Markosian (JV defensive coordinator) on the coaching staff this year.
“We are looking forward to improving week to week with a very young football team,” said James. λ