EDITOR’S NOTE » This is one in a series of previews of Utah’s high school football programs. They will run throughout the summer leading up to the 2014 regular season, which begins Aug. 21.
Juan Diego Soaring Eagle
Juan Diego’s players aren’t wearing nametags to help the coaches identify them, but there’s certainly a new look on the field.
The Soaring Eagle lost nearly 30 seniors to graduation from last year’s Class 3AA North championship team — about double the senior class coach John Colosimo typically watches leave.
"We’re usually in the 15-16 range — that’s what we have this year, 16 seniors," Colosimo said. "They can all play and they’ve had tons of experience playing as freshmen, sophomores and on the JV. I’m excited about all of them."
Colosimo’s first task is addressing the loss of 17 starters, including the entire defensive line. Defense had been a strength for Juan Diego last season, until it struggled in the playoffs and allowed 48 points to Desert Hills in a shootout.
The top three running backs in a triple-option offense that amassed nearly 4,000 yards are also no longer around. Gabe Colosimo will move into the quarterback position, a spot his dad says he’s prepared to handle.
"He’s been around Juan Diego football since he was born," Colosimo said. "He knows the triple-option and knows what to do. He’s also a good little point guard, and that makes him a good quarterback."
Seniors Carter Campbell and Cole Stevenson are expected to step into the starting spots in the backfield. They had 23 carries between them last season.
Last year » 11-1 (6-0 Class 3AA North)
Key returner » Senior Gabe Colosimo finally gets a crack at the starting QB position, where he will slide over to from cornerback.
Player to watch » Junior tight end Alex Hoffman has played a big role in the Soaring Eagle offense at the lower levels, and should continue to build upon his rapport with Colosimo at QB.
Biggest hole » There are no returning starters on the defensive line, meaning Andrew Markosian and Adam Murry, a couple of two-way players, will be counted upon heavily.
Need to know » How’s this for tradition — Juan Diego has won at least one playoff game in each of the past 12 years.
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