Senior Coal Castro saw another chapter in his family’s prep football career come to an end Friday when Herriman fell to Bingham 31-7.
“If you’re a Castro, you have to be tough,” he said after the Class 6A semifinal loss at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The family history is steeped in high school gridiron glory on both sides of the family tree.
Coal’s father, David, played on the first football teams at Hunter High in the early 1990s. Coal’s uncles — twins Chris and Jeremy Castro — were on the Kearns High state championship team in 1989.
It’s doesn’t stop there.
Coal’s mother, Kim, also comes from a football family. Kim’s brother is Herriman coach Dustin Pearce, making Coal Pearce’s nephew.
“It’s a rich tradition, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Pearce said. “The kids are extremely hard-working kids. It’s just the mentality.
“It’s not something you teach. It’s just something you just grow around.”
Pearce’s son Braxton, who was on the defensive line for the Mustangs, also played his final high school game.
Carson Castro, Coal’s younger brother who also played for Herriman on Friday, picked his number in honor of his grandfather and Dustin Pearce’s father, Dave Pearce. Dave Pearce played on Kearns’ championship team in 1972.
“He wore it when he played high school, so I just took it on,” Carson Castro said.
David Castro said that talk of the past in this family almost is unavoidable.
“It does [come up] all the time. In fact, there’s a lot of pressure,” David Castro said. “It’s a tradition, so it’s tough not to play football in this family,”
While cousins Coal Castro and Braxton Pearce finished their prep careers, Carson Castro and Carter Pearce will be back to help Herriman get back to the playoffs.
Carson Castro is a junior, and Carter Pearce is only a sophomore.
“It sucks to lose,” Coal Castro said. “But you know, hopefully my brother makes up for it next year.”
And the tradition continues.