He played for his friend and it’s just a good feeling to see him with a smile on his face after this game. He played his heart out for his friend. —Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis
SALT LAKE CITY — Mason Krueger plays football for the Jordan Beetdiggers, a team that defeated Syracuse 58-2 in the 5A state championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday afternoon.
This season, however, the junior wide receiver was also playing another reason.
In July, Krueger’s friend, Adam Colosimo, was killed in a tragic accident. A junior-to-be at Juan Diego, Colosimo slipped while climbing a ladder and caught his foot on something electrical. The current and resulting fall sent him to the hospital, and 10 days later he passed away.
Colosimo played football and basketball for Juan Diego, which displayed his number in its 3A semifinal loss to Dixie last week.
Colosimo and Krueger had been friends since elementary school and had grown up playing football, basketball and baseball together. The loss was devastating for the Jordan junior.
“He’s been through so much this year. He’s had a real hard time,” Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. “I’m just really happy for him, especially how he played. He played awesome.”
Krueger finished Friday's game with five receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his scoring plays were receptions for more than 20 yards and came on consecutive scoring drives that gave the Beetdiggers a 44-0 lead in the second quarter.
“Mason Krueger had a phenomenal game,” said Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis. “He played for his friend and it’s just a good feeling to see him with a smile on his face after this game. He played his heart out for his friend.”
Krueger totaled 885 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as well as 39 tackles and an interception on the season. All along the way, he was a key to his team's success.
In addition to putting the Jordan squad on his shoulders for part of the team’s first championship since 1994, Krueger also carried Colosimo with him into the title matchup.
“It means the world to me,” Krueger said of winning for the memory of his friend. “Everything I do, it’s for him. He is my motivation. Coming out here, playing for him ”
Krueger paused to wipe away tears and search for words to describe the indescribable. “There’s no way any of those catches I wouldn’t be making those catches without him looking down on me. I know that he’s up there looking down on me. Looking up in the sky knowing he’s there means the world to me.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Utah, and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org