High school football: Juan Diego Soaring Eagle 2014 preview

Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 3:00 p.m. MDT

Note: Juan Diego finished 6-0 in region and 11-1 overall last season. The Soaring Eagle lost in overtime to Pine View in the 3AA semifinals.

DRAPER – Many of the names on the jerseys will be different.

But the expectation remains the same for the Juan Diego Soaring Eagle football team.

“We lost a significant amount from last year, really from the last two years,” said head coach John Colosimo. “Those seniors were a pretty significant part of the program. We’re rebuilding, and I’m not sure yet what we have.”

Colosimo said his situation is more the rule than the exception for prep programs.

“That’s just part of high school sports,” he said. “We’re just going to come and see how good we can be. I like our kids; I think we can be successful.”

With region titles for 11 straight seasons, expectations are high for Juan Diego, regardless of who is on the field. But Colosimo said the teams they’ll face in region play will make earning a 12th region title one tough task.

“It’s going to be a dog fight in our region, a little more so than in the past,” Colosimo said. “There are five teams maybe that can really battle each other. It will come down to some breaks and who can make some plays. … I’m looking forward to a really competitive league.” A tougher region battle may actually help the Soaring Eagle when it comes to the playoffs. Last season, Juan Diego lost in overtime to Pine View. Their last state title was a 10-7 victory over Hurricane in 2010.

Colosimo said the 16 seniors the team will rely on for leadership are hard working and highly motivated.

“We’ve had a pretty good offensive line the last two years,” he said. “We’re trying to put the pieces together.”

He doesn’t feel this year’s seniors feel pressure created by past successes.

“Most of my guys are pretty motivated,” Colosimo said. “Whether it’s school, outside activities, they want to do well in whatever they do. I think they’re more upset that they didn’t get to play, and they have confidence that they can play. It’s just the kind of kids I have. They’re very self-motivated.” Andrew Markosian will anchor the offensive line at center. He started last year and is the third of three brothers who’ve played for Colosimo.

“Andrew is going to be a big part of what we do,” Colosimo said. “He’s been working very, very hard to be the kind of kid who can deliver on a Friday night for us.”

Senior Gabe Colosimo, who played wide receiver for the varsity team and quarterback for the junior varsity squad last season, will likely lead the team’s offense. But junior Alex Hoffman could also take some snaps at quarterback.

“(Gabe) is being pushed pretty hard by (Hoffman),” said the coach, who is also Gabe’s father. “They’ll probably both be on the field, depending on what the team needs. … They’re going into camp battling each other, so we’ll see.”

Hoffman also plays tight end for the varsity team.

Colosimo said the team will face a tough preseason, which will test their skills and hopefully strengthen their confidence.

“We probably don’t have the easiest early schedule,” he said. “We may not start out of the gate very strong.”

The first two games for the Soaring Eagle squad will be against 4A schools.

Juan Diego Soaring Eagle at a glance

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