HIGHLAND — Two notable high school football players will be wearing different uniforms this fall.
Jordan backup quarterback and running back Baron Gajkowski and American Fork lineman Dallin Rodgers both transferred to Lone Peak High School this summer and have been participating in summer workouts with their new teammates. The families of both teens moved into the Knights' boundaries, said Lone Peak head football coach Tony McGeary.
Because both teens are enrolled at Lone Peak, they are allowed to participate in summer workouts with any athletic team. McGeary said he believes they both have begun the paperwork necessary to make the change official with the Utah High School Activities Association.
Mark Van Wagoner, attorney for UHSAA, said if the families have moved into Lone Peak's geographic boundary, the players will be eligible.
"I think (Gajkowski) looked at a few schools," said McGeary. "I think he felt his chance to play at Jordan behind (starting quarterback Austin Kafentzis) wasn't very good, especially because Kafentzis is a year younger than him."
Gajkowski will be a junior this fall and could bolster the defending 5A state champion Knights' offense, which was depleted by graduation.
"We have a good junior coming back, but we love the competition," McGeary said of whether or not Gajkowski could vie for a starting role. "We have seven kids back defensively, but offensively, we're pretty much starting over."
Gajkowski had less than a game to show his mettle as a quarterback, but his opportunity came on the biggest stage possible — the high school football playoffs — ironically, in the 5A semifinals against Lone Peak. Kafentzis broke his collarbone midway through the game and Gajkowski took over and offered the team an almost seamless transition. He completed 13-of-23 passes for 261 yards and rushed for 60 more yards. He won a lot of fans when he responded to a Knights' touchdown by taking his teammates 80 yards for their own score and a 20-17 halftime lead.
Rodgers played both offense and defensive line for the Cavemen and was one of the team's anchors in that role last season.