by Kyle Moats
St. John Bosco continues its strong presence in college athletics with 16 football players continuing their educational and athletic careers at higher levels.
Winter Signing Day was very exciting day for Bosco Football, its players, families, and the Bosco community as a whole. Here are the athletes that signed back on February 6th, as well as the early enrollees already at their chosen schools.
DL Cole Aubrey, Princeton University
WR/DB Jake Bailey, Rice University
LS Derek Bedell, University of Colorado
WR Colby Bowman, Stanford University
LB Junior Gafa, Brown University
RB George Holani, Boise State University
CB Trent McDuffie, University of Washington
DL Sua’ava Poti, University of Oregon
DL Na’im Rodman, University of Colorado
P William Rose, University of Southern California
OL Marist Talavou, University of Utah
CB Titus Toler, University of Wisconsin
LB Ralen Goforth, University of Southern California
LB Spencer Lytle, University of Wisconsin
CB Chris Steele, University of Florida
TE Jude Wolfe, University of Southern California
Within this first-class group of athletes, every journey has its own story. Every student-athletes tale is unique culminating in this day. Childhood dreams, maybe early sparks of talent or even lately realized and honed skills. Tragedy, loss, setbacks, rare opportunities and hope all act as factors.
Sua’ava Poti – at a powerful 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame – will represent Bosco next year at the University of Oregon. Poti expressed love and respect for his Bosco coaches and a deep appreciation for his family.
Three young athletes whose fathers’ passed prior to seeing their son’s dreams realized-Junior Gafa, Na’im Rodman, and Marist Talavou – acknowledged the acute loss of those men and the deep and abiding love, support, and sacrifice their loving mother’s had made to get them to this point.
“You’ve done your part mom, and now it is time to do mine. This feels incredible and when I signed my letter of intent it was everything to me because my father’s dream was to see his kids work hard and go to college. The best part is knowing my dad was a diehard Ute fan. If he was here right now, he would’ve been decked out in Utah gear,” said Marist Talavou.
“My dad was a really big figure in my life and losing him at age twelve was probably the hardest thing any kid have gone through. But, dedicating my life to him was the best thing I have ever done. I used him as my inspiration to get done what needed to be done ensuring that, when all is said and done, I would be able to say that my dad’s ticket to heaven was also my ticket to a prosperous life. I will be forever grateful for his guidance throughout this journey,” said Junior Gafa.
“The loss of my dad affected me a lot because he was someone I looked up to and he was the one who got me into sports. It felt great honoring him because it was something we always talked about when I brought up my dreams as a kid,” said Na’im Rodman.
Colby Bowman – a wide receiver attending Stanford University next year – offered these thoughts about signing with his teammates.
“I have dreamed of signing day since my freshman year. It went amazingly and I am so glad I finished my high school career at St. John Bosco. It could not have been with a better group of guys, either. I am so proud of all of them and cannot wait to see what the future holds for these guys,” said Bowman.
In true Bosco fashion, and yet one more thing that sets our school apart from the rest, the athletes and staff dressed school formal for the event. The coaches took time to speak personally about each athlete and then yielded the floor to the athletes themselves. Dry eyes were a rarity in the room as, once again, St. John Bosco athletes demonstrated class, candid emotion, and even humor.
For those athletes who had early enrolled, a December 19th ceremony was held so that those young men had the opportunity to speak and sign as well. The future is bright for all of these student-athletes as they continue their academic and athletics careers.