Photo courtesy of Kris Calvin / @KCFreshInc
In 2016 Jack Colletto led the Camas High School football team to a perfect 14-0 record, a state championship and was named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington. However, life was not always this perfect for the quarterback.
Without a transfer to Camas, which occurred after his mother took a new job, things may have been different for both Colletto and the school’s football program.
When Colletto began playing football in third grade, the sport seemed like a perfect match. His father even shared that as a kid, Jack would carry a football around in his backpack while he was at school. Coletto and football were inseparable.
“He gravitated towards the game,” Jack’s father Bert expressed. “From day one his goal was to play on Sunday.”
However, it was not until Coletto threw a simple pass to his coach after a play that he realized quarterback was the position he wanted to play.
“I loved seeing the spiral on the ball after I threw it,” Colletto said. “So when our coach asked who wanted to play quarterback, I raised my hand.”
From there, becoming a successful passer was the main goal for Jack. With the help of his uncle Sal Colletto, who was a walk on at the University of Washington, Colletto began working to make his dream of playing in the NFL a reality.
After spending his first year at Camas as the backup learning the system, Colletto entered 2016 as the starter and leader of the team. Even though it would be his first year in charge, he was more than ready to assume the responsibility of pursuing a state championship. To accomplish this task, he was going to have to become the man for Camas.
In December of 2015 the Tacoma News Tribune quoted Colletto saying, “I’m gonna put everyone on my back and we’re winning states.”
— UnderTheRadar NW (@UTRNorthwest) December 4, 2016
“I don’t remember that specifically, but it sounds like something I would say,” Colletto said when asked about the statement. “I have a pretty intense personality.”
Whether he said it or not, Colletto did put the team on his back during their championship run. 2,846 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns along with 1,253 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns helped Jack and Camas finish the season with an undefeated record. In addition, Colletto received numerous accolades including being named to the Seattle Times All- State Team. Yet none of the awards compare to what he considers to be his greatest accomplishment: the state championship.
“I don’t think too much of individual awards,” Colletto explained. “I enjoyed the feeling of holding the [state championship] trophy.”
For the Camas quarterback, being able to share a title with his teammates, friends, family and community trumped any individual honor. To Jack, the football squad was more than just a team to him. His teammates were his brothers and he truly enjoyed going to practice and competing with them day after day. The feeling of being crowned a champion with them was the ultimate reward.
However, the individual awards are still important to Colletto. For him, they are reminders of his long journey to where he is today.
“My story is not just a success story,” Colletto said. “It has been a long road from nowhere to player of the year.”
This nowhere that Jack speaks of takes us back a few years.
Before he was at Camas winning state titles, he was a sophomore quarterback at a different school who was struggling to take the next step on the football field. These troubles were due in part to his diet and physical shape. Yet a move following his mother’s job transfer proved to be an important event for Colletto. There were a few choices as to where they could live and everyone had a say. Colletto discovered that one of the options would result in him attending Camas High School. Camas is known for its impressive football program, so as long as it was the best thing for his entire family, Jack believed this school would be a great place for him as a student and a football player.
Luckily enough by the beginning of his junior year, Colletto was attending Camas and had joined the football team. This decision would propel him to football stardom.
“When you walk in and see the banners hanging, it is special,” Colletto said. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
With the help of his coaches and uncle, Colletto continued to work and improve his game, and became a part of Camas history. A year later, Camas has a state championship and Colletto is not only the Washington player of the year, but also an honor roll student. Thanks in part to a job transfer, Colletto and Camas found each other, and they both benefited greatly.
“It has been a great ride,” Bert Colletto said. “I have been telling him to enjoy the ride.”
Although Colletto is certainly overjoyed with how the season played out, he is nowhere near being content with his accomplishments. With his high school football career over, Colletto is now in the middle of the recruiting process. He has received offers from Eastern Washington and Idaho State. With national signing day coming up, he is still weighing all of his options, but hopes to make a decision soon.
Although playing football is important, earning a degree always comes first. An honor roll student at Camas, he plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.
No matter what school Colletto decides to attend, it is clear what his goal is while competing at the next level.
“I want to play in college and I want to win a national championship,” Colletto said. “Whether it be FBS or FCS, I want to win a championship.”
Edited by Max Marcilla