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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on August 31st, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 26

CJ Cole

By PETER JOHNSON

St. Joseph High School senior CJ Cole has a lot to look forward to.

Over the summer, Cole and his friend and longtime football and track teammate, Fenton Will, received offers to join the football program at Cal Poly in 2017.

“We got offers on the same day in late June,” the all-league wide receiver told the Sun. “We were like, ‘You know what? Let’s go to Cal Poly.’”


PHOTO COURTESY OF CJ COLE

It wasn’t a tough decision for Cole, who said he’s been watching Mustang football for years and had his sights set on the school.

“It’s been my No. 1 college choice since my freshman year,” he said. “There’s nothing else that I wanted.”

With a bright athletic future at Cal Poly secured, Cole could turn his attention to the other, more imminent exciting event in his life: the start of his senior high school football season.

The St. Joe’s football team has been practicing unofficially since the spring, Cole said, and he can’t wait for the season to kick off. St. Joe’s fell to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Aug. 26, and will look for their first win against Righetti on Sept. 2.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “We’ve been going at it since March. After five months of practice, we finally get to play.”

Cole is St. Joe’s No. 1 offensive weapon this year.

“CJ is going to be the guy that defenses game-plan against when they play us,” Knights head coach Dustin Davis said.

Cole dominated the Los Padres League last season at his position, leading the league in receiving yards while pulling in 11 touchdown catches. St. Joe’s wound up reaching the second round of the CIF playoffs, where they were knocked out by the eventual section champion, Camarillo High School. Following the season, Cole was named to the All-Los Padres League team and the All-CIF Southern Section team.

Cole will shoot for similar production this year as the Knights try to regroup after losing 2015 quarterback Blake Jaeckels to graduation.

“Blake was a big guy to lose. He was a good quarterback,” Cole said. “But we got Dino Maldonado now. He transferred from Righetti. We have faith in him.”

Even though Cole has the St. Joe’s record for longest touchdown reception (91 yards), he interestingly says his favorite play is a basic run up the middle.

“We line up, there are two fullbacks blocking for me, and I just blast straight up the middle,” he said with a laugh.

Cole’s first passion was football, saying he’s been playing it “ever since I could.”

But football is not Cole’s only shtick. He is arguably just as gifted at track and field. Last spring, Cole and his future Cal Poly teammate Will helped break the school record in the 4 by 100 meter relay race. He also qualified for the CIF meet last year in the 100 meter and 200 meter runs, and the shot put. 




Weekly Poll
Should school districts invest more into vocational and career technical programs?

Yes. Students need to get on a career path as soon as possible.
No. It's more important for students to learn study skills than specific disciplines.
No. District should save money by partnering with businesses to offer more internships.
Yes, but only if these programs also count for college credit.

| Poll Results