National Signing Day: Josh Guzik feels responsibility to Rogers community after signing with Idaho
“Anyone know what the date is?” asked Josh Guzik, as he signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play football and continue his education at Idaho next season.
The all-Greater Spokane League 3A offensive lineman from Rogers might not have known the date on the calendar, but he fully understood the significance of the day.
“I think it’s a pretty big deal,” Guzik said about signing with a Division I school. “We haven’t had anybody (from Rogers) in a few years and football in particular, I don’t think we’ve had one in over 10 years.”
His coach agreed.
“It’s a really great opportunity for kids to see that you can be successful here at Rogers, just like you can anywhere else,” coach David Chambless said.
“Josh has worked really hard to get to where he is,” he added. “He has learned and grown tremendously here at Rogers and has become a young man that we’re proud of to send off and confident that when he goes to Idaho, he’ll be successful there and in academics as well as athletics.”
Guzik recalled players at Rogers he admired as a kid.
“The last guy we had (go Division I), Khalil Winfrey, he’s a guy that a lot of us look up to,” he said. “I hope this can give like a glimmer of hope to some kids around the neighborhood and get them to have aspirations to go DI too.”
Guzik talked about his community.
“I feel responsibility to my teammates that they’re looking up to me and they want me to do good and I want to do good for them and have hope – that they’ve invested time in me and I’m investing time in them and just to go do great things over at Idaho.”
“That’s a huge thing for us at Rogers,” Chambless said. “He’s going to hopefully be a springboard for our kids to see that there is hope to get out of some of the situations that they may be in that aren’t as easy and to know there’s people out there that are willing to do what they can to help them get to their goals and achieve a high level.”
Guzik is honored to inspire local kids.
“I remember one time walking down the street after practice and I remember a little kid who came to our little kid’s camp and said ‘Cupcake, it’s you,’ because that’s what my nickname is. I was like, ‘Hey,’ and I talked to him.
“It was cool to see a kid who recognized me off the street.”
“Josh is well aware of his role in our community and that he’s a face of Rogers and he’s a great representative for us because of that,” Chambless said, adding that Rogers trains its athletes for leadership roles.
“He’s a kid that had an opportunity to go to another (high school) and decided he wanted to stay here at Rogers and play for us, and we’re looking to keep that ongoing here,” Chambless added.
“You know, we want to keep our talent in Hillyard. Josh is a prime example of that. You don’t have to go to special school to get a Division I scholarship.”
Guzik is ranked No. 1 in state 3A wrestling as a heavyweight, but said he’s at about 265 pounds right now. He mentioned the Idaho staff wants to see him bulk up.
“Yeah, they’re talking 300 pounds and I’m like, ‘Okay, I haven’t seen that number before.’ ”
At 6-foot-5 with a size 17 shoe, Guzik has room to grow.
“He’s a hard worker and he loves to eat. Those are the two things that are key to put on good muscle mass and weight that he’s going to need to play.”
Still a big kid, Guzik will have to be careful about some of his meal decisions though.
“They have a Chik-fil-A on campus, that’s a big bonus,” he admitted.
Culinary choices aside, Guzik – who plans to major in business with an emphasis in marketing or human resources – said he felt like he fit in with the Vandals.
“I feel like I can be myself and be successful there and they’ll develop me into the player I’ve always wanted to be.”
Panther becomes a Bulldog
Mead all-league defensive lineman and three-star recruit Nathan Puletasi made his choice of college known on live TV Wednesday afternoon: he’s taking his talents to Yale University.
“I wasn’t planning on (announcing live), but Taylor (Brooks, SWX) reached me on Twitter and asked me to do it. So I just said, ‘Yeah, why not?’ ”
Pulatasi chose Yale over a bunch of other programs, including Eastern Washington and Montana State.
“I’ve always loved competing and and getting to go there, I get to go against some some really good athletes,” he said.
Of course, it’s not just playing football at an Ivy League school.
“I’m a little bit a little bit nervous about how it’s going to be a pretty competitive school, but I think I can get through it,” Puletasi said.
He is also excited to bring his heritage to the east coast.
“I’m actually going to be one of few Samoan football players at Yale. It’s kind of cool to to bring my culture over there.”
Ferris: Eric Mast (baseball) Central Arizona CC, Alessandro Contos (soccer) Community Colleges of Spokane, Taylor Ward (soccer) University of Providence-Great Falls (Montana), Will Miller (cross country/track) Central Washington.
Gonzaga Prep: Darius Johnson (football) Garden City (Kansas) CC.
Lewis and Clark: Will Ladyman (lacrosse) Montana, Griffin Effenberger (basketball) Black Hills State, Carolyn Moravec (soccer) Northwest Nazarene, Brett Bergler (cross country/track) Northwest Nazarene.
Mead: Kendall Houston (soccer) Western Washington, Cami Culp (golf) Embry Riddle.
University: Alyssa Benthagen (softball) Central Washington, Kelsey Crosby (soccer) Seattle University, Logan Dreher (basketball) Montana Western, Brooklyn Hecker (softball) North Idaho, Emma Knudson (soccer) CCS, Carson Lundmark (baseball) CCS, Hailey Reynolds (soccer), Blue Mountain CC, Grace Rogers (soccer) University of Jamestown, Megan Taylor (basketball) Whitman, Blake Tellinghusen (baseball) Lewis-Clark State.
Cheney: Mekhai Goodloe (football) Valley City State, Bryden Esquibel (football) Eastern Oregon.
Deer Park: Emmy Moore (soccer) Idaho, Jessie Thomas (soccer) Clark College, Lucas Keller (football) Pacific Lutheran.
Freeman: Lindsay Balkenbush (soccer) Eastern Oregon, Hannah Pylant (soccer) Eastern Oregon, Hannah Brock (softball) Marist College, Lexi Johnson (softball) Barry University.
Lakeside: Micah Holmes (football) Central Washington.
Liberty: Jon Denny (football) Washington State.
Northwest Christian: Silas Perreiah (football) Eastern Washington.
Colville: Jacob Newsom (football) Eastern Washington.
Colton: Parker Druffel (football) Idaho.
Coeur d’Alene: Erica Skindlove (soccer) Eastern Oregon.
Timberlake: Kenzie Dean (volleyball) Lewis-Clark State.