By Jeremy McDonald
TOLEDO, Ore.– The last time that Toledo High School had a collegiate signee was Kyle Otis back in 2016 when he signed at Western Oregon University for football.
Fast forward to February 3, and here we are when six-foot-six-inch quarterback Jaxon Rozewski sitting in the Boomer gym where he signed his Letter of Intent to continue his football career at the same school Otis did a few years before.
“It feels great, it’s not very often you hear about a guy out of Toledo going to play in college. The last one we had was back in 2016 and I couldn’t even tell you who went before him,” said Rozewski. “It’s a truly special thing, I want to show all those small town kids out there that with hard work and dedication you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Toledo went 8-3 and 2-2 in the tough 2A-Special District 4 conference that saw Coquille, Bandon and the Boomers reach the postseason. Toledo and the Red Devils reached the State Quarterfinals before their respective seasons ended back in 2019.
For Rozewski, who’s been in the Toledo-area since he was three after moving to the area from Medford, he described the feeling playing at Toledo as unbeatable on a Friday night.
“I love playing for a small town. Nothing beats looking up into the stands on a Friday night and seeing your whole town cheering you on. Tight knit is definitely the word to us,” said Rozewski, who also plays basketball and baseball. “The feeling to me personally is unbeatable.
“You see the same people every day at school and just out around town and you are able to create all of these relationships which I love. And I have been playing with my teammates from the first year we played sports up till now. So, our bond cannot be broken and that helps on the field.”
The bond had continued into basketball in 2019 where the Boomers win the 2A State Title in Boys Basketball a few weeks after their quarterfinal defeat to State Semifinalist Monroe on the road just outside of Eugene.
“That bond is awesome. We’ve gotten to learn all of each other’s strengths on the field and really been able to put them to use. And we’ve just got so many memories made,” said Rozewski, who scored three points and grabbed six rebounds in the 58-48 win over Western Christian.
The Coronavirus Pandemic prematurely ended the party a few days after their victory on the basketball court before the young Toledo team could duplicate their 2019 17-8, first-round playoff appearance success.
With the uncertainity of his final year in a Boomer uniform, Rozewski has made the most of the opportunity during these crazy times. Putting in the work at showcases, with Brendin Quinn and on his own. Making the most of what is hopefully ahead for the Grizzly Vet in Rozewski.
“I have no idea what is going to happen with my senior year so I’m just going to keep having a positive mindset and working hard and that’s all I can do,” said Rozewski. “These next couple month are going to be very important. I’m just going to continue what I’ve been doing.
“I’ve been in the weight room and on the football field every week day putting in work and training my mind on different defenses and coverages and doing anything I can as of now to get ready for a college playbook.”