By Tamara Gilbert
Photos by Kevin McInnis
Playing football in elementary school was a fun hobby, but Juan Diego Catholic High senior Alex Hoffman dreamed of playing on the high school field. This year, Hoffman led the Juan Diego football team to the Class 3A state championship.
This was no easy feat, however, as Hoffman played the fourth quarter of the state championship game with a torn posterior cruciate ligament. Chris Long, athletic director at Juan Diego, says Hoffman showed his physical toughness through that injury.
“He scored two touchdowns with a knee that he shouldn’t have been walking on, and nobody knew it,” Long said.
Hoffman has played football, basketball and baseball during his time on campus, including this year, after recovering from that knee injury. Long describes Hoffman as an intelligent and tough athlete.
“In every sport that he plays he’s like a coach on the field,” Long said. “In football he knows everybody’s assignment. In basketball, when Coach Trost is putting in an offense or a defense, Alex, when he’s in the game, he’s directing traffic, when he’s not in the game, he’s telling the people where to go.”
Hoffman’s injury sidelined him for most of the basketball season, but after doing physical therapy, he was able to get onto the court for some late-season basketball games. According to Long, the leadership Hoffman provides for the basketball is visible. Hoffman says he has enjoyed his time playing on the team.
Long says he has seen Hoffman grow, not only physically, but emotionally as well as he has figured out how to stay under control.
“He’s a fiery competitor and he’s learned to control his temper,” Long said. “When he was younger, when he was a freshman and a sophomore, he was like a bull in a China shop. He’s learned to control it and channel it in a positive direction.”
Hoffman is a successful athlete and a great student as well.
“He’s really just a good example of what you want a student-athlete to be,” Long said.
“I was looking for somewhere where I could play football and get good academics,” Hoffman said. “I want to go into medicine and they have a strong medical program there so it seemed like the right fit.”
Hoffman was named the 3A most valuable player by the Deseret News but he says the whole team contributed to that award.
“It’s a great honor but our whole team had to play well for us to succeed,” Hoffman said. “It wasn’t just one person.”
Juan Diego Catholic High student Tamara Gilbert wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.