After 1 season on Shaler football team, Colarusso earns shot to play in college
Brian Colarusso was never sure the commitment was worth it when it came to the Shaler football team.
Winning isn’t something the Titans have done a lot of recently, with two victories over the past six seasons. But as a senior, Colarusso decided he wanted to try and help out. Despite not having played football since middle school, Colarusso went out for the team as a wide receiver/defensive back.
On a team that only scored 80 points during a 0-10 campaign, Colarusso scored twice and had 120 receiving yards in a 45-17 loss to North Hills to open the season.
“My goal was to come out and help my classmates win a game,” Colarusso said. “We didn’t care too much about individual stats. If we could’ve gotten that win, we could have changed the culture a little bit. That was the biggest goal for me.”
Not winning a game inspired Colarusso to play at the next level. Ending his football career after one season and no wins wasn’t a satisfying ending.
His play caught the attention of the Oberlin (Ohio) College football staff. The Division III Yeomen play in the North Coast Athletic Conference and finished 4-6 last season.
“My goal was to go to an academic school I wouldn’t be able to get into without football,” Colarusso said. “Oberlin was the best place I could get an education but have an opportunity to play the sport I wanted to play. It was the school that was most interested in me and I could excel.”
Being able to take on challenges is something Shaler football coach James Ryan is sure Colarusso can handle.
“I think Brian is a natural athlete,” Ryan said. “He excels at any athletic endeavor he takes on. (Shaler baseball) Coach (Brian) Junker told me no matter what the kid does, he does well at. As Brian became more comfortable with the concepts, he got better. He was a deep-pass threat for us. When we put him in the secondary, he started to excel at that, as well.”
Being able to continue his success at the collegiate level will be his next test.
Going to a program that is enthusiastic about winning games doesn’t have Colarusso questioning his decision.
His time at Shaler ended up being worth the extra effort.
“The team has only won two games in the past six years, so it was a big commitment to give everything you have for many months out of the year,” Colarusso said. “It’s hard to do. It’s always something I wanted to do, so I may as well give it a shot. I just loved it.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.