When he was a freshman trying out for the Kinnelon football team, David LoCascio never imagined he could actually play with the varsity right away.
So LoCascio just went about his business and tried to make a positive impression on his new coaches.
Head coach Kevin White also never gave consideration to LoCascio playing varsity right away. But defensive line coach Jim Dransfield told White, “We had to put David in there.”
During the Colts’ first scrimmage three years ago, LoCascio’s name was called and inserted at defensive tackle.
“On one of the first plays, the quarterback sprints out and there’s David to drill the quarterback,” White recalled. “The quarterback then pitches the ball to a back. David pops right up and chases the fullback down the field and drags him down from behind. I mean, he clobbered the kid. Yeah, we got him in alright.”
Since that play, LoCascio has yet to come out, starting on varsity as a freshman and remaining there until this year, when he’s expected to be one of the top two-way linemen in Morris County.
“Yeah, I remember that play,” LoCascio said. “That’s one of the moments that sort of sticks out for me.”
It put LoCascio on the map. Not only did LoCascio start at defensive tackle, but he also earned a spot as an offensive guard. He’s 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, but there’s no denying that motor. LoCascio made 88 tackles a year ago, an incredible amount for a defensive tackle.
“I think he’s a better defensive player than offensive,” White said. “He has great instinct. He shoots off the ball and gets to the ball carrier. He loves to make tackles. He will not stop and does not take a play off. It’s almost like we take him for granted now. We know he’s going to make the play. You can’t put a price tag on what he’s able to do.”
LoCascio likes his role with the Colts this season, helping to teach the younger players how to make an impact.
“I have a lot of experience, so I don’t mind sharing that experience with the younger guys,” LoCascio said. “I played on a state championship team (North 1 Group II in 2012), so I understand what championship football is like. We have a good group of younger guys coming up, so I try to help the others as much as I can.”
“Always trying to turn it up a little more,” LoCascio loves to get off the ball quickly, “making plays in the backfield and getting excited. It’s what I do.”
This fall will mark the last time LoCascio will be making such plays, because he’s likely to wrestle in college. LoCascio wrestled at 182 pounds last year for the Colts, reaching second place in the district and fourth in the region. The College of New Jersey and Messiah are interested in getting LoCascio on the mat.
“He wants to wrestle in college,” White said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But he’s good enough to play football at the next level, no question. He’s a special kind of inside guy with skills that can’t be taught. He jumps past a blocker, gets in the backfield, makes a play and you say, ‘That’s just David.’ Like I said, you almost take it all for granted.”