From teammates to rivals
Four Palisade FB players sign letters with RMAC schools
Let the friendly trash talk begin.
A cordial back-and-forth was one of the first things Austin Terry started Thursday after four Palisade High School football players signed letters of intent to play for teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“I’m definitely the trash talker of this group,” Terry said. “I like to play a lot and have a lot of fun.”
Terry, a change-of-pace running back and defensive back for the Bulldogs, signed with Adams State University in Alamosa. Terry will likely be used as a defensive back in college.
Levi Hoaglund, who played quarterback and defensive back for the Bulldogs, signed with Colorado Mesa University as an outside linebacker.
Zach Marengo and Jack Millard, defensive standouts for Palisade, signed with Western State Colorado University as linebackers.
With four players signing in the same conference, Terry said he likes to use stats in his taunts.
“I like to give (Marengo and Millard) crap because Western hasn’t beaten Adams in like 13 years,” Terry said. “They told me that when I went down there. I mean it sucks that they’re on the losing team, but I look forward to continuing that streak.
“But really, it’s great to see all these guys playing (college football). They’re great guys, and we’ve been great friends. I mean, me and Levi have been best friends since like eighth grade. It’s been great being on a winning team, and I love my guys. They’re all great guys that have taught me a lot about football and life while I’ve been (at Palisade).”
Millard jokingly said Terry and Hoaglund are now “frienemies.”
“We’re still friends, but now we’re enemies, besides Zach Marengo, because him and I are playing together,” Millard said. “But yeah, our team competition is already starting. It’s a lot of fun.”
Marengo said one of the perks of signing with Western is playing with his best friend. Millard and Marengo are from Fruita, and both had to adjust to attending school across the valley at Palisade.
“Yeah, since freshman year, I was kinda new, too, and me and Jack bonded instantly,” Marengo said. “We became really good friends. His dad is an NFL coach, so he has that football background, and we just bonded over that. When I heard that he was going to Western, I had to look it up.”
Hoaglund said he picked Colorado Mesa because of the quality of the program and being close to home. He added it’s exciting to play in the same conference as many of his teammates.
“It’s been really exciting, and it started in summer camp when we were freshmen,” Hoaglund said. “We’ve been able to accomplish a lot of the things we wanted to do, and this year was a great year, even though we obviously didn’t win a state title this year. But we got good things accomplished.
“It will be fun playing against Zach and Jack at Western and Ozzie at Adams. We get to see each other at least once a year.”
Palisade coach Joe Rammuno, heaped praise on the four seniors because of their leadership skills and blue-collar, grinder mentality.
“All four of them have great character, not only as football players but as people,” Ramunno said. “As student-athletes they’re going to be great. They’re going to represent Palisade High School well. I can’t say enough about them. I mean, the work ethic they have, that was built way back, and their parents are to be commended for that. They’re just solid citizens and just great students, with three of them being in the (International Baccalaureate) program, and they just do great things.”