Carroll College football has a tradition of finding tough, hard-nosed defenders.
Capital High School football has a tradition of building tough, hard-nosed defenders.
It only makes sense that one of the newest names added to the Saints’ 2017 recruiting class, then, is a Bruin. The latest in a growing list of players set to join the Saints in the fall: Capital defensive back Colin Sassano.
A member of the IR’s Super Team as well as a selection for the upcoming East-West Shrine Game, Sassano (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) finished his senior season with 82 tackles, 11 assisted tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. He also picked up two fumble recoveries, forced another fumble, pulled in two interceptions and broke up seven passes.
“It definitely takes a lot of the weight off my back,” he said of making the decision. “I’m just not worried about where I’m going any more, and I can just kind of focus on Carroll now.”
Of course, he’s got a few things to finish up before his focus can shift entirely the Saints’ way. Sassano, in addition to being first team All-State on the football field, also plays hockey for the high school Bighorns and in the summer is a key contributor for the Helena Senators Legion baseball team.
This past fall, in fact, he was recognized by the Sens with the Stanley Foote Award for the most improved player/rookie of the year, the Earl Tucker Award as team batting champion with a .386 average, and the Betty Cottingham Award as team MVP. The Cottingham citation considers citizenship, leadership and outstanding play.
Other Frontier teams were interested in Sassano, with Rocky Mountain College, Montana Tech and Montana Western leading that pack. But Carroll, he said, just felt right.
“I just always liked Carroll, growing up and going to the games and everything,” he said. “That definitely had something to do with it. It just seemed like a welcoming feel when I was there.”
With one more football game left in his high school career when he plays in the Shrine Game this summer, the senior said being part of another Capital team making a State AA playoff run is something he’ll long remember.
“This year I definitely had a lot of fun,” he said. “You don’t realize how much you enjoyed it until it’s gone.
“We had really good coaching. We all knew what our assignments were and everyone was just on the same page. Mainly, I just think we had really good chemistry.”
In selecting Carroll, Sassano joins good friend and a teammate on both the Bighorns and Senators in Helena High standout Ryan Arntson. The two didn’t talk much about college choices during the decision-making process, but will now be likely working together to prepare for their future in the Frontier Conference.
“They haven’t given me (a workout plan) yet, but I’ve talked to Ryan and he kind of gave me one,” Sassano said. “I think we’re going to try to start lifting at Carroll a couple of times a week starting at the end of the month.