BOUNTIFUL – Darren Denucci was a star offensive lineman for the Bountiful Braves, making the All-Region list twice in his high school career.
Now, in his first full season at Snow College, the freshman student is not only leading the way in the classroom, he’s leading the charge for the Badgers’ football team as well.
Denucci is finishing up his first season at Snow College this Saturday, Dec. 1, with a trip to the inaugural Carrier Dome Bowl, to be played at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
The match-up will feature two of the top four ranked teams in the country, with No. 4 Snow College (10-1 overall) playing No. 3-ranked ASA (9-0), located in Brooklyn.
A win for the Badgers could mean a top-two finish, but it’s the way Denucci and several other locals have helped the team that has led to the Saturday match up.
Denucci has played on the offensive line for the majority of the season, with most of his playing time coming at the tackle position. While protecting the quarterback’s blind side, Darren has helped the team finish with 10 wins. Tje team’s lone loss came against the Georgia Military College on Sept. 8.
“He’s really done well and has played a lot over there,” said Frank Denucci, Darren’s father. “That whole team down there is fun to watch, I think.”
Darren is just one of a handful of Davis County players that will be involved in Saturday’s bowl game. Others include former Layton High graduates Thomas Bryson and Kimble Jensen, Clearfield High graduate Etika Pauni and Northridge’s Karson Casteel.
Casteel is the back-up quarterback, and Bryson and Jensen have seen plenty of playing time for the Badgers.
The most exciting part of this year’s trip to the East Coast, according to Snow’s athletic director Rob Nielson, is the fact that the Badger’s are travelling the farthest they ever have in order to play.
In it’s 92 years of existence, the Badgers will be making their first trip to New York, and will also face their first opponent from the Big Apple.
The Badgers will be making their 20th bowl appearance overall and 10th straight appearance in a bowl game.
Tyler Hughes, now in his second full season as head coach, has been with the team since 2004. He coached the wide receivers and tight ends in his first year. Since then he has moved up the ranks, reaching offensive coordinator in 2005 before being named the head coach in 2011.
Snow’s No. 4 overall ranking comes with a conference championship in the Western States Football League, a conference in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). ASA, or “Advanced Software Analysis,” is the Northeast Football Conference Champion. Kickoff for Saturday’s bowl game is scheduled for 1 p.m. locally.