HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata football team announced their captains for the 2018 season. They are: AJ Brocato (Abingdon, Md./Patterson Mills HS), Anthony Popolo (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey), Joel Reighard (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area HS), and Austin Montgomery (Bedford, Pa./Bedford Area).
"I, and the rest of the coaching staff, would like to commend the team on their selection of team captains and congratulate the 2018 captains," remarked head coach Tim Launtz. "The team has chosen four Juniata Men that are committed to the core values and culture of Juniata College and the football program. These four Juniata Men will lead by staying focused on the process and understanding that there is no down time in the process. The four captains are Juniata Men of great passion and energy, for they realize that nothing in life can be achieved without passion and energy and that it must be earned. Their passion will serve to energize the performance of their teammates and they will be leaders, on and off the field. They understand hard work is not a sacrifice, but who we are. "
Brocato enters his final season coming of his most productive season as wideout where he appeared in all 10 games. He caught 36 balls for 380 yards and had five touchdowns, including a 66-yard touchdown against Ursinus.
"AJ has shown his commitment and devotion by exercising his medical redshirt year," stated Launtz. "It shows his passion and desire for Juniata Football."
Popolo appeared in all 10 games for the Eagles last season. A three-year starter, he has handled the long and short snapping since he stepped on campus.
"Anthony is one of the best long and short snappers in Division III football," remarked Launtz. "He is so committed and devoted to the art of long snapping. He works so diligently to achieve perfection and we appreciate all his efforts."
Reighard had a productive junior season that saw him pick up several accolades. He twice made the D3football team of the week, was named Centennial Conference Co-Special Teams Player of the Week once and was a CoSida Academic All-American. He appeared in nine games and made 55 total tackles (four TFL), forced one fumble, intercepted one pass and broke up eight more. He was nine for nine on extra points and returned five punts for 130 yards including a 70-yard punt return touchdown.
"Joel is another player who has elected to exercise his fifth year (as a post-graduate)," said Launtz. "Joel is the consummate student-athlete as he excels in the classroom and the field. We are very excited he has decided to return for another year."
Montgomery appeared in all 10 games for the Eagles as he led one of the best offenses in the Centennial. He threw for 2549 yards and 24 touchdowns. He added 230 rushing yards and another seven touchdowns on the ground.
"Austin demonstrated early upon arriving at Juniata College that he possessed the ability and the respect of his teammates," stated Launtz. "Three days into his freshman year one of the senior captains said 'you got a good one there, he knows how to lead,' which proved to be true."
Juniata will open the 2018 season at Grove City, September 1 at 1:30.