Home / World News / Zach Cozzolino, Jalen Mergerson, Jake Heimlicher

Zach Cozzolino, Jalen Mergerson, Jake Heimlicher

Pomona running back Max Borghi is the winner of the 2017 Denver Post Gold Helmet Award, beating out three other worthy senior finalists. Here’s everything you need to know about those finalists, who are elite football players and scholar-athletes in their own right.

Zach Cozzolino, Pueblo South, QB

The senior threw 48 touchdowns — the second most in state history — and led Class 4A with 3,442 yards passing, including 297 yards and two scores to pace the Colts past favored Pine Creek to their first state title. But those who know Cozzolino best understand his football success this fall is a byproduct of the young man he is off the field.

He’s a dedicated student (3.88 GPA) and slick with a guitar in his hand, too, as evidenced by his performance of Kenny Chesney’s “Boys of Fall” at a pep assembly this year. Plus, the quarterback who’s drawing heavy interest from CSU-Pueblo as well as several other RMAC schools is an expert in the building and flying of giant-scale, remote-controlled aircraft, and he belongs to the Academy of Model Aeronautics. An accomplished welder — what first son of the Steel City wouldn’t be? — he also has donated his time helping weld signage for the Pueblo Zoo.

Jalen Mergerson, Eaglecrest, QB/DB

A three-year starter for Eaglecrest, Mergerson led the Raptors’ surge into an elite Class 5A program. As a dual-threat quarterback, he racked up 3,615 total yards and 33 touchdowns this season, including 363 yards and three touchdowns in Eaglecrest’s shootout loss to Pomona in the championship game. Though the Raptors fell short of their first state title since 1993, it was because of Mergerson’s ice-in-the-veins play that they were able to rattle off consecutive undefeated regular seasons. During those two campaigns, the senior came through in countless clutch moments to keep the Raptors’ perfect record intact.

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