They called it the "Road to Redemption: and, for Concorde De La Salle, the journey started early last year after losing in the state finals to Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Spartan two-way lineman Boss Tagaloa said the tough off-season was well worth it following Saturday night's big win over Centennial.
"We started working January 8," Tagaloa said following the game Saturday night. "I'm not going to lie, some of the workouts sucked because of how hard we go but I'm thankful now. I'm thankful we got back to the championship and thankful we pulled out this win. That's a great team over there, they have some great athletes, a ton of speed and they went through us in the 1st half.
"In the second half, we made adjustments and took away the quarterback run and really squeezed our lineman so they didn't have space to run between the tackles. They had to bounce it outside and we could track them down. It was awesome to play against those guys though and it feels great to come out on top this year."
Tagaloa moved to tackle after playing defensive end his sophomore year. He also started at left tackle and shows surprising agility for a 6-3, 290-pound lineman.
"I was healthy last year so I felt quicker," Tagaloa said. "I broke my fibula and fractured my ankle in April at a combine so I was out of action all spring and summer. It affected me for sure but I had to play through it. I'm already excited about playing my senior season 100% healthy to see what I can do out there."
On the recruiting front, Tagaloa is well past the double digit offer mark and has scholarships from most of the Pac 12 as well as national programs like Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
"Right now it's so early and I'm open to everyone still," Tagaloa said. "I plan to take all of my official visits and wait until Signing Day before I make my decision. I've been to California and Stanford before and those are both really nice schools. I was hoping to visit UCLA this weekend while I was down here for the Bowl game but I had some family commitments and wasn't able to make it over.
"It's a dead period right now anyway so I wouldn't have been able to talk with the coaches but I'll be back in the spring or summer. I'll also do an official visit to UCLA, that's one school I know I'll visit and I have a good relationship with Coach Angus (McClure), the DL coach. I like the whole L.A. scheme and I'm very comfortable with it. 'Bama is another school I would love to visit. They have a great program every year and great coaching staff. Like I said though, no leaders for me, I'm wide open to everyone and excited to go through the recruiting process."
Check out highlights of Tagaloa's 4-sack game against Pittsburg earlier this season below