Rosa did not make his varsity debut until the third game of the season, when injuries resulted in the son of head coach Paul Rosa to receive his call-up to the big time. In his first game, the freshman accounted for 83 yards from scrimmage, with one touchdowns, and drilled three extra points in a 42-6 win over Pioneer. The rest of the season only took off from there.
“He was the most ready to come up (to the varsity) at that point,” Rosa, Sr. said. “He would contributing a lot offensively and on special teams, and it was absolutely the right choice.”
Two weeks later, after a bye, Rosa continued to improve and excel, gaining 91 yards from scrimmage with two rushing scores in a win over Mountain View. The following game, however, was an absolute break-out performance.
Facing rival Santa Clara, Rosa carried the ball 12 times for 169 yards and a touchdown, and added to his performance with seven extra-points and a 36-yard field goal, all part of a 58-28 victory. He finished his first high school season with 624 yards and eight touchdowns from scrimmage, certainly proving himself on the varsity level.
“He catches the ball well, and as one of the faster guys, his speed helps him stay out of trouble,” the elder Rosa commented. “He also has great football knowledge, really ahead of the game mentally.”
The younger Rosa continued to add to his all-around performance late in the season, when he drilled a 47-yard field goal in a loss to Los Gatos, and then excelled on both sides of the ball in a playoff loss to Menlo-Atherton. In that game, he had 140 yards from scrimmage, six solo tackles on defense, and was successful on both extra-point attempts. It seems like a glimpse into a well-rounded football future.
For his successful high school debut, in one of the section’s more difficult leagues, Paul Rosa, Jr. is the Prep2Prep 2016 CCS Freshman of the Year.
Other players considered for this award: Stevenson’s Dakota Mornhinweg, Oak Grove’s Marcos Alvarez, and Monte Vista Christian’s DJ Deas.