Two SHS athletes sign letters of intentBogojevic to wrestle at UW, Colvin to continue football career at NDSU
By: By Don Leighton, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
It’s been a long time since Superior High School has had an athlete sign a letter of intent to a Division 1 school. Bob Olson, Mike Regenfuss, Packy Paquette, Bruce Matheson, Marty Wiitala, Eric Raygor, cousins Tom and Andrew Nelson, Greg Paine, Brett Olson, Mike Sislo, Jay Matushak, Rob Anderson, Tim Heikkala, Joe Campbell, brothers Darren and Trent Clark, John Santori, Dan Morgan, Paul Gidley, Tim Smith, Jeff Rengel, Jeff and Joe Reasbeck Jr., and probably some that my 58-year-old memory has forgotten, make a pretty select company of those who enjoyed success on the athletic venues of SHS.
Add two more to the list as Niko Bogojevic (wrestling) and Zach Colvin (football) have signed letters of intent with Wisconsin and North Dakota State, respectively.
If the rest of the kids in the world had parents like Bogojevic, things would be much better. From Kim and Zoran he has learned that hard work equals success and how important it is to treat people the way you want to be treated. “Niko” describes his parents as “being old school with attitudes and philosophies regarding family.”
“He is a joy to be around in addition to being the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in 50 years of coaching sports,” said Joe Reasbeck, who coach Bogojevic in junior high and has been a mentor. “He is an unbelievable person to me, and his dedication is beyond reproach.”
Reasbeck’s praise is noteworthy since he is 64 years old and defending national champion in the Free Style and Folk Style wrestling competition’s in the Veteran’s Division. It’s been said that it “takes a champion to know a champion.”
“Niko is easily the hardest working, most driven and focused kid I’ve seen at the high school level,” said SHS football coach Bob DeMeyer. “He hasn’t missed a workout in the four years he’s been at SHS. He and his parents have put so much time and effort into his dreams and goals because it’s how he’s made. He’ll be a great D-1 wrestler, an Olympic champion, who knows? I wouldn’t count him out of anything. Niko is also one of the kindest, most respectful and grateful kids you’ll ever meet. We’re going to miss the big man around here, that’s for sure.”
DeMeyer mentions the Olympics. Don’t be surprised if the 2016 Olympics has Bogojevic as one of the participants. A year ago, Bogojevic achieved All-American status in the Folk Style, Free Style and Greco Style disciplines. Oh, by the way, he was national champion in Greco. Superior has a national treasure and perhaps one day, a world treasure. From those who know him best, he has already achieved the highest honors.
When asked why Wisconsin, when recruited by other D-1 schools, he answers without hesitation, “This is my state, I love Wisconsin. Going elsewhere wouldn’t be the same. I always wanted to be a Badger.”
Add loyalty to his list of virtues.
Bogojevic owns every weight lifting record at SHS, many of which he broke during his sophomore and junior years. Now he’s breaking his own. How long they will last? Perhaps forever. He’s that special of an athlete, who this past football season was named to the Big River’s Conference first team on defense.
He has traveled all over the country and world, while Lance and Billy have been to Oulu and Lake Nebagamon. He could be cocky and arrogant, and who would blame him? Due to his tremendous support system at home, that will never happen. Mom, dad and brother Phil will not let that happen. Phil was an outstanding basketball player at UWS and has the same family values and work ethic that Niko has.
Bogojevic is aware that he could not be where he is today with family and the many people he holds dear to his heart. He has received support and help from many that include, coaches Reasbeck, DeMeyer, Bill Gedde, Nathan Bipes, Bob Coleman, Chris Brochu, Andy Persons, Rick Kennelly, Perky Hanson, Mike Deroehn along with, Mrs. Barb Danielson, Ms. Billie Jo Gunderson, Mrs. Judy Mossberger, Mrs. Kendra Zupke, Mr. Scott Wollack, Mrs. Debra Noble Olson and all the Spartan football players and their parents. To these, he says, “I love you guys.”
“As Niko wrestled his way through our youth league and middle school program, we knew he was going to be a “blue chip” athlete,” SHS wrestling coach Bill Gedde said. “His dedication and commitment to the sport goes way beyond that of most top flight high school athletes. His incredible work ethic has allowed him to achieve some pretty lofty accomplishments en route to his eventual goal of being an Olympian. Niko is the first NCAA Division I wrestler I've coached. We are very excited and proud to be able to follow his collegiate and international wrestling career.”
A pretty incredible family, a pretty incredible son who happens to be a pretty good wrestler, and Kim makes the best spaghetti sauce Lance has ever tasted.
If the U.S. Olympic Committee has any sense, they will choose Bogojevic to be the flag bearer at the “Opening Ceremonies.” They should also hire mother Bogojevic to do the cooking for the team. With the values and work ethic each has, success will be inevitable.
When Colvin went to North Dakota State this past summer for a football camp, he was interested in showing what he could do but also wanted to learn as much as he could to prepare for his senior year at SHS. After a long absence from the post-season playoffs, Superior had qualified the last two years under the guidance of coach DeMeyer. Colvin was a big part of those two seasons and was looking for a third consecutive trip to the WIAA playoffs.
Well, to make a long and painful story short, the Spartans failed to make it three in a row. Not making the playoffs should not minimize the success of these coaches, players, parents, fellow students, fans, cheerleaders and band members. What great memories each will carry for the rest of their lives.
Colvin will also remember the camp at NDSU for a long time. By the end of the camp, he impressed the coaches enough for them to offer him an opportunity at a football scholarship. He orally committed to NDSU on Aug. 5, a day he will always remember.
Colvin liked the coaches because “they were interested in his schooling and not just my football ability.”
UMD also recruited Colvin.
At the camp, Colvin ran a 4.57 second 40-yard dash and exhibited a 34-inch vertical leaping ability, both reminiscent of territory visited by Lance and Billy. Colvin is shorter than most receivers he will face from his defensive back position, but he will be able to cover them due to his incredible athletic abilities.
“Zack is blessed with so much ability; his potential is unlimited,” DeMeyer said. “None of us have seen what he’s capable of yet. He provided his Spartan team and the fans with spectacular, game-changing plays and we’ll miss that from him. However, I truly feel his best playing days are ahead of him as he continues to work and better himself.
“He’s going to take his lumps at the next level as everyone does. He’ll get acclimated quickly and realize what it takes to play college football, the commitment he’ll need to make to his studies and ultimately earn a degree. I’m excited for him and I know he realizes the opportunity he has.”
Colvin gives his family and coach DeMeyer the credit for his success. He has a couple of regrets of his successful high school career.
“If I could do it all over again, I definitely wouldn’t have taken my high school sports career for granted, especially knowing that it wasn’t going to be around for that long. High school goes by in a flash.”
His other regret is that he and his teammates did not make the playoffs this season, his senior year.
His greatest sports memory was the victory over Chippewa Falls this season.
Even with teams shadowing him all over the field, he was still an integral part to the young Spartan offense. He was one of the senior leaders who had plenty to prove; that he was deserving of a D-I scholarship. From his defensive back position, which he will play in college, he earned first team all-conference recognition from the coaches of the Big River’s Conference.
When asked, “What motivates him?” He is quick to reply. “My passion and energy for the game pushes me. Knowing that the people I love are there watching and supporting me makes me work as hard as I can.”
Whenever he is troubled, he seeks the counsel of coach DeMeyer.
“The advice coach gives me is sound and I just need to take that advice to help make me better as an athlete, student, and person,” Colvin said.
Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to dleigh1273@aol.