Disbro front, center for Wolves
After missing his entire 2013 football season due to a torn ACL, Josh Disbro was not lacking for motivation coming into his senior year at Coleville High School.
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound nose guard stood front and center when it came to defense for Coleville as he rebounded with a big season in which he earned first-team honors as a defensive lineman on the Western Division IV (8-man football) all-division team.
Just as important, though, was leadership Disbro displayed on and off the field for which he was recently recognized as the team’s Jackie Giorgi Sportsmanship Award recipient. The award is named in memory of Coleville’s longtime coach and athletic director who passed away in 2003, and at Coleville, coach Will Sandy explained that it may well carry more importance than MVP, Offensive Player of the Year or Defensive Player of the Year.
“Jackie was kind of a legend around here,” Sandy said. “She always wanted you to be a student first and athlete second; and that sportsmanship was always important. This award symbolizes all of the things Mrs. Giorgi was about.”
On the field, Disbro was a force to reckon with for any opposing team that tried to run inside against the Wolves. He led Coleville (4-5 overall, 3-3 league) with five fumble recoveries, ranked second in sacks with five and was credited with 67 tackles (38 solo, 29 assists).
“He’s a big, strong kid and having him in the middle made it a little harder to run against us,” Sandy said.
Disbro was also a factor on the offensive line for a team that only fielded a 16-player roster (Coleville has fewer than 60 students in the entire high school).
“This was really the first time I’d played any offense,” he said. “I prefer defense. It’s exciting … you have a lot more adrenaline pumping through — but it’s (offense) what needed to be done.”
This was a different season for a Coleville program that had gone 67-9 over the previous seven seasons with six appearances in the state semifinals or finals. To Disbro, however, there was excitement in watching Coleville rebound from an 0-3 start to win four of its final six games.
“We had a young team but we really kind of kicked it into gear after those early losses,” he said. “For me, personally, I thought it helped us to lose a few games. When we lost to Smith Valley at the start of the season, it was a shock, but when you lose, it shows you have room for improvement. It was a new experience and gave us something to work for.”
By the way, the Wolves rebounded from that season opening setback and won the rematch by a convincing 46-14 score when the teams met in a league game a month later in Coleville.
Two weeks after that game, Disbrow distinguished himself during the Wolves’ 58-0 win at home against Sierra Lutheran, a team in its first season of existence. What caught the eye of Sierra Lutheran coach Jacob Schumacher was the head-to-head matchup between Disbrow and freshman Zach McCullough.
“His play on the field was outstanding, but what stood out the most was his character,” Schumacher said of Disbro. “It was a neat matchup to watch. They played hard the whole game; Zach gave Josh a run for his money and made him work on every play, but Josh’s experience and technique ultimately won the matchup.”
The following week, even though the two players had never met before, McCullough received a message with words of encouragement on Facebook from Disbro.
“Josh said in the message, ‘Hey great game last Saturday. You played well. Buff up and get better, you have great seasons ahead of you,’” Schumacher noted. “For Josh to go out of his way to give some encouragement to a young player is astounding. In all the success that Josh has had in his football career, he has learned the hardest thing to learn in success, humbleness. Josh has been blessed with an incredible heart that will serve him well in his future.”
Disbro is considering an option to play college football, though he is also looking at ROTC opportunities in the future.
“He wants to get a degree and become a Marine officer, and he’s the kind of leader you want to have because of his strong morals and work ethic,” Sandy said.
The military plans should come as no surprise since Disbro grew up in a Marine Corps family.
“My dad (Jim) was a Marine, so were my uncle, my grandfather … we are a military family,” he said. “We’ve move around a lot. We moved to and from Coleville multiple times, but this is our home.”
Disbro was a seventh-grader when his dad retired and moved the family from Ohio back to Coleville. No doubt, the Wolves were happy to see him wearing blue and gold on the field.
“I was even more glad to have them,” he acknowledged. “This was a great team to play with.”