Two former Troy High School football players have had a season they aren’t likely to forget.
Jarrett Bochniak and Justin Losey both play for Albion College and are part of a Britons squad that won a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Division III championship after defeating Hope College 34-31 Nov. 16, before losing to North Central College Nov. 23.
Losey, a receiver, is coming off of his freshman season, while Bochniak, a defensive lineman, has played two seasons with the Britons. While both still may have plenty of playing days ahead of them, it isn’t too soon to count winning a championship as their favorite memory suiting up for Albion.
“It was on the road,” Bochniak said of the game that clinched the championship. “We were down by eight at halftime. Our offense scored with like a minute left in the game, and then our defense came on with like 50 seconds left. Hope missed a field goal at the end of the game. That’s been the most memorable moment this year.
“I love it here. All the coaches are nice. The upperclassmen are cool, too. It’s great.”
“So far, it’s (a) great experience,” Losey added. “Going to Hope and playing them for a chance at a playoff berth — you either win or you go home. Those are the moments you live for, and that was quite the experience as a freshman. Love all the guys. Couldn’t ask for a better first year — (getting) a conference championship out of it.”
Although Losey and Bochniak may be suiting up for the same team, each has had his own unique experience at Albion.
After not getting a lot of playing time as a freshman, Bochniak has had the opportunity to see more game action this season. And while it may not have always been fun sitting on the bench watching his teammates play, he thinks having the opportunity to observe C.J. Carroll and Charles Young, both of whom played defensive tackle for Albion, may have turned out to be beneficial.
“How you respond when things don’t go your way,” he said of a lesson learned. “A lot of adversity this year. You have to shake it off (and) know that next play is a new play. You can transfer that over to school. If you don’t do well on one exam, you have the next one to help pick yourself up.”
Losey made the Britons’ starting lineup in what he said was around week four of the season, and he also cited some lessons he has learned that could help him both on and off the football field.
“I had that goal to come in as a starter,” he said. “And once I attained that goal, I worked hard to get better, and what that taught me is, if you work hard enough, you can attain your goal, no matter what your goal is in life. I can use that in the classroom or in the business world — wherever I end up. That’s something I’ll take with me.”
While one championship is good, winning more is even better, and Losey and Bochniak each offered some thoughts as to other goals they would like to be a part of achieving during their remaining time at Albion.
“Goals are hopefully work my way up, become an All-Conference, All-Region player, individually,” Losey said. “As a team, continue to win MIAA championships and continue to fight for (a) national championship.”
“I would like to become (a) starter and, hopefully, win (a) championship my junior and senior year,” added Bochniak.
Both Losey and Bochniak cited support they have received from family, as well as members of the coaching staff at Troy. And although he didn’t have the opportunity to play for him, Losey also referenced Nick Deane, who died in 2011, and somebody he referred to as “another father figure.”
Deane was a former assistant varsity coach at Troy and was a head coach at Birmingham Seaholm.