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Justin Time

Posted 12/17/2015 by Allison Accola

Justin Vigil is a standout Spartan who has much to celebrate. photo by Sasha Mesropov

Justin Vigil is a true Spartan on and off the field.

Many students know him as the star receiver of the varsity football team here at Thomas Jefferson High School; however, some would be surprised by how much skill junior Justin Vigil has and what little time he’s been playing. Along with football, Vigil is also a successful student and Track and Field runner.

Vigil has played with the varsity team for all of his three years at TJ, coming up with a total of 662 receiving yards and an average of 38.9 receiving yards a game. What’s impressive is that Vigil has only been playing football for four years. As an All League wide receiver, he was able to pick up the team and play as quarterback after the original quarterback suffered an injury. In a matter of three week Vigil threw a total of 261 passing yards as quarterback. Not only does Vigil participate in football, he also takes part in Track and Field. “I joined Track and Field freshman year to improve my stamina and my speed,” explained Vigil. As much as he enjoys this spring sport, football is still his passion.

Because of his skill on the field, Vigil has been introduced to many great opportunities, highlighted by a recent football trip to Australia. Vigil was able to represent Colorado along with five other players in the Football Down Under Bowl. Down Under Sports is an international sports program that picks athletes from around the U.S to compete for many different sports such as football, basketball, and volleyball.  It was a nine day trip, with six days spent in Australia competing in a tournament, and the other three spent in Hawaii for relaxation. Vigil mentioned that his trip was a great experience, and that he was lucky to be a part of it. Vigil expressed, “My favorite part of my trip was meeting all of the new people and becoming new friends with people from all over the world.” As for football, it was a good experience to showcase his talent on the field, as well as a time to be more social with other players. Vigil placed second and earned a silver medal in the tournament. In the tournament itself, Vigil mentioned, “It was good to be able to see what competition from around the world is like.”  

Not only has Vigil had the opportunity to play in Australia, he won the ASPIRE Student Athlete of the Week award this fall. This program is sponsored by the ASPIRE Beverage Company, which recognizes and rewards top performing student athletes with a selection of criteria that honors greatness demonstrated in athletics, academics, community involvement, and character, all of which Vigil displays on a daily basis. “Vigil is an athlete that every coach dreams of having,” said TJ assistant football coach Matt Nicolo. “He’s smart, dedicated, and most of all a class act both on and off the field.”

Despite the fact Vigil has not been playing football for very long, he’s still made some incredible bonds. The thing he likes most about the sport are the friendships he gets to make along the way. Vigil expressed, “Just knowing I have a team of brothers that has my back is a good feeling to have.”  

Although Vigil enjoys the game, football takes up a majority of his time, making it difficult to manage his school work. However, Vigil maintains a B plus average.  He expressed, “It is very stressful trying to manage it all but I usually do homework on my off period or try and get it done before practice so I’m not up all night.” For the future Vigil plans to play college ball for a division two or three school where he will be able to focus on his studies more as well as get as much playing time as he can. Vigil’s not certain about what he wants to study but he is interested in becoming a sports commentator as it would be something he loves doing.  

Although sports are a big part of his life, he enjoys lots of other things as well. Outside of schools Vigil likes to hang out with family and friends as much as possible. Vigil likes participating in fun and energetic activities. Vigil commented, “My absolute most favorite thing to do is go golfing.” All of these activities he can do with friends or family is what Vigil likes the most.  

With Vigil’s impressive skills, it’s obvious that he has accomplished much in the world of sports as well as in academics and in life. There is no doubt that he will go on to accomplish even more, despite any obstacles he might face.