Meet the Grizzly’s new football coach

Coach Cattolico takes new leadership of GBHS’s varsity football team.


Mahalina Vaka

The GBHS varsity football team practicing during 4th period.

Joe Cattolico came from Roseville High School to Granite Bay High School, where he continues his 25th year coaching as head coach of GBHS’s varsity football team. His players are confident that Cattolico’s abilities will take the team far.

Cattolico said he signed up to coach at GBHS because he was excited to coach a team he believes has great potential.

“(GBHS football is) a really strong program.  I think the combination of the academic tradition, obviously, and the tradition (of) athletics is a really, really neat combination,” Cattolico said. “That doesn’t necessarily exist (in) a lot of places. It’s hard to find.”

Robert Saenz, the learning support specialist at GBHS, highly praised Cattolico for prioritizing a balance between athletic and academic success. 

“Coach has been wonderful with making sure that students are on top of grades,” Saenz said. “He wants all his student-athletes to be successful. It’s hard to have a kid go practice every day, doing everything for the football team, but then to lose their eligibility because of grades.”

“(Cattolico and I) want to make sure that both they’re successful academically and athletically,” Saenz said.

Saenz works closely with Cattolico when it comes to balancing the players’ academics. They each do their part in making sure that the athletes get the grades they need to be eligible for the field.

“I send him a weekly report of all his players and everything like that so he can read through the grade(s) and see who’s been successful, (and) who (has) not,” Saenz said. “As well as his third-period prep, he sits inside the weight room and has all his players come in during their lunch with their food, talks about grades, does everything like that, so he’s really building a good culture.”

The varsity football players also gave their own insights on the discipline Cattolico has set on the field, and how they see this as an advantage to winning more games in the future. 

“Oh man, discipline, very down to the detail. He’s very obsessed with details and just, in the end, a good football team,” Preston Fondren, a senior at GBHS, said. “He’s (doing) a good job (getting us far).”

Players Noah Mitcheomand Dominic Soares, both seniors at GBHS, also shared that Cattolico highly stresses discipline and improvement in football and in his players. Cattolico himself was also explaining from his perspective as to why discipline is crucial.

Cattolico emphasized that his focus was on ‘daily improvement’ with ‘time management’.

“(Discipline) is… (what the team and coaches) really try to focus on,” Cattolico said.

The varsity team feels ready to tackle any challenge with Cattolico by their side and Cattolico does too. 

“Do you see yourselves going far with Cattolico?” the players were all asked.

“Yes!” they all responded.