For Joe Borsellino, playing for Montini football is more than just suiting up for his school, it’s family tradition.
The Borsellino family has its name all over Montini football.
Joe’s father, Lewis, is the offensive coordinator, and his uncle, Anthony, coaches the wide receivers. A number of his cousins and brothers also played for the Broncos.
Once upon a time, the family joked about the “Borsellino curse” where at any level of football the Borsellinos continued to come up short in a title game. His cousin, also Joe, ended the streak on Montini’s first state title team in 2004. After this Joe helped the Broncos win four straight state titles, the curse is now a distant memory.
“My career at Montini is everything,” he said. “It was a dream to win one, let alone play in three and win four.”
He watched his cousins and brothers all play for the Broncos. The Borsellino influence will be down to the coaches after this season since Joe is the youngest in the family, but the legacy will live on.
“I’ve been watching their games, some of them here, since I was 2 years old,” Joe said. “I started playing football when I was 4 because our whole family loves football.”
From that young age, he was always drawn to playing wide receiver for the match-ups it provides. As a competitive athlete, Borsellino thrives on the one-on-one battles between wide receivers and cornerbacks.
“I love playing wide receiver when they’re playing man coverage,” he said. “Knowing it’s you with one other man, knowing if you can beat him that you can score or you get the first down.”
Borsellino finishes his Montini career as the two-time Suburban Christian Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He showed the ability to make catches in big situations and was often used in the wildcat formation in short yardage situations thanks to his tough runs.
His toughness was showcased in the state final. An ankle injury in the semifinal against Joliet Catholic hampered him, but there was no chance he wouldn’t play.
“I sat out practice most of this week trying to get as healthy as I could for this game hoping to get close to 100 percent,” Borsellino said. “I just played through it because I knew it was my last game and I wasn’t going to sit out a state championship game in my senior year.”
Whether it was snagging the big first down reception or converting a short yardage play out of the wildcat, Borsellino was Montini’s first option when they needed a big play. The wide receiver scored a team-best 19 touchdowns, 14 receiving and five rushing.