A look back at the past 8 Football Quarterbacks
for Crown Point High School

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith



CROWN POINT (08-19-2021) I went back and looked for photos of past Crown Point varsity quarterbacks. I found eight of them. Some are better than others. I have a little bit to say about each one.

Before we dig into my box of old photos, I want to mention Matt Jansen, who hit on 133 of 242 passes for 1,976 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2004 for the Bulldogs' 11-1 team. I have some photo of Matt, but they are on film and I'd need serious help to transfer them to a form in which we can post them here.

Matt was injured in the scrimmage in 2006 and another left-hander, Blake Mascarello took over and that's about the time I discovered those round video discs that Walgreens could put your photos on.

Matt Jansen (7) hands off to Jon Sertich (27) vs. Valparaiso on 10-21-2005.

(Note this photo came from a 35mm print that was scanned at low resolution and salvaged from an archive website folder by Dave Woodworth, website content manager.)

Seriously. I have a few hundred Walgreens' photo discs in cardboard boxes with photos (most unidentified) of kids playing sports over the last 15 years. There's an old country song that goes, "Don't call him a cowboy until you see him ride." Well. just because you see me carrying a camera, don't assume I'm a photographer.

Most of my photos, especially the ones taken at night, are bad, by any standard. But some are not. And before the 2021 season begins, let me look back at past Crown Point quarterbacks. These are not rankings and I don't have a favorite QB. I think a boy has to be mentally tough to be the quarterback. Everyone is looking at him on every offensive play. He gets the credit and the blame.

Surrounded by halfback Jon Sertich (27), Matt Childress (71), Matt Polus (62), Kurt Wermers (70) and Andrew Krumweid (65), number six is left-handed Blake Mascarello, one of the top QBs in modern Crown Point history.

Blake completed 133 of 225 passes for a school record 2,080 yards and a school record 26 touchdowns in 2006 when CP went 12-1. In 2007, Mascarello, who was also drafted into professional baseball after a very fine pitching career at CPHS and Purdue, went 96 of 188 for 1,232 yards and 14 more TDs. Blake also struck out 105 batters in 76 innings and won 10 games for CP baseball in 2008. I hope he enjoyed his athletic career at CPHS, because I know I did.

Grayson Lynk (13) fires away here during a scrimmage in 2015 against Penn. Grayson played parts of two seasons for CP in 2015 and 2016. Combined, he was 129 of 316 for 1,414 yards and six TDs Grayson's best game was when he was 14 of 19 for 230 yards on October 10, 2016 in a 28-0 shutout win over Chesterton.
Artie Equihua (14), here with Cameron Watson (4) and Brett Schoettle (20), is a record-holding quarterback for Crown Point but not for passing. In 2014, Equihua carried the ball 215 times for 1,374 yards and 14 TDs. In a 45-42 track meet sectional playoff loss to Merrillville, Equihua ran 21 times for 91 yards and completed 7 of 16 passes for 161 yards and two TDs. In 2015, Equahua ran 107 times for 558 yards. Crown Point football goes back to the late 1890s so I'm not going to be 100% sure of any CPHS gridiron records. But in modern times, the total of 322 carries, 1,932 yards and 17 TDs for a CPHS quarterback are school records.
The numbers for Marcus Shrewsbury (10) are not what he would have liked. A powerful runner, Shrewsbury was 79 of 151 for 917 yards and seven TDs in 2008 when the Bulldogs were 3-6. But Marcus is a Crown Point legend. In wrestling. Shrewsbury was 147-20 in high school and 42-0 as a senior at 189 pounds when he helped CP to a 33-25 victory over Perry Meridian for the Indiana team wrestling championship.
Ryan Bolda (19) had two years of success at Crown Point high school. In 2016, he warmed up with just 20 of 67 for 343 yards and four TDs. But he was 11 of 24 for 268 yards and three TDs in a 24-19 sectional championship win over Merrillville in 2016. One year later Ryan completed 15 of 24 for 154 yards and two TDs in CP's 14-7 sectional championship game win over Portage. Now 124 of 296 for 1,540 yards and 14 TDs and two sectional titles is good enough.

But Bolda might remember his baseball life the most. In July of 2020, Ryan pitched for the Crown Point-based Northwest Indiana Rippers, the 18-and-under Babe Ruth team that went to the Babe Ruth World Series in Mobile, Alabama. Bolda was also on the age-15 Babe Ruth squad that advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, New York. I don't think Ryan Bolda owns any Crown Point school records in baseball or softball but I don't know who was on more winning teams.
Joe Hopman (12) played three seasons as Crown Point's quarterback. He was 87 of 185 for 1,003 yards, throwing 11 interceptions for a 3-7 team in 2009. But things changed in 2010. Hopman was 105 of 187 for 1,897 yards and 20 touchdowns on an 8-4 team. In 2011, Joe was 83 of 155 for 1,174 yards and 12 more TDs. What I had forgotten was, in three years as CP 's quarterback Hopman ran the ball 189 times for 1,038 yards and 10 TDs. So 4,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in his three year varsity football career.
Jake Jatis (7) also rolled up the numbers for CP. In 2011 Jatis was 19 of 54 for 280 yards and three TDs and he was on the sectional title team that beat Merrillville 42-21. In 2012, with the help of a baseball player-turned-wide receiver name Zach Plesac (60 catches, 892 yards) Jatis completed 149 of 270 passes for 1,941 yards and 13 TDs. In 2013, Jatis was 89 of 188 for 1,212 yards and eight more TDs. In three years, Jake completed 257 passes in 512 attempts and 24 TDs
The last Bulldog signal-caller was Will Pettit (7), another 3-year CP quarterback. In 2018 Will was 107 of 248 for 1,129 yards and eight TDs and CP won the 6A sectional championship. 2019 saw Pettit hit on 137 of 285 tosses for 1,766 yards and 14 TDs. In the pandemic-handcuffed 2020 season, the Bulldogs could only play seven games and Will passed for just 500 yards and three TDs. So, not that 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns isn't bad, but Pettit's athletic highlight probably came this spring when he went 9-0 as a pitcher for the Crown Point varsity baseball team, including a 4-2 complete game sectional victory over rival Andrean.
Wearing number 10, speedy junior JJ Johnson (5-11, 160) is the new quarterback for the 2021 Bulldogs. Johnson, who was a sophomore receiver in 2020, carried 27 times for 136 yards and caught 23 passes for 189 yards. He's quick on the run, but probably more runner than passer right now. All of Johnson's receivers and running backs are rookie starters. But with a veteran big and powerful offensive line (see the CP at Lowell preview story), there is potential for JJ Johnson to have a big year.
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Revised: August 24, 2021