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CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: Israel “Speedy” Lozoya, RCTC Yellowjackets Football

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- There's not going to be a junior college football season this year in Minnesota, but RCTC star running back Speedy Lozoya is still working. The rising sophomore with incredible cutting ability and game-changing speed is working on his craft, so he can be prepared for when the games resume.

"I've got a lot of my teammates here already," said Lozoya. "There's incoming freshman and sophomores here already and we get together. We run routes, we run 7 on 7's, we run one-on-one's against defense, so it's conditioning all day."

Last month, there was a glimmer of hope there would be junior college football played this year. The NJCAA moved it from the fall to the spring, but the MCAC -- the conference to which RCTC belongs -- voted to not play football this academic year.

"I didn't want to get my hopes up because it's been a mess," said Lozoya. "It does suck, but we just gotta keep moving forward."

Lozoya is in limbo. Last year, his 7.2 yards-per-carry average would have ranked Number 1 in JUCO had he qualified, but he fell 8 carries short. He wants to prove he has the talent to play at a four-year school, but there's no field to prove himself on.

"It's actually made me pretty mad," he said. "I look at my phone and I look at all my highlights, and I look at talking to my teammates and I miss it. It sucks. It feels like it's been years already, but you just gotta keep remembering those thoughts and remember scoring touchdowns, and eventually it's going to happen again."

Even though he's a sophomore, Lozoya will have the option to play for RCTC again next fall. He's not using this time to make excuses -- he's using it to get better.

"It's a neat thing, you know. You can use [this time] to your advantage to get bigger, stronger, faster, and have more experience," he said. "But only time will tell."

Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose is a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTTC.

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