In an era of high school football players seeking fame and fortune and switching allegiances at a moment’s notice, Luca Diamont of Venice High is staying the course.
Monday marks the official start of football practice in the City Section, and Diamont will be on the field to begin his fourth and final season playing for the Gondoliers and coach Angelo Gasca even though his two top receivers from last season transferred out.
“That’s my family,” Diamont said of Venice. “I trust coach Gasca. I was raised with loyalty and love. When I have that with my teammates and the whole city, it’s hard to let go. I believe in sticking it through and finishing what you start.”
Diamont, who has a 4.0 grade-point average and is committed to Duke, has been the starting quarterback since his freshman year. He missed his sophomore year because of a freak accident when he fell off a golf cart and injured his head. Last year, he passed for 2,560 yards and 26 touchdowns. His brother, Alexander, played quarterback for Venice before moving on to Indiana.
“They showed their loyalty by putting Luca with us,” Gasca said. “It’s incredible in today’s high school football, particularly the quarterback position, where a guy stays the whole time. From Day One, he’s been a great leader. If everybody had a quarterback like him, nobody would have to transfer. I do appreciate his loyalty.”
Diamont insists the Gondoliers will be just fine with the group of receivers who have decided to stay. They include Jaboree Thornton, Jose Montez, Donald Moss and Lynale Moore.
“They have great character and aren’t about drama,” Diamont said.
Diamont has spent the summer preparing and even deleted Twitter from his smartphone.
“On Twitter, there’s a lot of nonsense and smoke that gets annoying and can distract,” he said. “I won’t be looking at it until after the season.”
Diamont knows the Venice playbook maybe even better than Gasca does.
“It’s going to be bittersweet as this year goes on because I’ve known him for so long,” Gasca said. “It will be the eighth year of having a Diamont as the quarterback at our school.”
As they say in the Diamont house, once a Gondolier, always a Gondolier.