By Ray Hamill — North Coast sports fans are well aware of who Alex Cappa is and had the opportunity to watch him in front of a national television audience on Thursday night, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off against the Chicago Bears.
What many of them might not have known, however, is that there was a second former Humboldt State player on the far side of the field, pitting a pair of Lumberjacks against each other on one of the biggest stages of all.
Bears head strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo played fullback for the Jacks for two seasons in 1996 and 1997, before getting his start as a strength and conditioning coach at the local university, serving as a student assistant coach under Drew Petersen from 1996 to 1999.
Since then Loscalzo has worked for many top Division-I schools, including Washington State, Boston College, Auburn and Marshall, among others, before joining the Chicago Bears three years ago.
He barely missed out on joining another former HSU player with the Bears after center Taylor Boggs spent the 2017 season with the team, his fourth in Chicago.
Loscalzo also played fullback at Sierra College before joining Humboldt State, where he received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 1999.
Cappa off to an impressive start
Five games in and it’s been an impressive start to the season for Cappa.
The right guard is in his third year with the Tampa Bay Bucs — his second as a starter — and he has played very well at times as he looks to prove he can be a long-term starter in the NFL.
On Thursday night, Cappa more than held his own against one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL, Chicago’s Akiem Hicks.
Through five games, Cappa has played every offensive snap for the Bucs, and according to Pro Football Focus he has not yet allowed a sack.
He also has just two penalties on a Bucs team that has been notorious for them through the early going.
The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Cappa played four years at the Redwood Bowl from 2014 to 2017 before the Bucs traded up to draft him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
It’s been a season of adjustment for the Bucs with the legendary Tom Brady taking over under center and gradually finding his feet on a new team that is 3-2, but the offensive line, including Cappa, has been a pretty consistent force so far.