February 8th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 6
Garrett Gatto, homegrown, blue-eyed football hulk
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor
Garrett Gatto in his element on the D-line.
Pass Herald Reporter
2017 is shaping up to be a good one for defensive tackle Garrett Gatto.
Currently finishing up grade 12, Gatto played his last Strathmore Spartans high school game in November, and he’s already been invited to play with the Calgary Colts, a Canadian Junior Football team.

“This was a very exciting year, but it is also bittersweet as it is the last time I will see Garrett play high school football,” says his mother Dahrlyne Knaus.

Gatto has been pushed into sports his whole life, says Knaus, starting with gymnastics.

“He enjoyed it, but we knew that he wouldn’t be a gymnast. We joked, even then, that this way he could do a cartwheel when he gets his touchdown. We joked about him playing football right from the get-go because he has the physique of a football player, even as a young boy,” she says.

Gatto then dabbled, and excelled, in swimming and lacrosse, but once football came into his life when he was in grade 5, he decided to give it all up and hasn’t looked back since.
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“It has been an incredible journey to watch him start out in a sport he liked and to see it grow into a sport he has become so passionate and incredible at,” says Knaus.

At 5 feet 9 inches and 300 pounds, Gatto’s the perfect specimen for the D-line position, but what makes him stand out is that despite his size, he’s fast! And paired with his blue eyes, he has earned the nickname “blue-eyed hulk.”

At only 18 years old, Gatto has received a lot of accolades under his name. He played on the 2016 CAMFA All-Star Team, and was named 3rd Defensive Tackle in Canada in 2016, Airdrie Raider Defensive Lineman of the Year, Rangeland League All-Star, and Strathmore Spartan Defensive Player of the Year.

But Gatto, humble as ever, is proudest of the people he met along his journey.
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“My biggest accomplishment in football is honestly all of the lifelong friends I have made and the experience of building a strong football connection,” he says.

Originally from the Pass, Gatto and his family moved to Carseland in 2006 when he was in grade one.

“The Pass will always be our home,” says Knaus. “In fact, Garrett refers to the Pass all the time, how much he misses it and would love to go back, but he realizes at the same time that he wouldn’t have been given the same opportunity there as he was here.”

Gatto hopes to go on to post-secondary and play football at a higher level than high school and midget. Dahrlyne adds that the dream is also to reach the NFL level, but CFL would be just as “fabulous.”
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February 8th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 6
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