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Football Long Beach Poly

Long Beach Poly Football Hosts Signing Day For Daylen Austin, Dom Lolesio

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.

Long Beach Poly’s football team hosted an Early Signing Day ceremony for a pair of Jackrabbits athletes, with several more slated to sign in February. The school also holds an end-of-school-year celebration for all athletes from all sports. Wednesday’s ceremony was held in the team’s film room, with a packed house of family, teammates and friends there to support Daylen Austin, who signed with Oregon, and Dom Lolesio, who signed with Arizona.

“It’s a true blessing to see a whole lot of hard work come to fruition, and have these young men be able to take off on their next journey in life,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “These young men have been an incredible blessing not only to us personally, but this program.”

Austin flipped his commitment Wednesday from LSU to Oregon, part of a national story of big-time recruits switching their commitment to the Ducks on signing day. Austin, an All-American who will compete next month in the All-American Bowl, said the decision wasn’t easy, but he was sure he made the right one.

“This wasn’t a one-day thought or an impulsive thought, a lot of time and thinking went into this decision,” he said. “I feel I made the right decision–Eugene already feels like home to me.”

Austin said his familiarity with the coaching staff helped cement his decision, as he’d already had a relationship with head coach Dan Lanning when he was a recruiter at Georgia. The team also hired Poly defensive backs coach Rashad Wadood at the beginning of the season.

“They have a defensive minded coach with coach Lanning, and then Wadood coming from high school, a guy who’s trained me for some years, that really factored into everything,” he said.

Austin said the anticipation was high among the top-tier recruits for today. Bosco stud Matayo Uiagalelei was among the studs who flipped to the Ducks on Wednesday.

“We’ve all been talking about it, Oregon’s going to shock the world,” Austin said with a laugh. “It’s been a lot of fun. There are some hateful comments out there too but it’s all fun and games.”

Austin’s family was there with him on Wednesday, including his older brother Alex, who was also a Moore League Player of the Year at Poly and who has been a standout for Oregon rival Oregon State.

“Surprisingly he wasn’t really too mad about it,” said Austin. “He’s supporting me regardless. It’s a fun storyline, him at Oregon State and me at Oregon–we both play defense so we’d never be on the field at the same time, though.”

For Lolesio, there was a big family gathering as well, and everyone cheered when he signed with the Wildcats. Arizona was the first major school to offer Lolesio, and he’ll be joining Poly lineman Wendell “Wowo” Moe who was a true freshman that started several games at Arizona this year. Lolesio said he got plenty of advice from Moe ahead of making his decision.

“He told me it’s not like high school, make sure I’m ready for the next level and don’t come in with a big head,” said Lolesio. He also said that Arizona being the first school that was interested in him played a big part in his decisio

“They’ve shown love since the very beginning, since they first offered me,” said Lolesio. “That love never left, they’ve been rocking with me since the start.”

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.