Johnson fills void left by Van Ness |

Johnson fills void left by Van Ness

Van Ness or no Van Ness, Preston Johnson planned to be Summit High School’s starting quarterback in 2002.

After backing up last year’s starter Joey Van Ness, Johnson felt ready to take over for the senior this season. Then Van Ness made it easy on him by splitting for Evergreen High School.

“He wanted it,” said coach Rob Royer of Johnson. “Before Joey made his decision to leave and there was going to be competition, Preston made it very clear that, “I want to be the starting quarterback whether you’re here or not here.’ He’s got an aggressive nature and he wants to be a leader.”

Johnson, a junior, said Van Ness told him at the end of last season that he wouldn’t be back with the team. So all through the offseason, Johnson knew it was his job to lose.

“It was a lot easier coming into the year knowing he wouldn’t be here, and that I’d probably have the job,” Johnson said, “but I miss having the competition, because that makes every player better.”

Cory Olson, also a junior, will back up Johnson this season.

Van Ness, who made a living with his feet last season, often turning broken plays into long gains, isn’t the only playmaker Summit lost from last year’s team. Chris Jocelyn, a receiving and running threat, has left the county, Royer said, as has veteran lineman Carter Miville.

All three would have been seniors for Summit this year.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User