A rich, eventful journey: Pettinato, Miners wrap season at Granite Bay | TheUnion.com
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A rich, eventful journey: Pettinato, Miners wrap season at Granite Bay

Nevada Union senior Davi Pettinato poses on senior night with his many sisters. Davi is one of 11 children and the third Pettinato boy to go through the NU football program.
Submitted photo |

Know & go

What: Nevada Union (0-9, 0-4 SFL) at Granite Bay (6-3, 2-2 SFL)

When: 7 p.m., today

Where: Granite Bay High school

Friday night is the end of an era. The curtain comes down on one chapter in a tearful way. For the Pettinato family, Davi will play his final high school game. It has been a long, rich, eventful journey. There is no discounting that sports has been a large part of their lives.

Yet, for the Pettinatos, a family of 11 children, a tough Nevada Union season is complemented by Davi’s departure to college and his pursuit of his future.

For the last 15 years, the Pettinatos have prowled the Nevada Union sidelines.



Dan was part of the 2010 Nevada Union squad that captured the Sac-Joaquin Section title with a definitive victory over Monterey Trail.

Dom may not have been the biggest and toughest guy, but his heart and passion brought a lot to the Miners game.




Davi is a talented performer earmarked by hard work, determination, and talent.

It has been a rich journey. There is no doubt that they leave a void that will be difficult to fill.

Gigi is the matriarch of the family. It might be easy to characterize her as a richly devoted and spiritual mom who is all-in when it comes to her sons. She is the one who worries of injuries, and yet has a huge passion for the football journey they have undertaken. There is the story of Gigi speaking to the Arizona coach, pleading with him NOT to play Dan because she did not think a knee injury was fully healed. To Dan’s dismay, she convinced him.

Dave is the quieter of the two. He processes with his sons. He boasts of the relationship he shares with the boys. Family is everything for Dave. Yet, his spiritual devotion is the foundation of who they are and their passion for life.

This is a wonderfully spiritual family.

Dave reflects, “Our spiritual life is our foundation. The boys depend upon God for that direction. They rely on him for their decisions.”

It has permeated through each of the boys. Davi was quick to point out, “First and foremost, God has protected me. There have been bumps and bruises, but he has blessed us with talent. I thank God for that.”

Dan played a key role in Arizona’s pivotal 33-28 victory over Cal last weekend at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. He helped orchestrated an important first quarter safety.

He reflects, “I love playing for the Wildcats. It is a different competition. It is a big change. The game is way quicker. The competitiveness is a big change.”

Yet, as a family, they keep everything in perspective. Dave characterizes Dan as a man with great character. He speaks of his humility, how he never gloats of where he has ended up. If it is any consolation in these final high school days, Dan has one more year of eligibility at Arizona.

Davi is the son who Dave describes as “truly unique” and how much he stands out.

Indeed, Davi is different. He is outgoing and approachable. He makes friends easily. He has an undeniable passion to pursue a college degree. Davi is a game-changer who is earmarked for success. He is simply one of those guys who is unforgettable.

Yet, even through the trials and tribulations of a large family, the Pettinatos have remained very down to earth. Yes, Dave has to work harder to make ends meet. They have often wondered how they would pay all of the bills and provide for each child’s dreams. Their schedule is beyond busy. It is undeniable that their home foundation has deep roots through which all of their children are encouraged to chase their dreams. It is a very unique family approach. The Pettinatos have dared to focus on all of their children and blessed enough to witness three of them travel through the Nevada Union football program.

Yes, there are other football chapters to be written. Will Davi continue with football? What will Dan’s probable 2013/14 bowl experience bring? Could it possibly be better than last season’s conquest of UNR with heroics in the very final seconds of the match? And what about Dan? Will his final season bring the fulfillment he is pursuing? Is there perhaps a shot at the NFL in his future?

If it seems like a complex formula, it would be easy to assert that it is really quite simple. Rely on God for the answers and continue to guide their boys in the right directions.

Tomorrow night marks the end of one trail. Yet, they have left an indelible mark on the Nevada Union football landscape. A genuinely unique and fulfilling story continues to be written. It is hard to determine whether tomorrow night is the end or a prelude to yet another beginning, a new chapter.


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