Seaton Carrying On Brother’s Legacy At Casa Grande

Life can take many unexpected turns, especially when you’re a teenager.

It’s an unfortunate and, at the time, unthinkable lesson Casa Grande Union High School running back Jose Seaton learned three years ago when his older brother James Seaton III, a standout athlete for the Cougars, was struck and killed in a late-night car accident on the Maricopa/Casa Grande Highway near Bianco Road. 

Jose wears his role model’s number 22 each and every time he takes the field for his final season of prep football with the Cougars.

“I just want to play like him,” Seaton said fighting back tears to Sports360AZ.com. “He was the best athlete I knew personally. He was so good.”

Jose, who worked tirelessly in the weight room this past summer to improve his overall strength, credits his late brother for helping push him to be a better player on the field and, more importantly, a more complete person off of it.

His strength and courage also serves as inspiration to his teammates and coaches who have helped guide Seaton through his family crisis.

“Jose’s been through something that a lot of people don’t go through until late, late, late in life,” CG head coach Jake Barro said to Sports360AZ.com. “He uses it as a teaching lesson for others. He does a tremendous job of being open about it.”

Casa Grande BenchLast season the school honored James with a concrete bench in his honor during a home game. Jose will frequently kneel next to it and wipe it clean if needed. It’s a constant memory of the past and reminder to continue to move forward towards the future, while never forgetting his older sibling.

Jose’s off-season work is paying dividends for the 2-2 Cougars who play at Younker Friday. He leads the team in rushing and has scored three touchdowns through four games.

Every carry, block, catch he makes, his brother’s spirit is with him.

“I try to put his voice in my head, pushing me again,” Seaton said sobbing. “But it’s hard when he’s not here.”

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.