Multi-purpose might be a bit of an understatement when describing Lehighton's Jacen Nalesnik. The junior lines up at tight end, wide receiver, tailback, quarterback and even punts for the Indians. Needless to say Nalesnik does a lot for the Indians offensive attack.
Nalesnik followed through on his ability to play multiple positions last week against Jim Thorpe rushing for a healthy 254 yards on just 14 carries, while scoring three touchdowns. He also reeked havoc in the Olympians secondary catching three balls for 50 yards and three touchdowns.
Nalesnik's six touchdown performance against Jim Thorpe has earned him the week 10 TIMES NEWS Player of the Week.
The Indians have done a good job on the offensive side of the football ranking fourth in the TIMES NEWS area for the 2011 High School football season. Lehighton Head Coach George Ebbert knows Nalesnik is the engine that runs the Indian's offense.
"He pretty much does everything for us," said Ebbert. "He plays so many positions and plays them all very well. We run him on sweeps and blasts, we look to get it to him in the passing game, and he even kicks extra points and punts for us."
Nalesnik is not only a great player athletically, but his effectiveness as a leader is what really makes him a special football player.
"He's a definite team leader," added Ebbert. "When it's crunch time we want to give him the ball. Not only that, but the kids look to him in the huddle when it's crunch time as well. We're excited to have a kid like that coming back next season and were excited about getting better for next season."
TIMES NEWS Player of the Week is a great honor and it no doubt gives credit to those who work hard in the off-season. Nalesnik is no different and he credits his success this season to his teammates and his off-season workout regiment.
"It all starts up front as far as I'm concerned," said Nalesnik. "Without good offensive line play skill guys like me can't win these kind of awards. I also had a great quarterback in Josh Agosto who runs our offense with poise. Individually, I worked a lot harder this off-season. I worked in the weightroom and focused a lot on gaining more speed for this season."
Nalesnik ranks first in the TIMES NEWS area in receiving catching 47 balls for 713 yards. Nalesnik also is atop the TIMES NEWS area in scoring, getting in the endzone 19 times throughout the season. This was all without a constant at the quarterback position. Lehighton leading passer Josh Agosto didn't play until the fifth game of the season due to injury.
"I just go out there and try to play the best I can," said Nalesnik. "Not having Josh was a huge loss for us, but Anthony (Farole) played great in his absence and did a good job of running the offense."
As mentioned, Nalesnik is just a junior and has another year left to annoy opposing defenses with his versatility.
"I'm just going to continue to work hard and try to get better," said Nalesnik. "I'm going to work hard in the weightroom again and focus on getting faster and I'll be ready to play next season."