Nate Urman’s parents, Janna and Alexander, did not allow him to play football until high school. But it was never too early to be a leader in his community.
In middle school, he joined student council. By the time he first played high school football in the COVID-delayed Fall II season, he was already vice president of his class. Urman is now 2024 class president, student council president, and a National Honor Society member.
He is also a 6-foot-2-inch, 315-pound lineman, captaining Foxborough (11-1) to its first Super Bowl appearance since 2006.
“Most people didn’t expect me to participate in school activities,” Urman said. “They assume I’m a big kid who went out there to play football. I like to think I manage both very well.”
From Clean Up Foxboro Day, to the student liaison to the school committee, to pep rallies, to fundraising, Urman has a lot to handle alongside football season. When the season ends, he will have his hands full with graduation and prom preparation. For now, it’s all about his last football game.
“With football, I’ve created some of the best memories I’ve had with my life,” he said. “I’ve created lifelong relationships that changed who I am with coaches and teammates. I don’t know where I’d be without football, it’s my second family.”
Jack Martinelli, in his 42nd season as head coach, said Urman is “the smartest kid I have.”
“He’s really been the glue to keep everybody in check,” Martinelli said. “He’s my main go-to guy in terms of getting messages out to the team or individuals. He’s really mature, ahead of his time. He’s made himself into a pretty darn good high school lineman.”
Urman brings motivation to the team on and off the field, and for his fellow linemen, he knows all their assignments too.
“Every single play you know you can rely on him,” said fellow senior captain Lincoln Moore. “Both sides of the ball, especially on offense. You know you can rely on him and he’s doing his job every play.”
Through the Warriors’ potent line, junior Ben Angelini led the Hockomock League in scoring with 23 touchdowns.
“No matter the weather, we can rely on the run game and the big guys up front, and play a tough game for four quarters,” Moore said.
It will be a senior-heavy title game, with 49 seniors combined, 11 of them captains. Urman and Moore captain Foxborough along with Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady, Tony Sulham, Sullivan Kenneally, and Shane Henri. For Hanover, Ben Scalzi leads Division 5 in touchdowns with 38 (36 passing), joined by John McDonald, Mekhi Bryan, Vinny Mancini, and John Regan.
McDonald has his hands full all year. On the football field, he is a receiver, safety, and kicker. In other seasons, he’s a hockey defenseman and a baseball shortstop and center fielder. When the pandemic postponed his freshman football season, he was a striker for the soccer team.
“He’s unbelievable,” said Mekhi Bryan, McDonald’s teammate on all three teams. “You can pretty much throw him anywhere on the field, in any sport. He’s an athlete, he helps the team out. It’s crazy. We’ve used him in many positions.”
The 5-foot-11-inch, 175-pounder is not just a four-sport varsity athlete, but he captains each of his three current teams, and is a Patriot League All-Star in baseball.
“Ever since I was little, playing sports was my favorite thing to do,” McDonald said. “When I got to high school, I wanted to do something every season.”
Though he takes on a lot of responsibilities, McDonald is used to the moment, just focusing on the task at hand as it comes up.
“He’s just a tremendous all-around athlete, who is always ready to make the correct play and the big play,” said coach Brian Kelliher. “He never makes a mental mistake, I can put him on anybody and feel confident. He’s a tremendous kid and a tremendous athlete, no matter what sport it is.
“Whenever you need a play, you need something to happen, you look at John and he’s ready to do it.”
AJ Traub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.