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Two best friends sign to Division I colleges with the help of each other’s support

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Two best friends sign to Division I colleges with the help of each other’s support

Emma Boltz, Reporter

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Best friends support each other as they pursue their dreams.  As one goes out on the football field, the other sits in the stands, cheering him on.  As one steps onto the basketball court, the other shouts encouragement from the bleachers.  Friends cheer each other on throughout life and encourage each other to follow their dreams. For RHS seniors Conor Head and Pete Nance, this supportive friendship thrives as they help each other succeed in their individual sports.

Head and Nance, friends since kindergarten, graduate high school this year.  Nance said that their friendship solidified when he and Head played basketball together until eighth grade and football together until third grade. On April 27, 2017, Head announced that he will continue his sporting career at The University of Toledo to play football.  A few months later, on June 29, 2017, Nance announced his signing with Northwestern University to continue his basketball career.  Both students will play at the Division One level.

“Toledo was the first school that had interest in me my sophomore year. Since then I’ve had a really good connection with the offensive line coach. Also, the direction the program is going really made me want to be a part of that football culture,” Head said.

For Head, football plays a huge role in his life. He said that he started playing in kindergarten at the Revere football camp, dedicating a large part of his life to the sport.

His coach, Michael Murphey, started his fifth year coaching at Revere this season, giving him a strong relationship with Head.

“[I have coached Conor] pretty much all five years I’ve been here, since he was in eighth grade,” Murphey said.

Murphey said that after coaching Head for this long, his strongest aspects are his athleticism and speed. Head agreed, saying, “I’m a flexible, athletic player. I can play many positions on the field and I’m able to do so because of my athleticism and footwork.”

Head and Murphey share a love for football that helps them work together.

“Football isn’t like any other game. It’s hard physically and mentally. When you overcome the hardships that football brings to the table, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment. You have to play the game at its fullest while you can because the game decides when your career is over. Because of this, I cherish it so much,” Head said.

Murphey commented on his love for the sport and how he works with Head.

“Because of the physicality of the game, it’s different, and there are so many specialized positions that when you get someone with Conor’s abilities you can really use him in unique ways,” Murphey said.

Head hopes to succeed at Toledo and make his family and friends proud.

“I think the transition from the high school level to the collegiate level will be a little tough, due to the natural intensity of the game, but once I overcome that, I’m hoping to fit in well in the program and have a successful college career. I want to play football at the professional level. I want to make my family, friends, and community proud. And [I] especially [want to] prove everyone who has told me I can’t wrong,” Head said.

The other half of the best friend duo plans to follow his basketball aspirations at Northwestern.

“Northwestern felt like the right fit for me, and when I took my visit there, it really felt like home and seemed like one big happy family,” Nance said.

Nance talked about his inspiration to follow a career in basketball.

“My dad inspired me to play basketball. At a young age, he always had a ball in my hand. I grew up watching my brother and sister play basketball, which also made me love this game,” Nance said.

Nance talks about his goals for his future career in basketball.

“All my life I’ve been known as ‘son of Larry Nance’ or ‘brother of Larry Nance.’ Once I become known as Pete Nance, I’ll be where I want to be,” Nance said.

Nance commented on his love for basketball.

“I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember [and] I love basketball because it has helped me in many ways off the court. Being able to communicate with others, work as a team, and memorize certain sets are all things that could be useful off of the floor,” Nance said.

His coach, Dean Rahas, has coached at Revere for sixteen years.  After working with him for the past eleven years, Rahas commented on Nance’s attitude on and off the court.

“He’s very unselfish, he makes guys around him better, [and] he is very skilled,” Rahas said.

Nance also talked about what kind of obstacles he faced throughout his years of playing basketball.

“Often times I am my own obstacle; I need to have a killer mindset on the floor,” Nance said.

Despite this Nance’s fear of being his own obstacle, Rahas said that Nance will do very well at Northwestern and have a great career there.

Two best friends, each being one of the other’s “main supporters” in their sporting careers, signed with colleges before their senior year.  One player steps out onto the field or court, looks up, and sees his best friend in the stands, cheering him on.

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Two best friends sign to Division I colleges with the help of each other’s support