Rising senior Nick Shafnisky, who was the star of the Mountain Hawks' 49-35 victory over Lafayette in the 151st playing of The Rivalry, talks football, the joys (and burdens) of quarterbacking and his team's goals for the season to come.
MAJOR: Sociology/ Anthropology
HOMETOWN: Whitehall, Pa.
HONORS: In 2015, was named MVP of the 151st playing of the Lehigh-Lafayette game after throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns while adding 109 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Completed 67 percent of his passes on the season, and was third in the Patriot League with 12 rushing touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2014, started 11 games for the Mountain Hawks, completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,373 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushing for 526 yards and six scores. As a freshman, contributed on special teams and saw time at quarterback in four games. In high school, earned First Team All-Lehigh Valley Conference honors and was named league MVP.
HOW I GOT STARTED IN FOOTBALL: "My pops pretty much started me at the age of 6 or 7 for the Hokey Eagles (a youth football club in Whitehall, Pa.), and I've been playing every year since."
THE BEST THING ABOUT PLAYING QUARTERBACK IS ... : " ... being able to control the tempo and speed of the game."
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE ABOUT PLAYING QUARTERBACK IS ... : " ... being one of the leaders on the team for the younger guys to always look up to."
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO PLAY IN THE LEHIGH-LAFAYETTE GAME: "It's an unbelievable experience throughout the whole week leading up to it."
WHY BEATING LAFAYETTE MATTERS: "Not only does our team have the passion to beat them, but throughout the week the whole campus does as well."
MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AT LEHIGH, EITHER ON THE FIELD OR OFF, SO FAR: "Beating Lafayette in the 151st meeting last year, and sending our seniors out the right way."
MY HERO IS (AND WHY): "My mom. She takes care of me way more than she should have to, and always wants what's best for me."
TEAMWORK IS ALL ABOUT: "Trusting one another. And knowing every guy is working to get better every day."
HOW I LEAD: "I lead by pushing the guys on our team to be better, while building relationships with all of the guys."
OUR GOALS FOR THE SEASON TO COME ARE ...: " ... going undefeated in the regular season. Winning the Patriot League Championship. And then making a run deep into the playoffs."
Photo by Steve Boyle