Think of the last two really close, tough wins for Saline football. Last week against Bedford. Last year against Rockford. What do they have in common?
Defensive playmaking in the the clutch by Noah Nelson. Against Rockford, Nelson blocked a kick that sent the game to overtime, where Saline eventually won to capture the regional final. Last week against Bedford, against a Mules offense that was looking more unstoppable with each drive, Nelson put an abrupt end to their momentum with two interceptions in the final four minutes of the game.
“You talk about seniors stepping up, Nelly with two picks in the second half, that’s just sticking with our beliefs and playing the full 48 (minutes),” coach Joe Palka said.
For a kid more known for swiping bases and spectacular defense on the infield - Nelly’s making a name for himself on the gridiron.
Meet Noah Nelson
Parents: Patrick Nelson and Trace Jackson.
Position: CB and kickoff returns
Years Varsity: 2
What do you love most about Friday nights at Hornet Stadium? The energy and pressure at first it’s scary but eventually you just learn to love the fact that a bunch of people are rooting for you.
What’s your favorite football moment during the week - whether it’s in a game or practice? Practice - Running through all the special teams on Thursday, especially kick return. Game - running out of the tunnel!!
What’s the key to beating Skyline Friday? Secondary just has to be prepared for their pass routes and be able to make plays defensively.
Give me a scouting report on you: Smart & quick
Gameday mentality in one word: Physical
Who’s an underrated player on your team? JJ Ohren Hoeft
Who’s the funniest guy on the team? Dominic Brown.
Favorite ice cream: New York Cheescake Blizzard
Favorite class: World Myth
Other sports: Baseball
College plans: Attending the University of Chicago for baseball