Amherst Regional OL Jack Nagy focal point for Hurricanes’ line

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  • Amherst Regional defenders JJ Block, from left, Landon Worgess and Jack Nagy close in on Northbridge quarterback Ryan Boyce during the Division 5 state semifinal, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Chris Ehorn, Jr. hugs Jack Nagy in the final minute of their win against Northbridge in the Division 5 state semifinal, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Westfield State University. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Shane Robles, left, and Jack Nagy celebrate Robles' touchdown against West Springfield during the Western Massachusetts Division 5 championship, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 at Holyoke High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional lineman Jack Nagy runs for a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Putnam in the third quarter, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 at Springfield Central High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional lineman Jack Nagy, left, celebrates his touchdown with Gabriel Kebede after intercepting a pass by Putnam in the third quarter, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 at Springfield Central High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tom Jacques, top, of Northampton, passes amid teammates Vincent Fahey, left, John Diggins, right, and Amherst Regional player Jack Nagy, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at Amherst Regional High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/2/2019 9:15:05 PM

AMHERST — Chris Ehorn Jr. pulled into the Amherst Regional parking lot in the rain. The Hurricanes football coach was there to collect equipment the Monday following Amherst’s loss to East Longmeadow in the 2018 Western Massachusetts Division 5 semifinals.

It was shortly after school around 3 p.m. Jack Nagy, then a junior offensive lineman, ran sprints soaking and caked in Community Field mud.

“That’s when it started,” Ehorn said.

Amherst’s season barely ended 72 hours prior, but Nagy was already preparing for the next season – this season.

“I just wanted to get better, whatever it took. I wasn’t satisfied with how things ended last year so I just wanted to make sure I did everything I could,” Nagy said. “You never regret putting in extra work.”

The Hurricanes (11-0) will face Swampscott (9-2) in the Division 5 Super Bowl at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Nagy will likely play every down on either the offensive or defensive line if he’s healthy. Or even if he’s not.

A Northbridge helmet smashed into his shin late in the third quarter of their state semifinal win on Nov. 23. Nagy didn’t leave the huddle despite barely being able to walk. Ehorn called a timeout and inserted Nate Mills, allowing Nagy to rest his 6-foot-3, 290-pound frame for the entire fourth quarter with a 28-0 lead.

“He’s not going to tell you he’s hurt, he’s just going to do it. He wants to be out there, he wants to help his teammates,” Ehorn said. “It means a lot to him.”

Nagy is one of Amherst’s unquestioned leaders despite playing just two years for the Hurricanes. He spent his first two years at Lawrence Academy in Groton before returning to Amherst Regional as a junior.

“Boarding school, my parents didn’t love the situation, so they wanted me to come back home and it’s worked out great,” Nagy said. “I was excited to come back and play with all my friends. Now we’re here, and this is it.”

He went to elementary school with teammates Dan Block, JJ Block and Tom Dion, and made friends with Cenai Collins and J.B. Mills through youth football teams.

“Ever since we were little I remember us playing in his yard and he was always talking about us getting to where we are now,” Collins said. “He always wanted it and I think he’s always worked toward that.”

Nagy attended football camps over the summer at Rhode Island, Harvard, Bryant, Brown, Amherst College, UMass and Sacred Heart. He also trained at East Longmeadow’s Excel Sports Academy.

Early in the fall, Nagy received offers to play football at Amherst College and as a preferred walk-on at UMass. He also took visits at Columbia, New Hampshire and Fordham. Nagy hasn’t given where he’ll play next season much thought. He’s too focused on Saturday.

“Even when I talk to him about where he wants to go like ‘have you made a decision?’” Ehorn said. “His response is always ‘I want to win a state championship then I’ll worry about college.’”

He’s played every position on the offensive line. Last year, Nagy began at tackle but moved in to guard. He started this season at center but injuries pushed him back over to guard. Nagy calls out protections when reads or shifts are necessary.

“Playing with him is unbelievable – greatest teammate I could ask for,” Collins said. “When I’m down and I feel like I’m losing it, he helps. He motivates everyone to push themselves no matter what.”

During the regular season, he subbed in sparingly at nose tackle. Ehorn wanted to save him for key plays to end opposing drives. He returned an interception for a touchdown against Putnam in October. But as the games have grown more important, Nagy’s defensive snaps have increased.

“Coach is like ‘look it’s winning time so we need you out there,’” Nagy said. “I feel great going both ways. I get to go off on special teams, which is nice.”

All that extra conditioning came in handy.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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