Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 27
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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LEADING THE CHARGE: Nick Pierce charges upfield in action last year for the Hun School football team. Last Thursday, outside linebacker Pierce took a leadership role as he served as a team captain for the West squad in the 15th annual Sunshine Football Classic. Despite Pierce’s efforts, the West fell 34-12 to the East at The College of New Jersey. The 6’0, 228-pound Pierce will be continuing his football career this fall for Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.

Turning Heads With Physical Play, Leadership, Hun’s Pierce Makes Captain in Sunshine Football

Bill Alden

As one of the only prep school players on the West squad for this year’s Sunshine Football Classic, Hun School outside linebacker Nick Pierce wasn’t sure if he would fit in.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Pierce, who will be going on to play for the Union College (N.Y.) football program this fall. “A lot of the other kids had played against each other.”

Turning heads with his aggressive play, Pierce was not only accepted by his public school teammates, he was chosen as one of the captains of the team.

“It meant a lot to me coming from Hun,” said Pierce, reflecting on the leadership role.

“Seeing that the coaches thought that I had a good week and getting to be a leader for my last high school game is a memorable thing for me.”

Pierce had to show his leadership by playing hard to the final whistle as the West fell 34-12 to the East last Thursday evening at the College of New Jersey.

“We knew that we were going to be a bigger team than them but that they were going to be a lot faster than us,” said Pierce, who was joined on the West team by Princeton High running back Jeff Adebayo.

“We just wanted to come in and play hard. It was an awesome experience playing for a new team.”

Getting on the same page in just a few practices was a challenge for the players in the game which is a fundraiser for the Sunshine Foundation, an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of seriously ill children whose parents are under financial strain.

“It is hard when you come together for just a week because football is such a camaraderie sport,” said Pierce.

“Putting all these kids together so quickly; I think we had a pretty good showing.”

Things came together nicely for Pierce during his Hun career. “I am from South Brunswick and I transferred into Hun as a junior,” said Pierce, who also starred at ice hockey for the Raiders.

“I had to learn a whole new position; going from defensive end to outside linebacker. They found a spot for me, which was really nice. The coaches there were phenomenal for me. Going to Hun helped me out in the recruiting process and set me up academically.”

The recruiting process for Pierce landed him in central New York and Union, a solid D-III football program.

“I was looking to get the best education and use football to get there,” said Pierce.

“When I found Union, I didn’t expect to go there. But when I met the coach and saw the campus, I fell in love with the school and the team.”

Pierce’s passion for his new school has inspired his preseason training. “I am really excited to get up there,” asserted Pierce.

“They sent me a workout program and I have been on that a lot. I have put on almost 25 pounds the last two months. I am at 228-230 right now; my body has changed a lot since the season. I want to see what I can do at the college level.”

Showing what he can do in the Sunshine game helped Pierce gain confidence as he heads into the next phase of his football career.

“Getting to play against all these kids, with guys going D-I, D-II, and D-III and everywhere was the best thing I could have asked for,” said Pierce.

“Getting to hit a little bit before I get up to Union was great; I really did appreciate the chance to play in this game.”

And Pierce made a hit with his teammates as he stepped into a leadership role for his high school finale.

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