The Nazareth Blue Eagles had a bit of a ride in the 2018-19 season finishing with a 5-5 regular season record, qualifying them for the District XI playoffs, before getting knocked out by the Emmaus Green Hornets in the first round. Although they did lose a reputable senior class last year, some stars are returning for Nazareth.
Their roster will be highlighted by QB Anthony Harris, DE/T Jake Wilson, and WR/DB Nathan Stefanik. Every great football team has to have a supporting cast and in Nazareth’s case, it will be RB Kyle Paccio, K Matt Bugbee and two-way big man Cody Breidenbach filling that role. The Blue Eagles had some ups (like their 31-26 upset over Bethlehem Catholic), downs (such as their loss at Central Catholic), and missed opportunities (like their late-game loss vs Emmaus) that they would like to build off of and capitalize on this season.
One thing that fans should watch for this season is the quarterback and receiver chemistry between Anthony Harris, who averaged 244 passing yards per game last year, and Nathan Stefanik. The Blue Eagles will rely on this dynamic duo to move the ball upfield. Nazareth hopes to find a reliable WR 2 option behind Stefanik, so watch out for more reps from junior receiver Jaiden Cabrera.
Stefanik will also contribute on the other side of the ball, but the fear monger on the defensive side for the Blue Eagles will be the 6’3’’ defensive end, Jake Wilson. After being hurt for a portion of last season, he is ready to wreak havoc on quarterbacks across the league.
Like any team in the EPC South, it is a long road to November football. Their toughness and mentality will be tested when they play Freedom, Bethlehem Catholic, Parkland and Liberty in four straight weeks. Although a lack of depth for Nazareth may be their Achilles heel, head coach Tom Falzone’s Blue Eagles are eager to be back underneath the lights on Friday nights and are ready to make a name for themselves in District XI.
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