LAMEY WAS ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES FOR THE PATRIOTS RESURGENT FOOTBALL PROGRAM
Archbishop Carroll football player Nick Lamey is so fast and agile, it was impossible for Patriots head coach Kyle Detweiler to not keep him on the field for almost every play.
No matter what the situation, there was Lamey...throwing, running, making interceptions, punting and making big plays on kick coverage.
He was not unlike the Bugs Bunny character “Bugs Baseball” who was so fast he played every position on the field for the “Tea Totallers” in the 1946 all-time classic cartoon.
Think it's a dumb reference? Think again.
New Orleans Saints defensive back Janoris Jenkins is nicknamed "Jackrabbit." The All-Pro, Pro Bowl cornerback likes the nickname so much he insists reporters call him by that nickname during press gatherings at his locker.
Lamey was so dominant in every aspect of the game in this very difficult season, he was named MVP of the Philadelphia Catholic League-Blue Conference.
Detweiler talked about his quarterback/defensive back/special teams player's abilities on the field.
“Nick has terrific footwork which allows him to do a great job on the back end of our secondary while also navigating the pocket and find open receivers,” Detweiler said recently. “His speed and agility were really on display in our state playoff win over New-Hope Solebury, where he grabbed two interceptions out of the air while also setting the Carroll football record for passing yards in a single game.”
THE SENIOR RARELY STOOD ON THE SIDELINE-AND THAT WAS JUST FINE WITH HIM Lamey said he likes being able to play multiple positions on the field.
"I like being able to play everything," Lamey said in a recent phone interview. "I like being on the field at all times. If you go out on offense and you mess up, you get to go on the other side of the ball and make it up and potentially forget about the last play."
Lamey said he has always been drawn to a leadership role. It is an aspect of his game he hopes attracts more college coaches.
"I feel like that has a lot to come into play," said Lamey, who lists himself at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. "I like to make sure we have team chemistry and make sure you're pushing your teammates at all times. If you're not going 100 percent at practice, you're not getting better."
Carroll had not had a winning season since 2007 going into Lamey's junior year. In 2019, the Patriots went 7-6, breaking that dubious streak.
Lamey talked about the feeling he had achieving that goal with his teammates. .
"It was a whole lot of fun being out there with all my friends," Lamey said. "We really worked hard for it last year. It wasn't easy. We were out there every single day putting 100 percent work in. We had great seniors who led us to be the great leaders we are today."
Unfortunately for the seniors in 2020, they were not given the opportunity to play a real schedule because of the pandemic. At first the Catholic League called off the season entirely. But after a few weeks into the season that other leagues decided to play, the league reversed its decision. But play was limited.
Lamey talked about the situation.
"It was definitely hard to find motivation to do everything," Lamey said. "But me and the team just got together and we realized that at some point we're going to be able to play. So we knew we just had to work hard until we got out chance. It's upsetting that we don't get to have a full season, but I'm glad we got to make the best of what we got."
Lamey said while he and his teammates and other football players in area may have felt a little cheated for not getting a full senior season, he understood the reasons for halting play for most sports this year.
"I understand," Lamey said. "I'm not saying we should have been playing out there. I understand we were looking out for our loved ones, our family members and not to bring home COVID and get anyone else sick."
SHORT SEASON, ONE BIG REWARD The Patriots played just three regular season games and two play off games. The highlight of the season was a big one for a program steeped in greatness.
Lamey’s spectacular 53-yard scoring play rallied Carroll from a second-quarter deficit and sparked the Patriots to a 34-28 win over New Hope Solebury on November 6 in a District 12/District 1 subregional of the PIAA Class 3A state football tournament.
Lamey said it will be his most memorable day wearing a Patriots uniform.
"The one thing I'll remember is getting the District championship just because Carroll had been working for that all my four years,” Lamey said. “We had been looking forward to playing in the (PIAA) Districts, and every year we had fallen like one game short. It was always heartbreaking to the seniors to go out without that. To go out and finally get that done really felt like a warm ending."
Lamey also talked about being MVP of the Catholic League.
"It's truly a blessing," Lamey said. "Just to go out there and there and be able to play the game I love and continue to play the way I play and have recognition for it is really surreal. I can't be thankful enough."
Lamey said he knows most players don't get the opportunities he had to play so many positions.
"[Coach Detweiler] definitely gave me an opportunity to go out there and do what I do best," Lamey said. "He put me in position to play at my full potential."
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE Detweiler is a veteran coach and knows players like Lamey do not fall out of trees.
“Nick has been an extremely valuable member of our team and an absolute pleasure to coach these past three seasons,” the coach said. “His sophomore season in 2018 he made his first-ever start at quarterback in a playoff win over Bonner, which was Carroll’s first Catholic League playoff victory in a very long time, displaying tremendous poise.
“Nick was named All-Catholic Defensive Back and Punter after the 2019 season, which was not a surprise to those of us who watched him play,” Detweiler continued. “Down the stretch of our 2019 season, he started several games at quarterback, in addition to defensive back and punter, and led us to a first round playoff victory over O’Hara, filling in admirably for our injured starter. It was at that time we realized just how Nick could impact the game in all three phases. Fast forward to this past season, and you saw Nick truly realize his potential. Nick was a two-way starter for the entire season, leading Carroll to its first PIAA state playoff victory in the school’s history. His best football is still in front of him and I can’t wait to follow along.”
OFF TO COLLEGE Indeed, Lamey says he wants to play next season. He is just not sure where.
"I do have aspirations to play football in college," Lamey said. "I'm still keeping my options open. I don't know what college I want to play at yet, but I definitely want to continue playing football."
Lamey said he has heard from programs at the Division III and Division II level including the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
"Most schools are looking at me for defense," Lamey said. "But they tell me if I truly want to play offense, they can find a place for me...but most are recruiting me for defense." Is that what Lamey wants? Defense?
"I have a passion to play football," Lamey said. "I just want to be on the field. Whoever gets me on the field, or wherever I can make the biggest impact, that's what I want to do."
To college recruiters near and far. You better grab this kid while you can; he is jackrabbit fast and won't be around for long. *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii