Flashes’ QB Stahlman is starter for 3rd year

Nick Stahlman

On any football team, especially one as young as Champion’s, it pays to have experience under center. The Flashes have that in their only three-year starter, Nick Stahlman.

“Stahlman is going to be the only three-year starter we have,” Flashes coach Tim McGlynn said. “He’s improved every year he’s played. He had a really good offseason where he played basketball and was a productive player there.

“I think he grew up a little bit playing two sports. We’re excited. He’s very productive and a hard worker.”

Coming with the territory of being an upperclassman, comes the talk of leadership. It might have been something he shied away from in the past, but being a leader is starting to feel natural for Stahlman.

“I think in my younger years being a leader was hard, but now it’s starting to come to me,” he said. “The young guys are looking up to the older guys and I think they listen more and it’s easier to be on the same page.”

Going into last season, Stahlman was described as “the future,” so stepping into his final year with the program has him almost overwhelmed.

“It’s crazy that I’m going into my last year, but I think it’s going to be a good year,” Stahlman said. “I think we’re going to make it count this year. I think I’m ready. I’ve put in my time and I think I’m ready to show what I can do.”

Even though the roster is larger than in seasons prior, Stahlman isn’t too worried about someone creeping behind him to take his job. He’s confident in his game and knows he’s the man for the job.

“I don’t feel pressure anymore after starting since my sophomore year,” Stahlman said. “I have high expectations for myself but I don’t feel the pressure anymore. I’m just going to play.”

While once showing reservations about leadership, Stahlman isn’t shy on what he thinks his team is capable of achieving.

“My expectations are high,” Stahlman said. “I’ve been with these guys for three to four years now and I think our chemistry is finally coming together and we’ll be able to put everything together all at once.”

Stahlman hopes to guide Champion to its first playoff appearance since 1994. While knowing it’s a lofty goal, as the team has had two winning seasons since the turn of the century, Strahlman thinks he and his team are ready.

“Playoffs are the goal for everyone, but it’s definitely our goal this year,” Strahlman said. “I think since we haven’t been there in a while, we deserve it, and I think we’re going to get it.”

Once his time in the purple and gold is over, Stahlman plans to continue playing football in college. He’s interested in a few schools, one of which is Westminster College.

Champion opens its season Friday against Kennedy. The Flashes lost on a last-second touchdown pass to the Eagles last year and are champing at the bit to get some revenge.

“JFK,” Stahlman said when asked who he was most looking forward to playing. “Last year we were one play away. I think we’re going to get them this year.”