Capital Region

Holy Trinity’s Hundley leads The Daily Gazette All-Area team offense

Sophomore a TD machine
Nacier Hundley of Holy Trinity is The Daily Gazette Offensive Player of the Year.
Nacier Hundley of Holy Trinity is The Daily Gazette Offensive Player of the Year.

Nacier Hundley made a juggling catch near the sideline, then added one more highlight to his season full of them by juking out a hopeless Skaneateles defender not once, but twice on the way to his second  touchdown in the state Class C championship game.

“Sometimes he does things that look crazy, but that’s normal for him,” Holy Trinity coach John Barber said of his sophomore scoring sensation. “Every game he was doing something.”

Even when he didn’t crack the end zone.

RELATED: Saratoga Springs’ Toote anchors Daily Gazette All-Area defense

That happened only once, in Holy Trinity’s season-starting 13-6 win over Chatham. Hundley went on to produce 24 touchdowns, including 16 on receptions, which was one shy of the Section II record.

“The first game of the season, that was our fault as coaches. We didn’t utilize him,” Barber said of his wide receiver and outside linebacker. “On defense, he won the game for us, though. He had a fourth-down sack for a loss and after that we closed them out.”

The 2017 Daily Gazette Offensive Player of the Year started his touchdown string in a 38-34 Week 2 loss to Mechanicville with three scoring receptions from All-Area second-team pick Joe Tortello. Hundley added another TD the next week when the Pride topped Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne 32-6 to begin their 10-game win streak.

“The one play that stands out to me was against Lake George, where he tipped the ball to himself so he could catch it,” Barber said. “He turned it into a long run for a touchdown.”

Spectacular grabs, game-altering plays and big yardage  marked Hundley’s season. In a Week 4 63-0 win against Corinth he scored five times: on returned punts of 85 and 47 yards; an interception that went for 31; a catch that covered 31; and fumble return that went for 67. That fumble never actually touched the turf.

“He recognized the play and was too fast to be blocked,” Barber said. “The Corinth kid pitched the ball and he stole the ball on the pitch. The ball was right there and he made a play.”

Hundley scored the winning touchdown and was the middle man afterward in Holy Trinity’s fourth-quarter catch-pitch-pitch play that helped seal its 28-23 state semifinal win against Burke Catholic.

The Section II Class C North Player of the Year caught 43 passes for 1,069 yards, and of his 16 TD receptions, eight came in the Pride’s breakthrough postseason when he also threw for a score. He gained just over 300 yards rushing and returning the ball, and was also in on 120 tackles (95 solo), recovered four fumbles and scored on three, and intercepted six passes and scored on three.

“He played the field side and took that half away from teams,” Barber said. “They had to game plan around him.”

Hundley had over 100 yards in receptions in each of the Pride’s state tournament games when they rallied past Ogdensburg Free Academy and Burke Catholic before a loss to Skaneateles, and in six games overall.

“Take Nacier out of the equation and we’re not going to be the same team,” Barber said of the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C Player of the Year nominee.


Troy senior running back Joey Ward, Glens Falls junior quarterback Joe Girard III and Mechanicville senior guard Cody Hayner are Daily Gazette All-Area first-team repeaters.

Ward was again the featured back in Troy’s second consecutive state Class AA championship season, piling up 1,992 yards and 31 touchdowns on 252 carries, while also catching 16 passes for 195 yards and 4 TDs. The Class AA Liberty Division Offensive Player of the Year scored his final four touchdowns — and earned a “Plays of the Day” clip on ESPN — in Troy’s 41-26 state final win against Lancaster.

Gazette first-team end Dev Holmes snagged two touchdown passes from Joe Casale in that Troy win as part of a superb season for the Liberty overall Player of the Year. Holmes had 53 receptions for 711 yards and 10 TDs, ran for 568 yards and 10 TDs, and tacked on 4 TDs on kick returns.

“They’re some of the greatest kids I’ve ever coached and some of the greatest players to ever put on a Troy uniform,” Flying Horses coach Bob Burns said of his senior stars.

Guilderland senior Jared Schwartz is the other Gazette first-team end after making 38 receptions for 678 yards and 4 TDs. The Empire All-Purpose Player of the Year ran for 6 TDs and 249 yards in his second season as an offensive starter, and excelled for three years in the Dutchmen secondary.

Girard III was once again a major force as Glens Falls’ win streak reached 24 games before a state semifinal setback. This fall the football and basketball standout passed for 1,883 yards (124-for-201) and 22 touchdowns, ran for 518 yards and 7 TDs, and intercepted 5 passes on defense.

Offered by Tulane and UMass to play basketball and football, Girard III passed for 410 yards and 3 TDs when the Indians edged Schuylerville 40-37 in overtime for the Section II Class B title.

Saratoga Springs quarterback Wes Eglintine bounced back from a knee injury that negated his junior year to earn Empire Offensive Player of the Year honors and an All-Area first-team spot.

“He lost his junior year and was determined to come back,” Saratoga coach Terry Jones said of the 3-year varsity performer. “He worked his tail off to make sure he was ready.”

Eglintine passed for 1,239 yards (73-for-131) and 12 TDs, and ran for 555 yards and 7 TDs in leading the Blue Streaks to a Class AA Super Bowl appearance and 9-1 record after a loss to Troy. He threw 3 TD passes and ran for the winning touchdown in a semifinal win over Shaker.

Gazette first-team running back Jake Stanko of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake ran for the winning touchdown in the Section II Class A final, one of his 19 TDs to go with 1,390 ground yards. The Section II Class A Player of the Year had eight games with over 100 rushing yards.

“Big-time competitor,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said of his senior. “In the big games, he stepped up with tough yards and key first downs.”

UConn commit Liam Maloney of Holy Trinity, UAlbany commit Mohab Omer of Shaker, Joe Petroski of Burnt Hills and Jerry Marsceill of Averill Park join Hayner on the All-Area first-team line. Maloney was a rare 5-year varsity starter who contributed in a big way from Holy Trinity’s infant years to its multi-championship 2017 season.

Holy Trinity senior kicker Luke Clement consistently aided his team’s defense with drives to the end zone that resulted in touchbacks, and suppplied 58 extra points (65 attempts) and 2 field goals.


  • QB — Wes Eglintine, 12, 6-3, 205, Saratoga
  • QB — Joe Girard III, 11, 6-2, 185, Glens Falls
  • RB — Joey Ward, 12, 5-9, 195, Troy
  • RB — Jake Stanko, 12, 5-11, 180, BH-BL
  • AP — Nacier Hundley, 10, 5-9, 175, Holy Trinity
  • E — Dev Holmes, 12, 5-9, 175, Troy
  • E — Jared Schwartz, 12, 5-10, 160, Guilderland
  • OL — Liam Maloney, 12, 6-8, 275, Holy Trinity
  • OL — Joe Petroski, 12, 6-5, 265, BH-BL
  • OL — Jerry Marsceill, 12, 6-4, 270, Averill Park
  • OL — Cody Hayner, 12, 6-4, 300, Mechanicville
  • OL — Mohab Omer, 12, 6-5, 330, Shaker
  • K — Luke Clement, 12, 6-4, 175, Holy Trinity


  • QB — Joe Tortello, 10, Holy Trinity
  • QB — Mason Leto, 12, Guilderland
  • RB — Dan Morris, 12, Stillwater
  • RB — Aaron Sampson, 12, Glens Falls
  • AP — Ravion Burt, 11, Shaker
  • E — Mike LeVan, 12, BH-BL
  • E — Carter Steingraber, 11, Saratoga
  • E — Noah Foster, 10, Holy Trinity
  • OL — Tom Thayer, 12, Holy Trinity
  • OL — Demitri Swann, 12, Saratoga
  • OL — Kevin Renaud, 12, CBA
  • OL — Michael Shields, 12, Shenendehowa
  • OL — Andy Weyrauch, 11, Shenendehowa


  • QB — Darien LaPietro, 11, BH-BL
  • QB — Donovan Pacatte, 11, Cobleskill-Richmondville
  • RB — Mason Seymour, 10, Stillwater
  • RB — Dion Sexton, 12, Holy Trinity
  • RB — Jason McCarthy, 11, Ballston Spa
  • RB — K.J. Mickel, 12, SGF
  • E — Austin Fullington, 12, Johnstown
  • E — Devin Disonell, 12, Shenendehowa
  • OL — Brandon Camaj, 11, Saratoga
  • OL — Anthony Sutherland Daniele, 12, Watervliet
  • OL — Dante Coppola, 11, Scotia-Glenville
  • OL — Nico Orengo, 12, Amsterdam

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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