The photo above was taken by Merrimack football photographer: Trace Askenburg Nathan Harvey is pictured during a halftime game against Sacred Heart University.
By Jada Andrade
Nathan Harvey, an established Senior Football Player at Merrimack College. He is a beloved son, a friend that lights up the rooms. What brought him to Merrimack? How is he doing at Merrimack college?
Harvey is from Newton, Massachusetts where he began his Football career in 7th grade, later than most football stars. He became the Captain of the football team at Newton North High School. At Newton North High School Harvey received the Senior cup at graduation being only 2 students out of 550 classmates. He competed in the All-Star Shriners Game which brought in the top 100 players in New England. Given Harvey’s achievements, he was able to transfer to Bridgton academy where he stayed for a semester sharpening his skills, not settling for less than a Division 1 school. Shortly after being at Bridgton academy, Harvey was recruited by Merrimack college.
Nathan began his journey at Merrimack in 2019, here began playing a defensive end position. Working day in and day out with meetings, lifts, and practices, while balancing school work. Being a student-athlete never allows for boredom.
Nathan was able to come to Merrimack, and finally, pursue his dreams as a Division 1 athlete. Soon after being recruited, Harvey injured himself in 2019 fracturing his hip socket. This recurred 6 months of personal training and crutches. These hurdles were not ideal for a new football player,
“My biggest hurdles being at Merrimack college have been my injuries, I fractured my hip socket in 2019”, Nathan Harvey stated. Not only did Harvey suffer physically but mentally as well.
“Dealing with these injuries forced me to learn patience, mental toughness, and motivation. Working through PT, trying my best to get back on my feet, and more”, Nathan Harvey said.
Later on, in 2021, Harvey suffered his second major injury, a full meniscus tear in his knee. These injuries started to pile on for Harvey, as he witnessed his fellow teammates playing, and practicing, while he had to sit in with the physical trainers.
After all of the physical, and mental struggles of being a division 1 athlete it is hard to keep going,
“One of my biggest challenges is trying to keep the energy and always going 100 percent every week. As the weeks go on, there will be days that you are extremely sore and tired, but you can’t let that get in the way of what you are trying to accomplish. The Merrimack Football standard is to elevate every single day no matter what. It’s normal to feel exhausted and sore after intense workouts and practices, but it’s all about how you handle yourself and it’s about what you can do to better yourself so you can perform and be that teammate that your team can rely on”, Nathan Harvey expresses.
Harvey’s injuries and accomplishments have encouraged him to keep going, he “still loves the game and there’s so many aspects to it that make it a wonderful game. Playing alongside your brothers, and accomplishing big wins. It’s a great feeling and the bonds you create while going through the biggest commitment helps build the character of your teammates and the team as a whole”, Harvey expresses.
Given Harvey’s major injuries, and having a football team as large as 110 players. It can be difficult to receive playing time. Post-injury it took some time for Harvey to receive 1st and 2nd string qualifications.
As Harvey’s Senior year approached there was excitement to get back on the field, he was ready to show everyone what he was capable of. During practice, his speed became faster than pre-injury, and he became one of the starting players for Merrimack.
Now, Harvey is in his Senior year playing as a 1st and 2nd string Defensive end. With his hard work and determination, he can keep pushing every day. Most importantly, balance everything.
Recently, Merrimack played against Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Harvey went and demolished the offense, getting a sack in seconds. The ESPN commentators made it clear that Duquesne must “Stop Nathan Harvey ” if they wanted
any chance at winning the game. The game ended 28-21, and Merrimack College brought home the win!
Merrimack is currently on a five-game winning streak, leading in their conference. With the teammates working cohesively these accomplishments are possible.
Harvey’s positional coach, Micheal Gennetti, has witnessed how Harvey has grown. Gennetti describes Harvey as resilient,
“He comes to practice every day and gives as good an effort as anybody we have on the team. That effort has finally been paying off for him this season. When Nate first got here he went through a really bad hip injury. It was kinda a freak injury. I feel it was one of those injuries that for many guys would have ended their careers. I give him so much credit for his rehabilitation efforts and his commitment to this football team”, Gennetti said.
Given Nathan’s injuries, he was unlikely to proceed with his football career. Gennetti expressed how amazing of a player Harvey is, but how much of an extraordinary teammate Harvey is,
“Nate sets a great example for guys that stay the course and continue to work at improving themselves. His resilience to continue to come to work every day unaware if the opportunities that would be there for him shows just how committed he is to the process of improvement. Not only is he a great football player but he’s an even better teammate. His unselfishness, commitment, and positive nature have impacted us as a defense. He’s a great example for younger players on the team who may be unsure if they’ll ever play here. His dedication to this program is unsurpassed. I’m very thankful that we have him”, Gennetti expresses.
All around, Harvey is an all-around great person that is beloved by both his teammates, and coaches. Given Harvey’s football journey, he has overcome many struggles while being able to stay on top of his “A” game!