The Franklin High graduated senior played on the varsity squads for both baseball and football all four years of high school and will continue to play both in college at Wesleyan University.
When Jack Nally’s not juggling a baseball or football, he’s maintaining a 4.39 GPA.
“During football season, I definitely felt the most overwhelmed because practices would go until dinner time, and then I’d have to shower and eat, and before you know it, I had to do school work when I was exhausted from a long day already,” Nally, 18, said.
The Franklin High graduated senior played on the varsity squads for both sports all four years of high school and will continue to play both in college at Wesleyan University.
Before committing to the school, Nally was selected to the annual Shriners All-Star Football Classic, which is a collection of graduating seniors from the North and South area high schools of Massachusetts.
However, it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since freshman year, I always wanted to be able to make the Shriners game, so it was pretty cool when it came to a reality,” Nally said. “When it got canceled, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to being part of that game.”
Well before being selected to the Shriners game and receiving the jersey he would’ve worn in the mail, Nally was playing flag football and baseball in the second grade. His parents signed him up for baseball first, and in the fourth grade he felt it was time to toughen up, so he took on regular football.
This led him to record 2,300 career all-purpose yards, 18 touchdowns and 127 receptions as a wide out for Franklin High. The 127 receptions are a program record for the Panthers. He also took to the defensive side of the ball in his senior year where he had 55 tackles, eight pass breakups and one interception.
“He is more ‘quick’ than fast. Obviously, he possesses great speed, but he can go from 0-60 faster than any player we have,” Franklin football coach Eain Bain said. “He also did everything the right way. We never had to worry about Jack off the field. He was a champion in the classroom, in the community, and within his family. He is the type of kid we are very proud graduated from our school and was a part of our program.”
Another highlight of his senior year of football was playing with his younger brother Keith at practice.
“It was awesome to be able to play on the same field and watch my younger brother in some of the same drills as me,” Jack said.
“The best moment was when I got a one-on-one with Jack and I stiff-armed him and got by him. I let him hear it the rest of the week,” Keith said. “Other than that, he had some good hits on me and got the best of me. It was really cool getting to compete against him for his last year before he’s off to college.”
Being multi-sport athletes brought the two closer together as they would be either throwing the football, baseball, or shooting hoops growing up.
They would also attend each other’s games. Jack would coach Keith from the sidelines, whether it was at halftime of his football game telling him to keep his head up when he tackles, or when he would miss a shot in basketball and Jack would be mouthing to him from the stands to stop settling and take it to the rack.
“I always looked up to Jack. I would always hear about the straight A’s he got on his report card, all the touchdowns he scored, and I was always jealous, though I’d never admit it,” Keith said. “Jack has taught me an endless number of things about making smart decisions, working hard, having respect for others, etc. That is why I have always looked up to him.”
Having his hands full with sports and maintaining a high GPA has led Jack Nally to Wesleyan University where he is set to play both football and baseball all while taking classes at the top academic school.
Once Nally realized he wanted to play both sports in college, he went to a Wesleyan prospect camp and received an offer from the school in his junior year to play the two sports he loves. He was also the first 2020 offer for football at Wesleyan.
“We were really impressed with him when we saw him compete live and we knew we were getting a great kid,” Wesleyan football coach Dan Dicenzo said. “We’re really excited about him.”
Whatever he accomplishes at the next level, Jack Nally will be busy, but he’ll also have his younger brother following in his footsteps at Franklin High and still looking up to him.
“Jack’s had high expectations his whole life and he’s never failed to live up to them,” Keith said. “He knows I expect a lot from him since he’s the big brother and I see a bright future for him.”