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Humans of Harker: Nate Kelly perseveres on and off the field

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"I knew that something was wrong with my shoulder because it was bothering me, but eventually it never went away, so I went the whole season through it. I was battling this pain," Nate Kelly (12) said. "At the same time, we were winning a bunch of games and had this kind of historic season, and that’s something I didn’t really want to miss out on. That was my incentive to keep going; that kept my adrenaline pumping, the fact that we were winning a lot in all these games. Quite honestly, I thought it would affect me, but I guess I overcame it. It hurt, but I battled through it, and I dealt with the pain afterwards.”

Anoushka Buch

Anoushka Buch

"I knew that something was wrong with my shoulder because it was bothering me, but eventually it never went away, so I went the whole season through it. I was battling this pain," Nate Kelly (12) said. "At the same time, we were winning a bunch of games and had this kind of historic season, and that’s something I didn’t really want to miss out on. That was my incentive to keep going; that kept my adrenaline pumping, the fact that we were winning a lot in all these games. Quite honestly, I thought it would affect me, but I guess I overcame it. It hurt, but I battled through it, and I dealt with the pain afterwards.”

by Nilisha Baid, Reporter

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Nate Kelly’s (12) enthusiasm for athletics originates from his “big sports family.”

“It doesn’t really matter what kind of sport it is, as long as it is a sport, there’s something that my family and I could definitely share a bond within,” he said. “I’m sure it’s just from generations of their parents and their grandparents in sports and passing it along. Just them having the love for the sport that they learned from their parents and passing that on to their kids. That’s something that I really take pride in along with all of them.”

As quarterback of the football team, Nate has become accustomed to fluorescent flood lights brightening his games. During the spring, however, he often finds himself out on the sunny baseball field.

“My uncle is the one that got me into football. At the age of six, I was watching my cousins play, and I just wanted to be out there, and my uncle convinced my dad to let me play football, and ever since then, I’ve kind of fell in love with football a little bit more than baseball,” Nate said.

Angel Cervantes (12) noted Nate’s personality on and off the football field.

“He has many sides to him. When we’re on the field, he turns into a team player. He’s really focused; he cares a lot about other people. He’s just an outgoing guy. If you want to talk to him, you can talk to him about whatever. Everyday I see him is just a great day to talk to him,” Angel said.

However, during this year’s football season, Nate discovered a torn labrum in his shoulder.

“Given that football is my favorite sport and favorite thing to do, so that definitely wasn’t in the books, missing out on the season,” he said. “I knew that something was wrong with my shoulder because it was bothering me, but eventually it never went away, so I went the whole season through it. I was battling this pain. At the same time, we were winning a bunch of games and had this kind of historic season, and that’s something I didn’t really want to miss out on. That was my incentive to keep going; that kept my adrenaline pumping, the fact that we were winning a lot in all these games. Quite honestly, I thought it would affect me, but I guess I overcame it. It hurt, but I battled through it, and I dealt with the pain afterwards.”

To Nate, perseverance plays a significant role in everything from sports to academics.

“I guess what I kind of want to say for whoever out there reads this article or whatever, I just want them to know, however you prepare yourself is the result you’re gonna get. Whether it’s in sports, whether it’s in school, whether it’s in life in general, if you prepare yourself to your full capability, then you should expect great results,” he said.

The perseverance and leadership skills that Nate has gained from sports have also helped him contribute toward his family.

“I have two younger sisters, and there’s a time where my parents are working late, and I have to make them dinner, or I have to help my parents out picking them up from school or dropping them off. The little sacrifices, which are nothing compared to what my parents do for all of us, but these little mini sacrifices where I have to say no to hanging out for a friend or no to if there’s some time where I have to study. To help my family out, that’s something that has definitely occurred numerous times, and even though it’s something I may not want to do all the time, I know it’s something I kind of have to do,” he said.

To Haley Keller (12), Nate’s thoughtfulness is a major part of his identity.

“He always wants to make people smile, and he’ll go to great lengths to do so,” she said. “One time, I was really sick, and he was out of town, so he got a Doordash guy to come over and bring me soup and recite me this thing that he had wrote for me about feeling better and all the stuff, the Doordash guy.”

Due to her friendship with Nate’s middle school principal, Diane Main reflected on Nate’s change from the start of middle school.

“When he found out that I knew Nate, I would say to him, ‘Nate’s doing great starting football, and he’s doing all this stuff,’ and he’s like, ‘You would not believe how much this kid has changed,’” she said. “From when he started middle school and when he was really struggling with a lot of different things and interpersonal stuff to where his principal had seen him grow so much by the end of middle school. When I said to him, ‘Nate’s going to Chapman,’ he was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe it!’”

1 Comment

One Response to “Humans of Harker: Nate Kelly perseveres on and off the field”

  1. Todd Feinberg on May 23rd, 2018 6:28 am

    I am just so proud of you, Nate. All of us at UMS are. You’ve grown into a wonderful young man and we are looking forward to the great things in store for you at Chapman and beyond.

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Humans of Harker: Nate Kelly perseveres on and off the field