Bartlesville sophomore quarterback Nate Neal found himself thrust into a starting role under center for the Bruins’ football team last year as a ninth grader. This season Neal – now with some more playing time under his belt – is looking forward to expanding his game and taking on more of a leadership role in Bartlesville. Neal knows what it takes to get the job done and the responsibilities that come with the quarterback position.
“A good teammate is someone who is putting in the effort and is willing to do what’s best for the team,” Neal said. “A good leader should be setting the best example of this and motivating other players to do so.”
Neal has been playing football from an early age and he appreciates the camaraderie that the sport provides.
“My first year playing was flag football in kindergarten,” Neal said. “My favorite aspect of the sport is the brotherhood that comes with being on a team.”
The Bruins started the fall off strong with a 20-9 victory over Claremore in their season opener. Neal said his goal for this season is to help his team improve and rebound after falling short of postseason contention last year. This fall he wants to help the Bruins make a push toward the playoffs. Looking ahead at the season schedule Neal said that there’s one game on the calendar that he already has circled.
“A game that I’m most excited for would be Sand Springs,” Neal said. “It’s our homecoming and I think we’re very evenly matched.”
As a quarterback, Neal said that he looks up to Cincinnati Bengals’ star Joe Burrow, whom he wants to model his own game after. Last season, as a freshman, Neal had success and was recognized as the Area Player of the Week for his performance against the Sandites.
Off the field Neal enjoys listening to bluegrass folk musician Tyler Childers and said he finds his music inspiring. After high school Neal plans to attend West Point Military Academy “whether for football or not,” he said.