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Senior Spotlight: Vinnie Nelson doesn’t want to have any regrets when he leaves Absegami

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By GIUSEPPE UNGARO Managing Editor Vinnie Nelson is probably too hard on himself. The Absegami High School athlete is having trouble putting the football season behind him. The team’s three-win season left him feeling like he could have done more. Like if he had made one more play in certain games, the results would have been different. It’s that type of thinking that is fueling the Galloway Township resident during the basketball season. There is absolutely no complacency from Nelson, who could have gone through the motions. After all, he is a senior who paid his dues the past three seasons. However, the guard is attacking every practice and every game like it’s his last. He does not want to regret anything. “I wish I could have done more to help our team win during football season,” the 18-year-old standout said. “That’s why this season, during basketball, I go so hard. I want to leave everything on the court so I can say every night that I played my hardest. At least I did that. During football, I think I could have made a few more plays.” Senior Vinnie Nelson has been a key member of the Absegami High School basketball and football teams for the past several years. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Senior Vinnie Nelson has been a key member of the Absegami High School basketball and football teams for the past several years. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) “Vinnie wants to get better. He is never satisfied,” Absegami boys basketball coach Greg Goodwin said. “He and a lot of the kids want team success. It’s nice to score 25 points, which he has done in the past, but he wants to win. I try to instill that it’s about individual effort, but to make people better around you. He is doing that. “He had a 37-point game in a Christmas tournament and he has had some games when he scored seven points, but it’s not just about points. He wants to lock down the other team’s best guard. He takes on that challenge. I think it’s important not to be one-dimensional. Some players only get points, but he has shown that there other things he can do.” Nelson is averaging 16 points per game, which is second-best on the team to Steve Ferebee, and like Goodwin said, Nelson often is working extremely hard on the defensive side of the hardwood. Nelson already has 24 steals and the season isn’t even halfway over. His leadership and play is one of the reasons why the Braves are already one win shy of matching last year’s win total of six. “I just want to compete and have fun. This is my last year and I have to leave everything on the court,” Nelson said. Despite his regrets about football season, Nelson has made a lasting impact the past four seasons on the gridiron. Using his speed, Nelson made several big plays every season. One stands out the most for Nelson. As a junior, he scored the game-winning touchdown in a 29-28 win over Egg Harbor Township. He caught a pass on the left side and raced to the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown. “I ran a corner route, I caught it and when I looked up the sideline I had room,” Nelson explained. “I turned it up.” There are many other big plays and memories for Nelson on both the basketball court and the gridiron, but it is the type of person Nelson is that is most important for Braves football coach Dennis Scuderi. “He is a popular kid in the building. He has an infectious personality. I think he did a great job for us,” Scuderi said. “The thing about Vinnie is that he is a really good kid, and the best way to describe him is a competitor. The thing that stands out about him is his competitive nature.” Once Nelson graduates — after he completes the basketball season and a possible stint on the track and field team in the spring — he will be heading to Delaware Valley University, joining Absegami alum Tyler Bing. Nelson plans on playing football and possibly basketball at the Doylestown (Pa.) University. “I felt wanted,” Nelson said on why he decided on Delaware Valley. With his talent, skill and positive attitude, most coaches would want Nelson on their roster. Contact Giuseppe Ungaro: gungaro@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDgisepu [adsense]

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