Last Updated: Fri Sep 30, 2022 - 2:32AM
Tradition is a common theme for many families, whether it’s a weekly family dinner with relatives or a yearly vacation. For Greensburg Central Catholic’s Nate Dlugos, it’s football that has been the steady tradition in his home.
Recently, Nate became another Dlugos who will be part of a long lineage of collegiate football players, as he made his commitment to play at NCAA Division III Williams College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
“It felt great - the recruiting process can definitely be stressful at times,” said Dlugos of the process prior to his commitment. “When I was talking with Williams, their football, school, and academics all came together and in place.
“It felt great to commit, and now I feel I can go out and play with my buddies, have fun, and it feels great.”
Williams College landed on Dlugos’ radar thanks in part to a family member playing at a rival school.
“My brother, Zach, goes to Amherst college, which is their rival, and he’s the one that introduced it to me,” Dlugos mentioned. “I kind of liked Williams, and then I had a coach reach out to me from there and I filled out a questionnaire and they really started to recruit me hard.”
The impending Dlugos brother duel will have to wait for the time being, since Nate is in the midst of conference play with his Centurions. But in the meantime, the trash talking has already begun between the brothers.
“We’ve been talking about it a lot,” Dlugos said of the nearing battle he will have with his brother next year. “My family has been trying to plan for the big game for when we play each other. Zach has already started the trash talk, but I’m excited; it’ll be fun.”
With his college decision made, Dlugos can focus on his final season with the Centurions and try to help them capture a WPIAL title. Last year, Dlugos was a major contributor for the offense, leading the team with 20 receptions and 334 receiving yards. He also reeled in five touchdowns during the regular season.
Despite the success he had individually, his team experienced unimaginable tragedy as the postseason approached. Two assistant coaches on the Centurions’ staff unexpectedly passed away just days before the postseason matchup against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
“We knew going into the playoffs that we’d have guys that weren’t eligible because of the transfer rules,” Dlugos noted of the difficulties he and his team faced in the final weeks of the 2021 season. “With our coaches passing away, I don’t know how you prepare for that, and you really couldn’t.
“At the end of the day, it brought our team together. I think struggles like that bring your team closer. When that all happened, we were all devastated, but we all rallied around each other and Coach Marko (Thomas) was our leader and continued to push us. He made sure we finished out the season the way the coaches who passed (would have) wanted us to.”
The team has been able to bounce back from those late-season tragedies to start the 2022 season on the right foot. The Centurions are 3-2 overall this year, and picked up a conference win last week against Springdale 69-6.
This week, the Centurions are on their home turf for a showdown with rival Clairton. Dlugos and the Centurions are looking to avenge their 20-13 loss last year to the Bears on the road.
“We know how big of a game this is; we’ve been itching for it to come,” Dlugos said of this week’s matchup. “Coach Marko has the number 1998 plastered all around our locker room, because that is the last time we beat them. There’s definitely a different feeling going around practice. We are locked in and ready to go.”
Dlugos is focused on the task at hand heading into Friday, but he’s getting geared up for what’s ahead in his football career. He’s only a few months away from being a member of the Williams program, and he’s already excited for the next level of competition.
“I think I’m excited for the overall big picture. I’m excited for the challenge. I think I can do really well there, and I’m very excited for the football season,” he said. “I’m definitely excited for the big rivalry to play my brother at Amherst; I think that’ll be awesome.”