After graduating 26 seniors from the 2019 team, East Grand Rapids was going to be in need of leadership this season on the gridiron.
Nate Milanowski has delivered.
"I definitely lead by example more than speaking,” Milanowski said. “I'm not the loudest guy, but I sure like to play hard for my team and I think that is the best way to do it is if you play hard your teammates will follow in your footsteps.”
Milanowski is a three year varsity player, but this is his first time being the featured ball carrier.
"I think I came in and I had an opportunity to prove who I am and get my name out there,” Milanowski said. “I have been just trying to play hard and I play two other sports as well that I love and I think that helps me out as an athlete."
Milanowski plays hockey and lacrosse but is hoping to play football at the next level, his performance this season is making that possible.
"He does a lot of different things for our team,“ EGR head coach Casey Longo said. “Obviously on the field on Friday's but the other stuff that he does in the locker room with the players being a leader as a team captain. He spent some time with us as a sophomore, contributed last year as a junior and having a big role as a senior as a captain he has been absolutely enormous for us."
Milanowski had six touchdowns in the district final win which included throwing for a score and returning a kick for another.
He has also has a receiving TD, a punt return TD and an interception return for a TD to go with many rushing scores.
"I got to get a fumble recovery,” Milanowski said with a laugh. “Hopefully on defense I'll find that maybe on Saturday against Muskegon."
The Pioneers take on the Big Reds Saturday in a division 3 regional final, kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Hackley stadium.