TRUMBULL — Trumbull High’s Colton Nicholas has cast his lot with Sacred Heart University, and Eagles’ head football coach Marce Petroccio believes it is a perfect fit for his quarterback.
“In all my years of coaching I never saw anyone work harder and be a better leader than Colton was this past season,” Petroccio said. “I believe his work ethic will serve him well with coach [Mark] Nofri at Sacred Heart.”
The Pioneers are coming off of their third Northeast Conference crown in the past six seasons in 2018. SHU posted a 7-4 record and a 5-1 mark against league opponents. Nofri was named the NEC Coach of the Year for the third time.
“Colton is a quarterback that has good size and a very strong arm,” Nofri commented on the Sacred Heart University website. “We are excited about the addition of [all 18 additions] these young men to the Pioneer family.”
Attending SHU was not a tough sell.
“I love the location, they have a great program and the coaching staff is awesome,” Nicholas said. “I went to their camp last spring, and after the season I got an offer and it was too good to turn down.”
A two-year team captain, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Nicholas was second-team All-FCIAC after the USA National Team alumni threw for 14 touchdowns and ran for seven scores for the Eagles, who went 5-5. He passed for 1,803 yards.
“Coach P [Petroccio] called [fellow co-captain] Adam Tolk and I in after our first team meeting,” Nicholas said. “We could tell right away about his love for the game and how he wants us doing things right. We went out and presented that to the team through weightlifting and our summer leagues.”
Playing at the collegiate level has been a long-time objective for Nicholas.
“It’s been a huge goal and I’ve worked as hard as I can toward reaching it,” he said. “The passion is there for a reason. You have to pursue it to your fullest.”
Nicholas has a bent toward the medical field.
“SHU has a fine exercise science program and going there will speed up the process of becoming a physician’s assistant,” he said. “Helping others is something I’d like to do.”
When asked about Nicholas’ top quality as a quarterback, Petroccio said, “His strength is his strength. He is strong in and out of the pocket. Colton has a strong arm and worked hard in the offseason to correct his mechanics and footwork.
“The bottom line is that he loves football. You can’t underestimate that quality, whether at our level, in college or in professional leagues.
“I believe Sacred Heart is getting one heckuva kid on their campus. He did so much for us. It hasn’t set in yet about how much we will miss this young man.”