Justin Nascimento will become the third member of his family to play in the Harry Agganis All-Star Football Classic tonight (Wednesday) at Manning Field in Lynn.
Nascimento, a Pope John High School Class of 2010 graduate joins his brothers, Jason and Jonathan, who played in the 2003 and 2006 Agganis Games respectively. Jason and Jonathan Nascimento were standouts at Everett High School.
“It’s an honor to play in this game,” said Justin. “My brothers played in the game and they’ll both be at the game, which makes me feel proud.”
Also in attendance will be Justin’s mother, Katie, and other members of the family.
The 5-foot-7-inch, 145-pound Nascimento will be a starting cornerback and a kickoff returner for the South team, but the coaches may want to give him a couple of snaps at quarterback. As the signal caller for the Tigers last fall, Nascimento threw 20 touchdown passes and rushed for 10 more. He was named to the Globe and Herald All-Scholastic teams.
On the field, the Tigers won every game after an opening night loss to Chelsea. But the team was denied a playoff berth due to player eligibility issues.
“It hurt that we didn’t get a chance to compete in the playoffs,” said Nascimento. “The team really came together after we played Chelsea. We became a team and beat everyone after that.”
Nascimento said head coach Brian Vaughan did a phenomenal job in his first season at the helm.
“Mr. Vaughan brought the team together,” said Nascimento. “He’s the best coach I ever had. Obviously I played under coach [John] DiBiaso [at Everett High] and we all know he’s one of the greatest coaches around, but what coach Vaughan did was awesome.
“Mr. Vaughan came into a team that had only eight players at first,” said Nascimento. “He built it up to 22 players and as a team, we really flourished.”
Asked if he views himself as the best player in school history, Nascimento replied humbly, “I hope people think I played well for the school. I know one thing: I had a great time playing football there and I want to thank Mr. Vaughan, the assistant coaches, and everyone at the school for a great experience.”
Nascimento says he’ll take a year off from school and he hopes to resume his football career in the 2011 season. He has been in contact with the Framingham State College coaching staff.