His story: Faltynski first started playing flag football as a first-grader. He got into tackle football in fifth grade, and made the Nolan Catholic varsity squad as a sophomore, playing primarily on special teams. Now a senior, Faltynski is the starting free safety and an important part of the Vikings' kickoff and punt return teams. He has six interceptions, including one in each of Nolan's playoff games, and returned one for a touchdown.
His goal: Foremost on his list of goals is winning a state title this season. But Faltynski also runs track and is hoping to qualify again for the state meet. He ultimately would like to study criminal justice and maybe become a state trooper.
He said: "My teammates mean the world to me. They're family; they're brothers. We have each others' backs and over the years [the bond] has become stronger and stronger. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do anything out there on the field I can do because we are a team and it takes a team to win a championship.
"Starting with our summer workouts, I knew we had something great. We lost our first two games against Lancaster and Argyle, but after that we rolled into district. Our defense is so powerful and our offensive run game is unbelievable. I knew we had something great. I have no doubt that we can win state."
Coach Joe Prud'homme said: "We've known Jonathon since he was a freshman. He was a very dynamic player then. He's always been really fast, he's got really good jumping ability, and great hands. He gets back and forth across the field. We always noticed his ball-hawking ability. He's a decent tackler and plays with great intensity. He's been on our radar since his freshman year. We had some others in front of him and he kind of got under their wing and got groomed up, and he's following that tradition of our free safety.
"He's a big-time returner and he comes to play receiver for us sometimes as well. We can get great field position with him quite a bit and some teams have just quit kicking to him. He allows us to do so many other things well on defense. We can be more aggressive up front because Jon has got the back end of the defense covered. And that's huge, to have somebody like that who is explosive and has the back end secure and can turn the field around. Because in the playoffs, field position is everything and he's a field-position weapon."
Interesting note: Faltynski's first varsity punt return came during his sophomore season. He took it all the way for a touchdown, but it was called back because of a penalty. Nonetheless, it gave him the confidence to be a successful return man.
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