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Stephens stepped up when team needed

Quintin Stephens stepped up for his team last fall when it needed him to most, taking the ball to run the offense when the regular starting quarterback went down with an injury.

Stephens led the Salisbury football team to a 6-5 overall record, including winning four of the last six games of the regular season. He was also a key member of the Falcon boys basketball team that went 9-8 in Colonial League play and earned a spot in the District 11 4A Tournament.

With his stellar play on both the gridiron and hardwood, the rising senior was voted the 2019-20 Lehigh Valley Health Network Salisbury Press Male Athlete of the Year.

“I started playing varsity sports at Salisbury when I was a freshman,” said Stephens. “It’s been three of the best years of my life, playing with my friends and meeting new people. Growing up I wasn’t always the best player, but I had coaches, teammates and family that pushed me to get better.

“My parents and grandparents got me to practices, coach [Andy] Cerco convinced me to play football freshman year and he believed in me. I also had teammates like Matt Butz, Ben Krauss, Anthony Scarcia, Gaige Marcks and Brandon Brotzmen that competed with me.”

In 10 games starting last season, Stephens completed 120 passes for 1,770 yards and 19 touchdowns threw the air. He also rushed 58 times for 257 yards and two scores.

On the basketball court, Stephens averaged a little more than eight points per game in 21 games for Salisbury. He broke out his junior year athletically and still has one more year to improve.

Stephens first picked up a football and began playing the sport at the early age of four. He started competitive basketball at six years old.

“In both sports I think my athletic ability is a big part of what I bring to the table,” Stephens said. “In football I feel that my biggest strength is what I do with the ball outside of the pocket by keeping the play alive. In basketball I can push the ball down the court with speed and score effectively on the fast break.”

Stephens is entering his final year of eligibility at the high school level and will soon begin the college recruiting process. He is still unsure of which sport he wants to pursue, but he knows what schools he will be focusing on moving forward.

“I hope to attend a four-year school and play either football or basketball,” said Stephens. “I’m really excited to just go try something new and meet new people and really start my life. I am very interested in Coastal Carolina and Temple Universities and I hope to major in optometry.”

As long as fall sports are allowed by the PIAA this year, Salisbury football opens its 2020 season at Catasauqua in Colonial League action on Friday, August 28.