Looking Back: I Remember Watching Nate Gerry At Nine-Years Old

Last Updated by Nate Wek on
Omaha World-Herald

On Saturday in the fifth round of the 2017 National Football League draft, the Philadelphia Eagles called the name of Sioux Falls native Nate Gerry.

Gerry grew up in Sioux Falls, attended Washington High School, where he helped lead the Warriors to three state football championships.

He committed to University of Nebraska for college, where he played both linebacker and safety for the Cornhuskers.

His dream came true when he heard his name called with the last pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft. 

I don't want this to turn into an opinion blog, but I did want to share a personal story that I remember from growing up in Sioux Falls and witnessing one of the early chapters of Gerry's life.

I'm not related to him, nor does Gerry even know who I am (probably). I did graduate from Roosevelt high school with his sister Jennifer in 2008, but so did 500 other students. This story is before my high school days, and well before Gerry's.

My younger brother was playing little league baseball in the Sioux Empire, and I would frequently go and support him (as any older brother should).

There was one kid on the team – who was smaller than the others. He looked younger too, but he never showed signs that he didn’t belong on the field. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

This youngster was scrappy on defense. I watched him pitch, play catcher, snag ground balls in the infield, and track down pop flies in the outfield.

He was an above average batter, and he didn’t let his small stature hinder his base running ability either. This kid was just an all around stellar athlete, and at this time he was around nine-years old.

Who was this little league athlete? It was Nate Gerry, the same kid who heard his name called on Saturday during the NFL draft.

It’s always exciting when a South Dakota native gets the opportunity to play sports at the professional level. But this one was different for me, because I had personally witnessed one of the early chapters of Gerry’s career.

I remember watching him succeed at a high level in high school too with the Washington Warriors, in both track and football.

It was exciting when he committed to playing football at the University of Nebraska, and words can’t describe how it feels to know that this little league baseball stand out will now have the opportunity to play linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles organization.

I wanted to share this, because every professional athlete has a story, and every story starts somewhere. I’m just blessed that I was given the opportunity to personally witness one of the earliest moments in this young mans career.

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