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Southmoreland grad to play at Allegheny College

| Monday, Aug. 7, 2006

Many collegiate football players began their athletic careers in junior football or "midget" leagues. Nick Mains got his start a little later, but it hasn't stopped him from inking a deal to play at the college level.

Mains first stepped on the football field as a seventh-grader, then became a solid presence for Southmoreland before recently signing to play at Allegheny College in Meadville.

Mains said the decision to attend Allegheny College hinged on both athletic and academic concerns.

"Their coach (Mark Matlak) recruited me pretty good," Mains said. "They place well into medical school, and they have a nice campus."

Mains' high school football coach, Brian Pritts, said the Gators seem like a good choice.

"Nick is a great kid. He's got a great attitude and a good work ethic. I think Allegheny is going to be a nice fit for him," Pritts said. "It's a good football program and a strong academic institution."

Mains will study biology with an aim toward becoming a pediatrician. He graduated near the top of his class and was a key player on both the Scotties' football and baseball teams, earning himself both an academic scholarship and a spot on the Gators' roster.

On the gridiron, Mains earned three letters, as well as an All-Interstate Conference selection in both his junior and senior seasons. He rushed for 603 yards on 91 carries as a junior running back, but as a senior in 2005, it was his defensive play that caught the eye of the Division III college. Mains made more than 100 tackles that season.

Mains said he just wants to be on the field, whether it's on offense or defense. At Allegheny, he said he'll probably spend most of his time playing defense.

"I'm probably going to play linebacker up there," he said.

Mains will have some local company at the college, with Connellsville graduate Andy Schleihauf joining the college's football program as well.

The Gators endured a tough 2005 campaign during which they posted a 3-7 record and two overtime losses. Twenty-four starters and 47 lettermen return this year. Allegheny College will open its 2006 season Sept. 2 at Westminster College.

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