Josh Navratil

October 10, 2018 10:28 PM

(ABC 6 News)- Pine Island Panthers Senior Running Back Josh Navratil has been a stud on the gridiron.

“Josh is an incredibly smart player he does things sometimes that kind of take us back,” Panthers head coach John Stapleton said.  “He certainly has some skills that you can’t coach, he leads the district in rushing by fairly a large margin.


Navratil has rushed for over 1100 yards this season, averaging 265 yards per game and 13 touchdowns.

Navratil says his ‘mindset’ sets him apart. 

“Every play I’m trying to go 100% no matter what,” Navratil said.

In his last two games, Navratil had 35 carries for over 450 yards and seven rushing touchdowns, including a 93-yard kick-off return touchdown.

“He has a tremendous work ethic and that’s something I believe that sets him apart,” Stapleton said.

“Every day in the offseason our coaches and players they always pushed me to be the best and throughout all the captains' practices and all the little things adding up over the offseason,” Navratil said.

Which is paying off big time for Navratil.

“Josh is the first Pine Island football player that will commit and sign with a division one football program, (the) University of North Dakota.

“It feels good (to be the first), I like making the town happy and that’s really a good feeling,” Navratil said.

“I think one of the really nice things about working with Josh is that other kids are excited for his success because he is a humble guy,” Stapleton said.  “I think everyone looks at the success he has too and says they can understand its deserved too he’s worked to put himself into this position.  He’s a pleasure to coach, a pleasure to be around, hard-working kid,” Stapleton added.

Navratil and the Panthers return to the gridiron on Friday to host the Kasson-Mantorville Komets.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.


Diana Cannizzaro

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