Drew Balestrini has a lot on his plate — starting quarterback for the Shikellamy Braves, class president and a full class schedule — and he's been tackling it all with the uncertainly COVID-19 has put in front every student in the Valley.

"It is a tough year for all of us," he said. "I am hearing the concerns of students about the prom and graduation and I know our leadership and school board are doing everything they can for us."

The 18-year-old senior is planning on attending Bloomsburg University to play baseball but he is a bit concerned he may not get that chance just yet because of COVID-19.

While maintaining his 93.5 GPA, Balestrini threw five touchdowns, 950 yards, for an average of 105.6 yards per game, he also rushed for 514 yards and had six rushing touchdowns all while keeping his role as senior class president during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is a tough year for all of us," he said. "I am hearing the concerns of students about the prom and graduation and I know our leadership and school board are doing everything they can for us."

The 18-year old senior is planning on attending Bloomsburg University to play baseball but he is a bit concerned he may not get that chance just yet because of COVID-19.

"It's in the mind," he said. "But we need to all continue to follow what we are being told to do and things will work out."

Balestrini said during the football season he and his teammates followed all the rules and no one on the team tested positive for COVID-19.

"The one thing was that was a big change was playing with no fans," he said.  'We got used to it and adapted but it was different, but at least we got to play. We were all nervous that right before the season started we would get shut down. Our coaches were strict and did a great job and I felt bad for them because, not only did they have to worry about being a coach, but they had to worry about keeping everyone following the rules."

Balestrini said when he is the high school he listens to students' concerns but that everyone is following the rules.

"This is all becoming the new normal I guess," he said. "We are all getting through it and we need to trust what we are doing and we will get to have what we are supposed to have at the end of the year."

Shikellamy Braves head football coach Jim Keiser said he proud to have coached Balestrini.

"He is one of the hardest competitors I have ever coached," Keiser said. "He gives everything on every play and he is the kind of kid you love to have on your team."

Off the field, Balestrini said he was paying attention to students' concerns over online learning.

"You need to log in and do your work and some people are struggling with it," he said. "But from what I hear, teachers are working with students and everyone is doing all they can. It's all new and everyone is making the adjustments they need to."

Balestrini said he will miss Shikellamy.

"I was born and raised here. so I will always be a Shikellamy boy," he said. "I would have liked to see things differently but this is the situation we are in so we continue to get through it."

Balestrini had some advice for the junior class

"Don't take anything for granted," he said. "We learned things can get messed up and ruin everything. High school goes by quick the way it is."

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