By day, EJ Nemeth is a teacher of kindergarten, first grade, and second grade physical education at Foundation Academy and Charter School in Trenton, New Jersey. He also spends part of his days coaching football, wrestling and track at Notre Dame High School. It’s a day filled with long hours and hard work, but there are also days when Nemeth continues on to his other profession, a side gig that he’s pretty passionate about and makes sacrifices to keep going.
After his day jobs, the 35 year old Nemeth gets into his car and heads to his night and weekend job for some fun.
Nemeth is the starting quarterback for the New York Streets and joins his teammates for practice in Brooklyn a few nights a week. Then, on the weekends, he’s battling opponents from around the National Arena League. The indoor football veteran quarterback led the Streets to a season opening win in Jacksonville this past Saturday night making all the long hours during training camp and in practice worth it.
He’s not about to give all this up even though sleep deprivation is taking place.
“It’s tough when you get older,” said Nemeth. “At the end of the day, football is fun. It’s fun being a part of a team and being successful. It makes for some long nights and early mornings but it’s not anything that I haven’t done before. I was driving trucks and doing manual labor the last go around so this day job is easier on the body. Could I use more sleep? Sure, but I’ll sleep when the season is over.”
Nemeth and his teammates stunned the Arena Football world by knocking off the Sharks this past Saturday night 52-41. The former Sacred Heart University quarterback completed 15 out of 26 passes for 208 yards, four touchdown passes and two interceptions while also scoring on two touchdown runs in the game. The offense did it’s job to build a big lead and then Nemeth credited the guys on the other side of the ball for preserving the win.
“Luckily the defense finished the game and finished strong,” said Nemeth. “Offensively, we need to finish better but it was a great way to start for sure. It went smooth, but its just there’s some things we need to clean up at the end of the game.”
As an expansion team, the Streets are fortunate to have a quarterback like Nemeth who has a wealth of experience and a championship resume. He has won three indoor football titles guiding the Baltimore Mariners (2010), Harrisburg Stampede (2013) and the York Capitals (2015) to championships. It was with Harrisburg and York where Nemeth worked with current Streets Head Coach Rick Marsilio.
With Nemeth available, Marsilio wasted not even a New York minute to get him to the Streets.
“I’m so excited to bring a seasoned veteran Arena Football quarterback to the Streets,” said Marsilio. “EJ is as good as it gets. He has multiple championships and two undefeated seasons on his resume. He brings leadership and experience to the huddle. It’s like having another coach on the field.”
Nemeth jumped at the opportunity to be reunited with Marsilio and he appreciates the hard word that owners Corey and Tamara Galloway have put in to bring Arena Football back to New York. A football team is not just about the players and coaches on the field but about everyone in the organization working hard to make the franchise successful.
In his short time with the Streets, Nemeth can see that this is going to be a franchise to be reckoned with.
“You realize all the hard work that people put in behind the scenes,” said Nemeth, a three-time league player of the year. “Corey (and Tamara) are taking care of all the ownership duties and then Rick is getting players from all over the place and staying in contact with people. I’m here because of my past relationship with him. It’s good to see that all that hard work they put into it for the last year or two has come to fruition.”
And now after the season opening win on the road, Nemeth and the Streets are getting set to welcome the NAL’s other expansion team, the Orlando Predators, to the intimate confines of the Westchester County Center for this Saturday night’s home opener. The Predators have had a storied history in Arena Football and now they are making their return.
After an eleven year absence of Arena Football in New York, the fifty yard indoor war is back in town and the atmosphere on Saturday could very well be off the charts.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Nemeth. “Hopefully (the fans) are loud and rowdy. I know Orlando has had a great past and they’re trying to revive that now. I’m definitely looking forward to it and I know the guys are looking forward to it, especially the local guys from around the city.”
EJ Nemeth, like many Arena Football players, has to juggle a lot on his plate. By day, he has his full time job as a teacher while also coaching multiple sports. But he’s also been able to enjoy a terrific career in Arena Football and he’s in search of his fourth championship ring. Being at the helm of the Streets, his goal is to bring New York it’s first ever Arena Football title.