Sunnyside Speedster Nate Maltos Ready To Take Off
By Coach Demian Walter; NWPR Eastside Analyst-
With the 2017 football offseason winding down and the regular season about a month away, I met with one of the best wide receivers in the Eastern side of the state for a quick Q & A session today. Nate Maltos is a class of 2018 6’0” 170-pound WR/DB who plays at Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, WA. Nate was an All-League selection at WR from the Big 9 Conference in both his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Last season as a Junior, Maltos compiled some very impressive stats, 50 catches for 800 yards and 8 TD’s.
Nate possesses a coveted gift that a lot of football players try to acquire = SPEED. Nate has TOP END track speed. Clocked at 11.14 in the 100 meters FAT time (Fully Automatic Timing and verifiable on athletic.net) and 49.37 in the 400 meters FAT time (Fully Automatic Timing and verifiable on athletic.net) in his Junior track season.
That’s legit speed folks. That is Division 1 FCS skill position speed. While I certainly know in some cases track speed doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all on a football field, in this case, however, it translates. Maltos is a FOOTBALL player, who just so happens to be very fast (what a great blend).
When I reviewed Nates Junior season highlight film, play #1 tells you all you need to know about his speed. He takes a bubble screen and goes 70 yards untouched for a TD vs Eisenhower High School in a winner takes all game where the team that wins the game would earn a State Playoff berth. On that play, he DOES NOT CRISS CROSS THE FIELD or JUKE and SLIP a bunch of poor attempts at tackling like you may see in 75% of offensive highlight clips. He just catches the pass in the backfield, reads his lead block perfectly and then gets up the field and plants his foot and OUTRUNS EVERYONE. No dancing around, no benefit of lousy tackling, just being a better athlete and a better football player in a straight-line race to the goal line (finish line). That electrifying touchdown came in the 4th quarter with the game still in doubt and when Maltos ripped off that TD it sealed the biggest win for the program in 40 years as the victory earned Sunnyside its first Washington State Playoff berth in 4 decades. I would say that qualifies as “Big Time Players Make Big Time Plays in Big Time Games.” Who doesn’t want a player like that on their squad?
As I stated earlier in the article I have some personal experience evaluating Nate since 2015. I was the defensive backfield and wide receivers coach that season at A.C. Davis High School. I was responsible for scouting each opponents passing game and devising a pass coverage game plan per the other team’s tendencies and personnel. In the latter part of that 2015 season, we played Sunnyside High School. I warned our DB’s all week long in preparation for how good Nate Maltos was on film, even though he was only a sophomore at the time. What caught my attention of watching full game film of him was that he had active hands while running his routes (which is a must), he ran sharp routes with double moves on all routes even when he wasn’t the main target, he was versatile playing on the outside and in the slot positions. I was very impressed and worried as we prepared to play against him.
During the pre-game warm ups that night I looked down to the Sunnyside end of the field for warm ups and I saw something that really impressed me about Nate. He was doing his individual position warm up drills for wide receivers and he ran his “warm up routes” EXACTLY the way he ran his routes on game film and that attention to detail by him in “warm ups” really caught my attention and has stuck in my mind about him as a player ever since. So, when I thought of who to do my second article on for NWPR I immediately thought of Nate Maltos. He has earned national media exposure through this article because he caught an opposing assistant coaches eye a few years ago by doing the “small” things and putting a premium on the “details” even when he had no idea someone was watching him. That is a good lesson for all athletes to remember, always perform the small details to perfection, even in warmups when some make the mistake of thinking that time is insignificant and doesn’t matter.
I have coached against Sunnyside football teams since 2008 and one thing I have always known about that city is that they will have tough kids and athletic kids on the football field. Third year Head Coach John Lobbestael has now installed a winning culture at Sunnyside High School and you can tell right away when you prepare to face them that they are very well coached.
Football coaching staffs talk about OKG’s (our kind of guys) and I love the concept. For me, players who are hungry and determined to do whatever they can to help their high school team reach their full potential and represent their city and school with pride and respect are my kind of guys. After meeting with Nate for an hour today I am assured that he fits the description I gave in the previous sentence and he is my kind of guy. I believe there are college coaches out there who are looking for those same qualities in recruits. Nate is the top wide receiver in the Central Washington region in my opinion and can play both the outside and the inside receiver positions at the collegiate level. I also think that with his 6’0” tall frame Nate could potentially be a good fit at cornerback at the next level, with his speed he will be able to cover college receivers on the vertical routes.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem with big time speed to add to a college football program Nate Maltos is your kind of guy.