Nerves?

St. Johnsbury Academy senior quarterback Trey Alercio had a few as he was preparing to make his varsity debut under center on Saturday against visiting Essex.

“Making my first start at QB, yeah I had some nerves,” the 17-year-old said. “I get nervous before every game, but I think nerves are a good thing. If you don’t, maybe your’re not excited or not ready. On top of that, I was nervous getting the first start a year after Jake Cady was here. He’s one of the best QBs that Vermont’s seen in 20 years.”

Apparently, Alercio has nerves of steel.

He finished his day 21-of-24 passing for 177 yards, added a 6-yard rushing touchdown and knocked down a career-long 36-yard field goal as the Hilltoppers pounded Essex 38-19 to get their 2019 campaign off to a flying start.

“I was confident in myself,” Alercio said. “I didn’t think my my percentage would be that high and I had no idea until my dad (head coach Rich Alercio) told me. It’s exciting, but also not that important. Stats are cool and all, but I want to get the ball to my guys and just get the win.”

The field goal was just as impressive, especially doing it without any formal training. He’s now 2-for-2 in high school (he hit a 30-yarder in the playoff win at Hartford last fall).

“Last year in practice I was the scout team kicker and a couple kicks went through the uprights and I said, ‘maybe this is something I could do.’”

Dream destination: Somewhere tropical

Favorite thing to cook: Kraft Mac & Cheese

One thing you can’t live without: Logan Wendell

Favorite person you’ve never met: Will Ferrell

Funniest teammate: Zebb Winot

Best restaurant in town: New Century

What song makes you crank the volume: Africa, by Toto

Best coach: Coach Alercio

Biggest fear: Failure

Dream job: Night show host

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