East Carolina University

Poquoson's Nate Ward seeks new routes to run

Poquoson's Nate Ward seeks new routes to run

POQUOSON — As Nate Ward describes the denial, frustration and, finally, acceptance that the head trauma he suffered in a Poquoson High School football game in September ended his playing career, he sounds like someone lamenting the loss of a loved one.

And in a large sense he is. Without football, Ward is missing a piece of his identity and one of the things he’s loved the most — and longest.

He recovered a fumble on his first football play as a 6-year-old with the Poquoson Mighty Mites, wearing a white T-shirt with his name and number stenciled on it with a Sharpie because the team jersey hadn’t arrived.

His final football play was a 14-yard...