Ni­chol­son said play­ers ‘bought into’ plan to reach ti­tle game

Starkville Daily News - - SPORTS - By ROB­BIE FAULK sports@starkvilledai­

JACK­SON — Four sea­sons ago, Chase Ni­chol­son was in a sim­i­lar spot as he was on Mon­day af­ter­noon at the Mis­sis­sippi Sports Hall of Fame Mu­seum in Jack­son.

His team was pre­par­ing for a state cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ance against Oak For­est Academy, but then he was in the back­ground as an as­sis­tant coach. This time, Ni­chol­son stood at the podium and in­tro­duced his staff and his cap­tains to those in at­ten­dance. It was a long jour­ney for him to get to that spot, but it’s been worth it.

“I’m grate­ful and thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity,” Ni­chol­son said. “I’m thank­ful for coach (Jeff) Ter­rill and all of the coaches along the way that have taught me any­thing. As much as I’m thank­ful for the coaches, I’m thank­ful for the play­ers be­cause it’s the guys that bought into the pro­gram. They be­lieve in each other and they be­lieve in us.”

Ni­chol­son is al­ways quick to take that spot­light off of him. At the pre­sen­ta­tion of teams on Mon­day, he in­tro­duced three coaches that have been vi­tal in his ac­com­plish­ments as a head coach, just as he was an of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for the Starkville Academy team that made its run to the state ti­tle game in 2014.

Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Tony Stan­ford has led pres­ti­gious pub­lic schools across the state be­fore set­tling with the Vols to help bring Ni­chol­son along. Bubba Davis has mul­ti­ple state champi-

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