onships in his career. It can be argued that defensive coordinator Brad Butler has been the glue that has held it all together with his defense during Nicholson’s time as well.
It’s a testament to every piece pulling its own weight at Starkville Academy.
“The biggest thing is always trust,” Nicholson said. “With a coach Stanford, coach Davis and coach Butler, we’re like family. We mesh well together.
“Being able to have guys with that much knowledge, they all have the trust to tell me exactly what they think. That’s something that you want and the kids feed off of that bond.”
Quarterback Noah Methvin was there on Monday with his coaches and teammates to take part in the festivities. He went from defensive end to starting quarterback last season for the Volunteers at a time where he admitted he wasn’t very good.
Now Methvin is one of the team’s most important cogs splitting time with Ben Owens at quarterback and bringing energy to the team throughout. He credits Nicholson in getting him where he is now.
“He and my dad have taught me pretty much everything I know about football,” Methvin said of Nicholson. “He and coach Butler in the weight room and in two-a-days taught me so much about being a man. He’s been a really good role model for me.”
SA heads to Jackson Academy on Saturday with just one blemish on its record. The 12-1 Vols have outscored their opponents 102-0 through three playoff games and are playing their best football at the right time.
However, that one blemish is the team SA meets at 2:30 p.m. The defending state champs of Indianola Academy come in with back-to-back undefeated seasons and are making its third-straight trip to the final game.
Just as he has done since taking over in 2015, Nicholson will be relying on everyone pulling their own part of the rope. He’ll take what he has against anyone in the state.
“At the end of the day, we’re a big happy family and that’s what I’m most thankful for,” Nicholson said. “The opportunity to play in a state championship is every coach’s dream. To be here now with this group, I’m beyond blessed.”
The Armstrong Middle School 8th grade Yellowjackets won the East Webster Junior High Tournament on Saturday with wins over Amory and East Webster. The Jackets defeated the Wolverines 34-33 in a thriller for the title.