Starkville Daily News - - COMICS -

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.”

(Sub­mit­ted photo)

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.

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