Addison Nickles follows in the family’s footsteps and locks key position for Panthers | Secondary school

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Golf Balls

For many athletes, a coach can be a second parent as they spend more time with the team and coaching staff than with their own families during the season. For Addison Nickles, he had the opportunity to play for his father during his high school career, which most athletes could never do.

Nickles is a junior in the Abbeville Panthers No. 1 and has played each of his varsity games under Jamie Nickles, who has led the Panthers to five championships in the past six years.

“It was the same because I don’t have him as my position coach,” said Addison. “Whenever we get into the field, it’s just a business. I don’t think he’s my dad, it’s just normal. He’s just another coach for me. “

Addison begins when the Panthers attack on the offensive but has played center in his career. Playing the offensive line runs in the family as Jamie played on the line, as did Connor Nickles, Addison’s older brother who is currently at the Citadel.

“I was a little too small and a little too slow to play linebacker or full-back, so I played (offensive line) in the Rec League and middle school. I just got involved, of course, because I’m strong, but not athletic enough to play linebacker, ”said Addison.

“It’s pretty cool because he (Jamie) played it and my brother (Connor) plays it. I’ve played all over the Rec League Center, but now I’ve switched to tackle. It’s pretty cool. It’s the same position and body type. The same genes. “

Abbeville’s powerful rushing attack has dominated the teams all season thanks to the skilled athletes running the ball and the large holes the offensive line creates along the edges, something Addison has had a large part in.

“He’s one of our hardest workers,” said Jamie. “He worked hard all the time. He’s one of our strongest, maybe our strongest children. He really invests a lot of time in the weight room, so I’m proud of him and hopefully it will pay off for him. “

Nickles is not only anchoring one of the two tackle positions, but also the Panthers’ starting kicker. The junior has one of the stronger legs in the Lakelands, as he consistently boots balls through the rear end zone during kickoffs.

Addison started kicking when he and Connor went with Jamie when Jamie did his daily runs. Connor worked at hitting golf balls while Addison kicked soccer balls daily.

“Addison never liked hitting golf balls, so he kicked soccer balls. My grandfather was a great kicker in Abbeville so I guess he got it from there because he sure didn’t get it from me, ”said Jamie.

“I’ve always been a kicker. It’s pretty tough to step on tired legs, ”added Addison. “It affects you, especially late in games. Whatever my team needs, I’ll do that. “

Playing multiple positions has helped Addison stay banned in games as he will play the next game after missing a kick. In the second round of the playoffs Abbeville had to try to kick a 45-yard field goal.

Nickles shot the ball, but instead of sailing through the posts, it ricocheted off the left post. Instead of hanging his head, Addison got back to work and jumped back into the crowd for the next streak of defense.

“Whenever you miss a kick, you go to the sidelines and that’s all you think about. I’ll be there with me on the next piece. We like to just wipe it off and pretend it didn’t happen. The offensive line helps me a lot because I have to concentrate on more than just being a kicker, sitting on the net and crying about it. “

After graduating from Abbeville in 2023, Addison plans to play college football, either on the offensive line or in kicker. After graduating from college, he plans to follow in Jamie’s footsteps as a coach.

His inspiration is his own father.

“Just him (Jamie) really, because the impact he’s had on these kids’ lives is pretty cool,” Addison said of what leads him to become a football coach. “I’ve always loved the coaching aspect of football, like the Xs and Os. I love the scheme behind it. It’s always interesting for me. “

Contact sports journalist Cody Estremera at 864-943-2530.