Young ‘Dawgs continue learning the ropes

Coach Nickey Nance

Coach Nickey Nance

By Jay Tidwell

Special to the News-Exchange

New Albany Middle School head football coach Nickey Nance understands what it takes to cultivate a winning environment.

Nance, who majored in agricultural education at Miss. State, was a successful head high school coach at Falkner, his alma mater. He is in his second year at New Albany, where he also serves as Middle School athletic director.

“We are trying to push that we’re building a program in all sports,” Nance said. “What (head coach) Ron (Price) does in the high school, we need to be trying to imitate at the middle school. I’d like to see our baseball program and others, be a smooth transition from middle school to high school and that we’re doing the same things.”

Nance is already seeing the results of this approach among his football players.

“We were at a game with a couple of our players on the sideline and our high school bunch scored on somebody,” he explained, “and I heard one of the middle school kids say that they just scored on a 31-trap. That was what I was looking for. When kids go to high school and recognize the plays, that’s what we want to do, and we want that in all of our sports.

“The schools that are extremely successful, West Point, Lafayette, programs like that, they have the same terminology,” he added. “My ultimate reward would be for some of my kids to go to Jackson in high school.”

Nance has high expectations for several returning players.

“We have a three-way race for quarterback in 8th grade: Payton Snyder, Peyton Goins and Deangelo Biggs,” Nance said. “We have Jordan Lipsey at running back.

“Logan Canerdy and London Erby are two linemen with a lot of potential,” he continued. “Chris Benefield will play fullback and linebacker.”

Nance said Elijah Brown is very versatile.

“He has worked really hard and has a good work ethic. He could play anything, probably at slot, but he can play running back or wide receiver, and outside linebacker or strong safety.”

The middle school teams, which play their home games at the high school field, compete in the North Division of the Traceway Conference with Corinth, Guntown, Pontotoc and Ripley.
2013 New Albany Middle School football schedule

Aug. 24 Jamboree at Ole Miss-Vaught Hemingway Stadium

Aug. 26 Meet the Bulldogs

Aug. 27 North Pontotoc

Sept. 3rd Guntown

Sept. 10 Holly Springs

Sept. 17 at Corinth

Sept. 24 Pontotoc

Oct. 8 at Kossuth

Oct. 15 Ripley

Oct. 22 Traceway Game

2013 New Albany Middle School football rosters

Seventh Grade football roster

Peyton Reeves

Dylan Stout

John Wright Welborn

Kenley Olson

Jackson Christ

Loden Bolen

Reno Montgomery

Jadien Deaton

Shadarius Worship

Skyler Harmon

Zack Ball

Zech Eades

Caden Johnson

HankJohnson

Carolas Romero

Hunter Armstrong

Lane Mitchell

Caleb Wilson

Christopher Carter

Tyson McKenzie

Daijon Pittman

Jaelon Roby

Nylan Blissett

Randle Hamblin

Alex Mirfield

Dayton Hall

Walt Covington

J. B. Hill

Nathan Catt

Dayvon Russell

Eighth Grade football roster

Mason Phillips

Eli Keener

Elijah Brown

Logan Collins

Elias Colyer

Aaron Estes

Jeremiah Howell

Ruston Adams

Ethan Richey

Jarred Ligon

Andrew Benefield

Camryn Turner

Jeremiah Mabry

Logan Canerdy

London Erby

Di’Angelo Biggs

Jordan Lipsey

Payton Snyder

Hayden Anderson

Payton Goins

Chris Benefield

Corey Duke

Jeremy Hester

Will Morton

Peyton Jolly

Zannotoes Pittman

Wayne Campbell

Andrew Westmoreland

Hakeem Williams

Dakota Jackson

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.