Collin Nichols, a 2019 graduate of Troy Buchanan High School, is now attending Lincoln University on an athletic scholarship for football. Nichols has been playing football for thirteen years.
“It started with my dad signing me up when I was really little and I just fell in love with the sport,” Nichols said.
After playing locally for years, he found he had a passion for the sport and knew he wanted to take it to the next level. When Nichols was going in to seventh grade he joined his first select football team to prepare him for middle school play.
“I started to play select football knowing I could do something with this sport and help it get my education,” Nichols said.
The years of practice paid off when Nichols made the Troy Buchanan High School Varsity Football Team, where he played through his high school career.
“As my high school head coach, Coach Nesbit will always say, ‘this is the ultimate team sport.’ It takes every individual to buy into what you are doing and that’s why I love it,” Nichols said.
Working as part of a team has been his favorite part of playing football from the start. He said that the bonds between the players and the coaches are the heart of the sport, but having the team come together is what really pulls together a win.
Nichols also took up wrestling his junior and senior year of high school to help him improve on the field.
The daily practices, workouts and drills helped Nichols physically, however he credits his success to his strong support system.
“Both of my parents have been so supportive and giving and sacrificing so I can do certain things with this sport,” Nichols said. As with any sport, there are good and bad times. Some of his biggest inspirations to not give up are his favorite professional football players, Adrian Peterson and J.J.Watt. He also has a long list of people that have motivated and helped him get to this point in his life. Specifically, Nichols said Troy Buchanan’s head football coach Ryan Nesbitt’s dedication to the school’s team over the years was a huge factor for him.
“He has been there in times of need and taught me that football is more than just a game,” Nichols said.
Nichols has been playing football all his life, and to say there was not a moment he second-guessed his path would be wrong – however he was raised with the attitude not to throw the towel in at hard times, but to push through and pursue his dreams.
“There are always times when you ask yourself if it’s worth it and if you should give up. But everything I start, I have to finish even if I’m the worst at it,” Nichols said.
As Nichols is gearing up for his first semester at Lincoln University he is preparing to play in his first collegiate game. After graduating college, Nichols hopes to use his degree to work for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a wildlife biologist (He is currently pursuing a degree in agriculture science with emphasis on natural resources). Never wanting to leave the sport, Nichols plans to stay involved as a coach.
“I’d love to come back to my hometown and coach at the high school along with Coach Nesbitt,” Nichols said.