“It is so hard to grow up without your dad at such a young age when you have questions and need advice. I really missed him. But with the help of my family and friends, I got through it pretty well. And I admire what he did for the country so much.”
As he matured, Nicholas also began to emerge as an athlete. A season ago, he played receiver for the Andover High JV team. Over the summer, he set his sights on becoming an impact player on the varsity team.
“I was really determined to be as productive as I could be this year,” he said. “But I didn’t know it would happen as quickly as it did,”
In Week 1 of this season, Nicholas caught the game-winning, overtime touchdown pass from Oliver Eberth that gave the Warriors a victory over North Andover.
“I was shocked,” Nicholas said. “I couldn’t believe I had done that. It didn’t sink in for a while. It was just amazing to make that kind of play.”
Nicholas has continued to impress at receiver, leading the team in catches (18) and receiving yards (247) and touchdown catches (5), and also at defensive back, with a team-best four interceptions.
“He has improved so much since Day 1,” Golden Warriors coach E.J. Perry said. “He had to step up this year. He’s fast, big for a receiver (6 feet, 160 pounds) and he is a smart player.”
Surprise of a lifetime
A life-long Red Sox fanatic, Nicholas received the gift every Sox fan dreamed of last week — tickets to Game 6 of the World Series, the game the Red Sox took home the title.
“The day before the game, some family friends had people drop out so they gave my family tickets,” he said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.