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C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart Of Texas Bowl


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ECCC NIX

By Drew Kerekes dkerekes@themeridianstar.com

Noah Nix signed on to play at East Central Community College at just the right time, it would seem.

A running back in high school, Nix’s move to receiver has been a good adjustment, the former West Lauderdale High School standout said. Nix played in all 10 games for the Warriors during the regular season, hauling in six receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns while splitting time with five other receivers.

The Warriors, meanwhile, earned their first bowl invitation since 1996 by going 7-3 this fall, making an appearance in the MACJC state semifinal, and will face Kilgore College in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl Dec. 5 in Copperas Cove, Texas. While ECCC hadn’t had much success in football throughout recent seasons, Nix said things are finally looking up — and he’s just glad to be a part of the turnaround.

“This team, we have some great players, as far as talent goes,” Nix said. “But the biggest thing that’s changed the program is we have a group of guys that have bought in and want to win. Every week we work hard and buy into what the coaches say. When we put together the talent and hard work, we’re pretty good.”

Nix mostly lined up in the slot this fall, though he moved to the outside some as well as the season went on. Next season, Nix said he will likely get some carries as a running back as well.

“It’s been different for me, but it’s good playing a new position,” Nix said. “They’re just trying to get me the ball in different ways. Next year, I’ll play both.”

During his recruitment as a senior at West Lauderdale last year, Nix made the decision to trust Warriors coach Ken Karcher when Karcher told him better days were ahead for ECCC football. So far, Karcher’s promises seem to be coming to fruition.

“It was a big decision for me and my family,” Nix said. “One thing that made me buy in was the coaches weren’t just selling winning, but making you a better player — not just for East Central, but for wherever they send you (after graduating). He told me we would win. He didn’t know how soon, but he did say we would win.”

And when teams are winning, players are much more upbeat and prone to buy in.

“When you’re on a successful team, if you make a mistake, there is always someone there who will bring you up and encourage you,” Nix said. “It brings a lot of people together. It has an effect on the team and the culture around you.”

Part of Nix’s new life at ECCC is adjusting to college, both on and off the field.

“It’s been pretty good,” Nix said. “It’s a lot different, as far as waking up and going to straight to school goes. Usually you go straight to meetings all day. But it’s a really good experience.

“I’d say the biggest difference (in football) is the athleticism. There aren’t some schools that just aren’t good — everyone has some sort of talent or player that’s good. Every week, you have to come focused and have that want to. You have to be at your best each game.”

Looking ahead to Kilgore next weekend, Nix said the Warriors’ offensive players are expecting a lot of man coverage and blitzing, and Nix feels ECCC has some of the best receivers around when it comes to beating man coverage. Long-term, Nix said he already has goals in mind for his sophomore year in Decatur.

“I just want to continue to win,” Nix said. “Once we get to the semifinals, I want to win that, then win a state championship. I just want us to continue to make plays and do what we’re supposed to do.”

Nix is the son of Crystal and Robert Nix.

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