TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Rickards High School football team made history last season as the Raiders played for their first state title. They fell short of their goal, but they've laid the foundation for the future, and senior Gabe Nance wants to make sure they add a little more to that legacy before he's gone.
"That first state caliber team being a part of that was a really great experience," he said. "There's nothing like being the first team to make it to state."
Nance is a big reason why the Raiders have been so successful.
"Without him, I don't think our offense goes," said head coach Quintin Lewis. "He's the one person we need offensively to make everything click for us."
He makes the Raiders go on both sides of the ball.
"He plays running back, h-back, tight end, receiver, defensive end, linebacker. He does everything for us," added Lewis. "He's our utility guy. He does everything we ask on the football field."
"A lot of people say it's tiring which it is sometimes but it really makes the game fun for me and practice and all that," said Nance.
He gets it done off the field too. As a dual-enrolled student, Nance has a 3.2 GPA.
"Knowing that academics comes first is really a big part of getting where I am now."
"He doesn't get in trouble at all, I don't have to fuss at him at all, and he gets on everybody's tail for not doing things right," said Lewis. "That's what you want. He also shows with his actions more than his words how hard work pays off for everybody."
Hard work that Nance is hoping gets this Raider squad back into the postseason to play for another state title.
"It's been a fun journey getting here, and I really don't want it to end," he said.
Hopefully it won't for a little while longer. Nance said he wants to play football in college, and he wants to major either in physical therapy or business.