Demetrious Nicholson (File Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Demetrious Nicholson named head football coach at Virginia Episcopal School
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
In his playing days at Bayside High School, Tre Nicholson was an All-American.
He was known as one of the most dedicated and smartest guys on the field. Nicholson had college offers from prominent schools as far away as Stanford, but he decided to stay in-state to play for Mike London and UVA.
In his time at Virginia, he had a five-year playing career including a medical redshirt year, and he earned a BS in Sociology and his Master’s in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration. He took advantage of the opportunities that the University of Virginia gave him.
Now after a couple of years in Virginia Beach as an assistant coach, he’s taking on the head coaching job at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg.
Tra took the job on August 1 and his team will play their first game this weekend in the VISFL against Brunswick Academy. The VISFL is the 8-man football league that started in the 2018 season and includes HRA and Greenbrier Christian as members.
Nicholson has a lot of insight to offer as a coach. The game of football is a lot like life. It’s about overcoming adversity. It’s about meeting challenges head on. Those are things that Tra has done in his life.
His mother Elizabeth Nicholson had Tra when she was only 12 years old. He was raised by his mother and grandmother together until his grandmother’s health declined and Elizabeth had a mom and a four-year-old son to take care of at the age of 16.
As a boy, Coach Nicholson was eager to achieve and eager to prove himself. Often the smallest kid on his teams, Tra worked hard to be the best. In sixth grade, his rec team won a national championship. In seventh grade, Tra was selected as the middle school team’s MVP.
In a recent interview with Ben Cates of Central Virginia’s News and Advance, Nicholson stated that he is motivated to “mold [players] into young men.” He wants to “show them that where I come from is different than where they come from, but we have a lot of similarities as far as adversity.”
An 8-man football program already deals with adversity since the numbers are smaller and the school’s enrollment is certainly smaller than the average high school. VES offers a small school environment where students get a lot of individual attention. At a private school in a somewhat rural area, the athletes in Nicholson’s programs may not deal with the challenges of a kid in the “big city”, but adversity presents itself in all sorts of ways.
Tra Nicholson is definitely the kind of mentor who can help his roster of 30 athletes tackle it.
As a spectator, observer, fan and scout, I can tell you personally that Tra Nicholson has come a long way from Wolfpack youth football to coaching his own program. He deserves all the good things that come to him, and you can bet that he will pay it forward every day.
– Andy Hilton