No letting up

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Defensive lineman Jo Nance eyes excellence

Defensive lineman Jo Nance isn’t slacking up on plays.

He doesn’t plan on it, either.

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The Escambia Academy 6-foot-0, 238-pound senior proved as much during the Cougars’ win over Northview on Sept. 1, and throughout this season.

As of Sept. 15, Nance has compiled 22 tackles, one sack and six tackles for a loss to help lead the Cougars to an undefeated season so far. At present, EA is 6-0 overall, and 2-0 in AISA Class 2A, Region 2.

During the Northview game, Nance made his presence known by penetrating the offensive line, getting pressure on the quarterback or making key tackles on a runners.

Nance said he let a lot of petty stuff get to him in the lead up to the game.

“I thought I had to play a bigger role, and do more,” he said. “I tried to show out.”

When he wasn’t dominating the opponent’s line, Nance was making sure everybody else was pepped up and ready for the next play.

“I mean, it’s bonding,” he said. “Coach (Hugh) Fountain preaches that all of the time. We’re a family, and we have brotherhood.”

Nance said his tough and physical style of play came out when he was a freshman at T.R. Miller. He played for the Tigers in Brewton his freshman, sophomore and junior years before transferring at the end of his junior year.

Nance played in the Brewton football league since he was 5 years old before getting his shot at middle school play. He started at TRM as a freshman.

While at TRM, he played at middle linebacker and, tight end and fullback. He also plays at tight end for EA.

So far this season, Nance said it’s gone well, but he would like to play for a perfect season, adding that anything can happen.

“Sometimes you may lose, sometimes you may win,” he said.

Nance said he’s looking forward to two upcoming games — road contests against Autauga Academy and Bessemer at the end of the regular season.

When asked what he thinks is the identity of the team, Nance had a simple answer.

“We’re a young group,” he said. “We’re a first half team, but we really show it in the second half. That’s the best way to play, to play all four quarters.”

When Nance isn’t playing football or going to school, he’s working on small farms, tending to cattle and horses, just like a farmer.

After high school, Nance said he’d like to play football, but also learn a trade.

He is the son of Kim Nance of Brewton, and Eric Wells of Mobile.