Atkins athlete finds new love in lacrosse

Atkins athlete finds new love in lacrosse
March 01
02:00 2018

Since his freshman year, Nickolas Adams has been a key contributor to the Atkins Camel football and basketball teams.  After a conversation with classmates he is now also a building block in the Camels up and coming lacrosse program.

According to Adams the idea of playing lacrosse came to him while speaking with some friends about the sport.  He says he was very unfamiliar with the game and with some urging decided to try out.  As his second season is about to kick off he is looking to play a major role for the Camels.

“My coach is a teacher here and I was sitting in his class speaking with some friends who play and they kept telling me to just come out and play,” said Adams.  “At first I told them no because it looked too hard but when tryouts came I went and made the team.”

He says by the time the third game of the season came around he knew this was something he wanted to play for a while.  As a means to get better he dove head first into obtaining as much information and tips about the game as possible.

“Everyone just gave me tips about what to do and how the game is played,” he said.  “I just soaked in what the coaches and the experienced players were telling me and I just started liking it.”

Adams says he used his athleticism and speed to carry him in the beginning of his career.  He now has added other skills to his arsenal to make him a more versatile player.

For Adams he says he prefers lacrosse to other sports because of the continuous style of play.  He says even when there is a foul, play does not stop until the ball hits the ground.  He also enjoys the team aspect of the game because as he put it “it takes more than one player to make a good lacrosse team.”

Another point of motivation to play the sport of lacrosse was the fact that not many African-Americans are involved with it.  He feels he can spark interest in the sport from more African-Americans at his school by inviting them to come out and play.

When Nickolas went to his mother Deborah about the possibility of playing lacrosse she was not aware of what the sport was either.  Upon seeing how the sport was played she was worried about the amount of contact involved in it.

“When I went to go see his first game I thought it was the most violent sport I have ever seen,” said Ms. Adams.  “I just saw kids running after one another with sticks trying to knock the ball out of your hands and it made me a bit apprehensive.”

“But the only reason why I allowed him to play is because he was good,” she continued.  “It’s nice to go see your son play and the whole team is rooting him on.”

Atkins coach Timothy Callaghan says Adams surprised everyone on the team with his play because of his limited experience.  Callaghan says the fact Adams did not have any bad habits was a bonus once he took the field.

“It was really exciting to see him carry out a lot of the things we were saying and to see him take that step forward by getting better as a player,” Callaghan said.  “He went from being a backup to now being a big starter with a lot of playing time this season.”

“He is already a leader out there by trying to get the guys to play the right way,” he continued.  “He has been a huge addition for us since last year.”

Callaghan said he is surprised by the impressive fundamentals Adams possesses so quickly in his career.  He says Adams doesn’t do anything poorly but he just needs to “take it to the next level” to make him a better player.

The Camel program is only in its fourth year of existence.  Coach Callaghan hopes to become more competitive and possibly have a winning season. 

Atkins is one of the more diverse schools in Forsyth County and it really shows on their sports teams.  Adams was the only African-American youth on the team last year but now minorities make up a large portion of the team this season, which was a point of emphasis for him.

“There is so much diversity here and I figured it would be, but I guess it’s more surprising when you go out to games to see how diverse we are as compared to other teams,” Callaghan said.  “There are other schools out there that are starting to grow and it is a lot more fun with the diversity out there.”

Adams is also a high achiever in the classroom as well.  He is an honor roll student with a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Crosby Scholars and WSSU Math and Science Education Network just to name a few of his honors.

He ranks in the top 15 of his graduating class and would love to stay close to home when it comes to his choice of college.  He would like to continue his lacrosse career if possibly but his dream is to become a forensic scientist.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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