NORFOLK (WAVY) – Hours before his team was set to take the field against Savannah State on Homecoming Saturday, Norfolk State head coach Latrell Scott had to inform his players that one of their fellow teammates, freshman defensive lineman Nicholas Ackies, was shot and killed the night before.
The Spartans (3-5, 3-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) took the field with heavy hearts, and scored a touchdown on their opening drive. The team then watched the once winless Tigers (1-7, 1-4) score 20 unanswered points, on their way to a 27-9 upset win at Dick Price Stadium.
Few words were spoken on the sideline as the final seconds wound down, and Scott, holding back tears before speaking to the media, praised his team for the fight they showed in the face of tragedy. “I think they responded just like any young kid would in a situation like that,” said Scott.
“I thought they came out the first drive and they tried to be as energetic as they possibly could. I hate that our young guys to have to go through a situation like this, but we’re a family oriented bunch. We’ll get through it together.”
Scott described Ackies, 19, as “happy-go-lucky,” and a friend of everyone who met him.