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Thursday July 29th, 2021 2:41PM

Wrestling: Nichols stepping down at North Hall

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

GAINESVILLE — North Hall's David Nichols announced Friday he was stepping down after five seasons as the head wrestling coach for the Trojans.

The announcement was made by North Hall Athletic Director Sam Borg in a press release.

“Today is a day to celebrate these kids and what Coach Nichols has been able to accomplish as our head coach," Borg said. “We are thankful for the countless hours of positive influence devoted to these wrestlers and their families. We will build on Coach Nichols’ momentum for the future of our program as we find our next head coach.”

The Trojans program reached unprecedented heights during Nichols' stint. North Hall had eight wrestlers combine for a total of 12 Georgia High School Association individual titles. The team won two GHSA Class 3A State Dual Titles, one GHSA State Dual runner-up finish, two GHSA Traditional runner-up finishes, two GHSA Traditional third-place showings, and eight Area Titles (Duals and Traditionals) in his five seasons.

Nichols, who has been an assistant football coach for the Trojans for six seasons, will stay on in that capacity.

"My wife and I decided that it was in the best interest of our family to devote our passion to football," Nichols said. "Serving this community as head wrestling Coach has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional career, and I want to thank Jamey Moore, Billy Wells, and Sam Borg for their support throughout the years. My entire family looks forward to our new expanded capacity to serve North Hall football at the youth, middle school, and varsity level."

Unfortunately, Nichols' tenure did not finish on the ultimate high note he, and the program, expected. On the mat, the Trojans won the 2021 Class 3A State Duals and were in the lead after the first day of the 2021 Traditional tournament. But a procedural issue caused the team to have an ineligible wrestler, thereby forcing them to have to vacate the Duals title and they lost nearly three dozen points during the Traditionals and finished third.

Borg and Nichols said that did not play a part in his decision to step down. In fact, Nichols told AccessWDUN during the Duals meet he was planning to step down at the end of the season.

"What happened during the Traditionals had nothing to do with this," Borg said. "He had made this decision a few weeks before the tournaments. He told us he wanted to pursue football full-time."

"I was not forced to resign as wrestling coach or anything like that by North Hall," Nichols said. "A lot of things were already in motion to keep the program moving forward with me leaving before any of the stuff happened (at the end of the season).

"There are a lot of things to do for our guys to get ready for the Spring Nationals (tournament) and I didn't want to do anything to interrupt the preparations for that, and me trying to maybe let all this kind of fade away and then make an announcement would have hurt the program. I'm leaving the program in great hands and I'm looking forward to devoting all of my time to football here."

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