Football remains in former Scrapper’s blood

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    LUKE REEDER
    Sports Writer
    From the field fighting for
    a playoff berth for the Nashville
    High School Scrapper
    football team to the sidelines
    of the Norman Oklahoma High
    School football field and many
    places in between, Coach
    Greg Nation has football in
    his blood.
    Coach Nation is a Nashville
    native that was born and
    raised here. He is a Scrapper
    at heart, “I was born and
    raised in Nashville, I have
    fond memories of going to the
    Little Red School House as a
    kid and growing up to later
    play high school football for
    the Scrappers,” Nation said.
    On top of his growing up in
    Nashville, his parents are long
    time Nashville residents with
    Nation’s dad being a church of
    Christ preacher.
    Nation began his football
    career on the Scrapper football
    field. He played for the
    Scrappers during the late
    1970’s and the early 1980’s.
    During this time as a Scrapper
    Nation and his team enjoyed
    an era of success, “We made
    the playoffs during every year
    I played football at Nashville,”
    Nation explained.
    After high school Nation
    went on to further his education
    at Henderson State University.
    Along with furthering
    his education, Nation also kept
    up in his football career as a
    Reddie. Nation was a wearer of
    many hats on the football field
    at Henderson as he played defensive
    back, quarterback and
    receiver. Nation soon graduated
    with a BSE in Physical
    Education and Social Studies.
    After college Nation landed
    his first job as a coach in 1987
    at Central Arkansas Christian
    high school in Little Rock. Nation’s
    first coaching job was
    being an offensive coordinator
    for the Mustangs. Along
    with becoming a coach, Nation
    was around a familiar
    face at CAC, “CAC was my
    first coaching job out of
    college. I was hired by
    Bobby McLaughlin who
    was a Nashville native
    so it was nice to have
    a person from home
    there,” Nation said. But
    his job at Central Arkansas
    Christian did not
    last too long because in
    1989 Nation restarted
    his football playing career
    in a completely new
    field, Nation was signed
    to a team in a minor
    league football system.
    In 1989 Nation was
    signed to the Pueblo
    Crusaders. This team
    was one that was closely
    associated with the
    NFL’s Denver Broncos. As
    a Crusader Nation played
    defensive back and on the
    special teams. The team
    traveled all across the United
    States to play, “We played
    all over the United States. It
    was a lot of fun and a great
    experience to play in the
    league,” Nation said.
    After he hung up his pads,
    Nation became a coach
    again with stops at The
    University of Tulsa, Arena
    Football and a head coaching
    job at Bishop Kelley High
    School in Tulsa Oklahoma
    before ultimately ending up
    in Norman Oklahoma as the
    head coach of the Norman
    High School Tigers. Nation
    is in a good position as the
    head coach at Norman and
    has been there for eight
    years. But his Tigers are having
    a tough season. Norman
    High School is in the 6A division
    and only has 1750 kids
    making it the second smallest
    school in the division.
    This means Nation is very
    limited in his football team,
    “We only have 1750 kids in
    our school so that makes us
    a small school compared to
    everybody else in the division.
    This means we have
    less players than most of the
    schools,” Nation explained.
    This year the Tigers are
    not in the most ideal spot
    with only one win under
    their belt. Nation knows this
    is a rough year for his team
    describing it as a rough
    season but with even with
    the rough season the Tigers
    have a seasoned coach
    heading them up that can
    help improve the team for
    next season.
    Nation is a coach that
    has tasted the success at
    a higher than college level
    and that is something that
    most coaches have never
    experienced but he still
    keeps to his small town
    roots, “My parents still live
    in Nashville and it is always
    good to come back there
    (Nashville),” Nation said.
    While he may now be a successful
    coach in Norman,
    Nation is still a Scrapper
    at heart and without his
    early start on the successful
    Scrapper football team
    Nation’s coaching career
    may not have turned out
    the way it did and like any
    Scrapper Nation said “Once
    a Scrapper always a Scrapper.”
    When the season ends
    Nation will look to bring his
    team back from the bottom
    and help them become playoff
    contenders.

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