Nester’s intensity anchors Hornets’ line

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

Standing at just 5-foot-6 and 220 pounds, some coaches might just overlook Lake’s Cole Nester.

Head coach Tate Hanna said he would take as many Cole Nesters as he could get. Nester, a rising senior is the latest addition to The Newton County Appeal’s Elite 11 team.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Nester is one of Hanna’s favorites.

“I’ve been doing this 19 years and Cole is the type of kid that you want all of your lineman to be like,” Hanna said “He is tough, he gets after it and is gritty. When you talk to every coach before and after you play them, they know who No. 53 is. He is going to go out there and give you everything he has, whether it’s offense or defense or special teams. If we had five offensive linemen like him, we would wear folks out on Friday night. He’s going to figure out ways to get the job done.”

What Nester lacks in size, he more than makes up for with effort and intensity.

“I have always been smaller than everybody but it hasn’t ever really phased me,” Nester said. “It just means that I have to play harder than everybody else. I have been intense my whole life, I guess. I have always been upbeat. If you aren’t on the same schedule as me, I think you are lagging. I probably started that in seventh grade when I started playing football. When I was playing peewee, I was smaller than everybody back then to. I figured they would pick somebody bigger than me to be the leader. But it came to me in seventh grade that nobody else was going to do it.”

Hanna said Nester just figures out a way to win.

“He is one of those type of kids that you might beat him but by the time the game is over, he will find a way to get the better of you,” Hanna said. “He is going to figure out a way to get you blocked. When he comes to the sideline, he’s a kid you can ask what they are lined up in and what they are doing. He will tell you everything you need to know.”

Hanna said Nester is so much more than a player, he’s a team leader and on-the-field coach.

“He is our leader on the offense and defensive line, especially with Zeke leaving last year,” Hanna said. “Cole was already the leader on offense but now he will be the leader on defense. He’s a hard-nosed kid. All the coaches know about him and the players respect him. He’s going to give you everything he has, no matter what he is doing. It starts every day at practice on Monday. He works his tail off.

“He doesn’t come off the field much. But when we come in at halftime, he is a big positive for us as far as scheming for the second half. You can’t praise him enough.”

Nester was a Division 5-2A Elite 11 pick for the Hornets last year on the offensive line. But Hanna knows that Nester isn’t playing football for awards or a future in college.

“Those are the kids that you love,” Hanna said. “Those kids that go out there and give you everything they have knowing they don’t have a future in it. But he does it for his teammates, his community and for his coaches. That’s why I just go on and on about him. He’s just one of those special kids.”

When he’s not playing football, Nester is generally in the outdoors. He works at a pecan orchard in the summer, taking care of 201 pecan trees. When he’s not working, Nester like to hunt. Last year, he killed two gobblers and an 11-point buck and caught the biggest largemouth bass of his life.

After high school, Nester plans on attending Hinds Community College and getting his degree in welding.

“I’ve been doing welding at the vo-tech and will graduate with a two-year certificate in welding,” Nester said. “I plan on going to Hinds after that and getting my welding degree and hopefully get a job welding. My dad is a foreman on a pipeline and he said there are welders bringing home $4,500 a week.”