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Vick a Shrine Bowler for a game that won’t be played

Posted on November 29, 2021

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Southern Nash senior Jackson Vick (26), running with the ball during a game against Rocky Mount on Oct. 29 at Firebird Stadium, was selected to the North Carolina roster for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Jyronn Brinkley | Enterprise file photo

Southern Nash senior Jackson Vick (26), running with the ball during a game against Rocky Mount on Oct. 29 at Firebird Stadium, was selected to the North Carolina roster for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

paul@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7808

Jackson Vick is thankful for being recognized as a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas player — albeit one without a game in which to play.

The Southern Nash High senior is one of 44 players to be selected for the North Carolina team. However, the game was canceled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Vick, the 10th Southern Nash player to be selected for Shrine Bowl duty, is honored to follow in the footsteps of former Firebirds teammates Zonovan “Bam” Knight and Quinton Cooley.

“I felt very blessed to be selected for the Shrine Bowl,” Vick said in a Friday afternoon text message. “My freshman year, my teammate Bam was selected and I watched him go win the offensive MVP (for the North Carolina team in the 2018 Shrine Bowl). My sophomore year, Quinton made the Shrine Bowl team, so all throughout high school it was definitely a dream to be selected in the game. And I’m disappointed that we cannot play this year.”

The other Firebirds to be picked for the Shrine Bowl were Tahj Deans in 2015, Aaron McFarland (2010), Phillip Dobbins (2009), Kwamaine Battle (2006), Nick Williams (2006), Julius Peppers (1997) and Lamont Avent (1991).

Like his former teammates — Knight, a starting running back at N.C. State University, and Cooley, a freshman at No. 21 Wake Forest — Vick is headed to the collegiate ranks, but not as a running back. Vick committed to N.C. State as a defensive back.

For the Firebirds, he started on both sides during 2-A/3-A Big East Conference play and rarely left the field. Vick led Southern Nash with 1,211 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground while catching a team-high eight passes for 200 yards and four more TDs. On defense, he made 13 tackles and intercepted one pass while returning one punt and one kickoff for TDs on special teams.

Vick was definitely a difference-maker for Southern Nash as the Firebirds put together a 9-2 season that ended in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.

“Anytime you’re picked to play in that game and the way they do it too is so good, where they don’t just go on stats or whatever,” Firebirds head coach Brian Batchelor said. “They have those little combines and the coaches follow the kids throughout the season on film and stuff like that. So it’s definitely a good recognition of your talent and your playing ability — not just your talent, but actually what you do on the field.”

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